I’ve noticed something interesting recently, about the way my generation thinks about the present and the future. Our everyday lives seem to defined by a ‘movement’ of sorts, either by observers of our generation, or ourselves. We’re hipsters! We’re feminists! We’re liberals! We’re entrepreneurs! We’re socially conscious! We’re locavores! We’re vagabonds! We’re 2.0!
We’re living in a very self-aware world, I guess is what I’m saying. And sometimes when you spend a lot of time looking down from a distance not too far away from where you’re standing, things can get weird.
This piece, in which the author talks about the necessity of finding your calling and pursuing it versus doing what you think is expected of you, has been making the Internet rounds. Women are being encouraged to eliminate the word bossy from our vocabulary. Apparently, there’s even a new term of us! No longer Yuppies and Millennials, we are now ‘Muppies’ (not to be confused with Muslim Urban Professionals, a term that predates the new definition; apparently someone didn’t do a any fact-checking). I’m still unclear as to whether I ever made the Millennial cut or if I’m still Gen X…
Let’s just say that for the better half of my 30+ years, I feel like who I am has been defined and redefined for me by journalists, bloggers, sociologists, startups, technology pundits, television shows, and self-professed lifestyle ‘experts.’ I am not saying that past generations didn’t experience similar judgements but I do feel that the proliferation of opinions — from every which direction — has come to what feels like a pitch point.
We are young people who are both grown up and completely immature. Over the course of our lives we have been told we are too ambitious, not ambitious enough, entitled, worldly, self-absorbed, workaholics, addicts, unfocused, overeducated, uninvolved in civic duties. We never grow up. We grow up too fast.
As someone who has always spent a lot of time overanalyzing (I used to ponder the meaning of death, laying still as can be, when I was 12), I find this type of judgement to get a bit overwhelming.
At the end of the day, I think it’s unhealthy to wake up every morning asking yourself what is the meaning of life.
Maybe that’s just me, but I know I need to get better about accepting that everyday life should be valued for what it is: moments of pure joy, punctuated by frustrations and disappointments with intermittent days of incredible admiration for new experiences, and a routine that makes you feel at peace. Whether that’s based on what you should or must do, whether it means you’re the boss or not, we all should be allowed to walk through life without a sign taped to our backs.
Sometimes, a cup of coffee in the morning is just that; not a statement about labor laws or fair pay. A job is a place where you like the people and what you’re working toward; not a daily mission to change the world or a step on the corporate ladder. The admittance of defeat is temporary because the next day is an opportunity to do it better.
We can occasionally buy into the hype of a juice fast (because we all know it’s just a hype that will blow over like the Atkins Diet) AND indulge in some good old banana nut muffins, yo. I’m not here to change the world today. And that’s totally a-ok.
Banana and Macadamia Nut Muffins
*makes one dozen
adapted from this recipe
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg
3 large, ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup of milk
1 large egg
3/4 cup unsalted macadamia nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners/papers.
3. Sift together the flours, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg into a large bowl.
4. Combine the mashed bananas, sugars, butter, milk, and egg in another bowl. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir in half of the nuts.
5. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups and sprinkle the tops with the remaining chopped macadamia nuts.
6. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Musical Pairings: Quilt – Held In Splendor + Banana and Macadamia Nut Muffins
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