Every morning for the past few weeks, I toss a handful of frozen berries with nonfat yogurt and pomegranate juice into my blender, spin it, pour it into one of the only two cups that fit into the cupholder of my car, then run out the door with my handbag dangerously half-open, laptop thrown over my shoulder, power, LAN, and mouse cords flailing out of the top like kidnapped cobras because I didn’t have time to carefully roll them up into their respective cases. I always get halfway down the hallway before I stop dead in my tracks with a silent "fuckomgfuck," spin 180° on my 4" stiletto’d heel, and run back to my apartment to grab whatever it was that I forgot. The rent check. A CD. A miniature legal pad on my nightstand where I’ve scribbled notes in the middle of the night when I've awoken in a cold sweat about a new idea.
I never really stopped to think about it, my daily “breakfast” that is, let alone the whole of my life, for the last few months. It’s been almost like a dream, where I can’t be sure I am awake, or whether I am asleep. Lack of sleep, and a waking existence fueled only by antioxidants, vitamins, and caffeine will do that to you. Illicit drugs cause hallucinations and effect strange realities for the addict, and caffeine, really, is no different.
This morning, something weird happened. You’d never think something so seemingly insignificant in your daily routine would move you to weep.
I put everything in the blender. I pushed “On.” And then I felt my eyes start to water. Through vision blurred by tears, I watched what has become a daily, almost mindless occurrence for me: my Cuisinart choke, spit, jerk through the frozen blackberries and blueberries, until it got them to a sufficiently blendable size at which point the whole thing went from a menage á berries to a creamy purplish black and blue, whizzing around at such a high speed that the whole blender itself started to vibrate and jerk and make little jumps across the counter. Just before it would fall over into an exhausted mechanical heap spewing its berried entrails all over my kitchen, I quietly pressed “Off.” The tears were flowing full force down my cheeks.
Life, in the last two months, has simply spun so far and fast out of control that I didn’t even realize it until I actually stopped for a moment to watch the blender pulverize perfectly plump, glittering, sparkling-with-diamond-ice frozen blackberries and blueberries into a seedy, pulpy black and blue mess, wholly unidenitifiable from its previous life.
My life has been reduced to a morning smoothie.
Without getting into too much excruciating detail, let’s just say that every single waking minute of my day is swallowed up without feeling nor remorse by work. Sometimes, even sleeping minutes, my only “opportunity of escape,” are stolen from me by fitful nightmares related to my new job. It’s kind of frightening – the nightmares are an odd combination of psychedelic trip and horror flick, but it’s the fact that the demon characters in my dreams have faces that belong to…people I "work" with.
I am not a morning person, but work-related stress will do strange things to your body’s natural biorhythms and wake you up “naturally” at 5 am. I get on the computer, start working, and stop only long enough to shower, change, and of course, make a smoothie to be downed in intermittent gulps timed with the traffic lights on my commute. I work in the office, and while I have been in a “start-up” environment more times than I care to remember, five years later, it’s a little harder to maintain the same level of energy past 10 pm. Sometimes 11 pm. On occasion, I’ve been in the office until 1 am.
I would consider myself a hardkor blogger, so “working” from dawn til dusk til dawn again is not unusual. If I were to wake up in the middle of the night inspired by some pyschotic dream to compose a post, I wouldn’t be surprised. However, working that hard for someone else instead of myself is a whole different universe.
Did I say I wouldn’t get into excruciating detail? Sorry about that.
I hardly have time to reply to personal emails from friends, let alone the mental capacity to initiate an email. I can’t make a phone call that could eat up as much as *gasp!* five minutes, and I have developed this habit of not even looking at my phone when it rings just so I can tell myself that I wasn’t screening phone calls - I just didn't get it. I’ve discovered this feature on AIM called “invisible,” because I feel less guilty being wholly unavailable than having to respond to a friend with, “cant chat rt now. in mdl of something. ttys, k?” Every time. I think my friends hate me right now, but I wouldn’t blame them. I can’t even be sure that they still are my friends. I miss them. A lot.
It’s not that I haven’t done it before. It’s just been a while.
When I work, I really work. I am competitive. I mean, I am in it to win it. It wasn’t easy for me to adjust to a life of semi-leisure after I was let go from a previous job, but after an entire year of wondering what I should be doing with my life, I realized that I was already doing it. My bloggy life had finally reached that plateau where it could happily simmer along in its routine – wake up naturally, check my email, write a post, check my email, crop some photos, check my email, upload photos, check my email, and perhaps every once in a while, go out for dinner (then come home and check my email). There was always, though, in the back of my mind, this feeling that perhaps I had taken the easy way that had been handed to me without my asking. I had this nagging feeling that I wasn’t doing enough. That I wasn’t taking advantage of my full potential.
That I would never be able to afford my dream dinner at Urasawa.
Blogging, my friends, doesn’t pay enough to make the Delicious rent. I took a “part-time” job that was beneath me intellectually, out of desperation. I was still somewhat confused about what I really wanted to do with my life, but not confused enough to lock myself in a closet with an extra large nonfat latte and a copy of What Color is Your Parachute? (Incidentally, I am certain that my parachute i
s a baby pink, though I don’t think pink is an option in the book.) I was still reeling from having been let go from a previous job a year ago because I cling like that, but I didn’t even like the job. In fact, I wasn’t sure I even liked that career. I thought I wanted to go back to a “real job,” but was supremely happy as full-time blogging, part-time earning, blogger. I was bitter, but content, but bitter, and confused. But happy.
Now I was weeping in front of my smoothie.
I poured the smoothie into my glass, rinsed out the blender to be washed completely when I got home late-late-later that night, only had to touch up my makeup – thank God I wear waterproof mascara – and then walked out my front door. I walked.
Tomorrow, I’m going to use raspberries.
Blackberry Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie Recipe that Brought me to Tears
Smoothie recipes, like sandwich recipes, make me roll my eyes. How fucking hard is it to throw stuff into a blender and, uh, blend? Nonetheless, I just wouldn't feel complete without including my personal notes here. Like I've said before, I'm mildly (oddly) obsessive like that.
Toss a handful of coarsely chopped blackberries (highest concentration of antixoidants) and blueberries (just ousted from no. 1 by blackberries for antioxis) in blender. You can, of course, use fresh berries, but this is autumn. Use fresh berries at your own risk.
Add ½ c. each of chilled pomegranate juice (more antioxidants to keep you sane!) and nonfat, plain yogurt. Blend together until smooth, adding more pomegranate juice as needed. Be warned - pomegranante juice will make you pucker like you just got a collagen injection. I don't use any sugar in this recipe. You can, of course, but why? Just don't come crying to me when you feel like Moby Dick sunning yourself on South Beach.