Monday, April 21, 2014

Weekend Wanderings - An Experience

On Friday, we met up with Rob for drinks and sandwiches at Astoria Bier and Cheese, which was incredible. They had some amazing beers on tap for really great prices, and their cheese plate and all their sandwiches were awesome. I would definitely go back. While we were there, we saw a Good Friday processional crowding Ditmars Avenue, which was also really interesting. We stopped by Martha's Country Bakery on our way home and devoured a really delicious berry Napoleon cake. After brunch last weekend and our Friday night, I give Queens dining an A+!

On Saturday, we headed upstate to our hometown for the weekend. That afternoon, we drove out to my friend Tess's house in North Salem to hang out with her and her family. They have a gorgeous deck and it was lovely to sip some wine (or in my case, water - I may have overdone it on the beers the night before!) and look out at the lake. I'm looking forward to more afternoons there this summer!

Justin, Cooper, and Tess

One of the most amazing things about the afternoon is that we got to witness Cooper's first steps! I'm sure he won't remember that we were there for them, but it's definitely a moment I'll never forget. He was happy and peaceful the whole afternoon, and it was so great to hang out with him and catch up some with Tess and Justin.

Lake views!

That evening, we celebrated my father's birthday with dinner at a Chinese restaurant (always a favorite with the Maffei family), and then Roger and I headed to Peekskill to see our friends Jess and Greg, and their new house. It's incredible to me that we're at the point where many of our friends own their own houses! Jess and Greg's is a really nice 1850s era woodframe, and they're doing a bunch of improvements on it. I can't wait to see what it looks like when it's finished!

On Sunday, Roger and I went for a 3-mile run together on the bike path. I really love running with him. Especially now that we've been so busy, it's a great time to catch up and talk things over. I dropped him at his parents' house and then headed back to my parents' neighborhood to finish the last 6.5 miles of my long run. I really love running the route near my parents' house, because it feels so familiar. I drove over those roads every day for the 13 years I lived there, and it feels like they're a part of me. My parents are planning to sell the house once my mother retires and move somewhere warmer, and I didn't take to the idea very well at first. But on this run, I felt like I was perfectly at peace with the idea. As if I'd have an incredible childhood growing up there, but that that part of my life was over now, and it was fine. It was a good thing. Now, the idea of them leaving feels almost liberating.

I haven't really talked about it much here, but I've been feeling a really intense pressure to settle down lately. My friends are all getting married, buying houses, having kids. And I felt like that was what I needed to do. I felt like it was the "next step." But on this run, I realized it was just so ridiculous to put this pressure on myself when none of that is actually what I want. It's just what society is saying I want. But in reality, I want to grow my career. I want to publish my book. I want to travel more and live somewhere new. I don't actually feel ready to settle down in any of the normative ways I've felt like I wanted to settle down. What I feel ready for now is a real destabilization. We're moving sometime this summer, and I've been heartbroken over it. It was our first place together, and I love our apartment, I love our neighborhood. But, it was time to move on. After a winter with no heat and the rent going up again in August, I knew it was time, even though my heart was fighting it. But on this run, I just let it go. I'm so excited about finding a new apartment. I'm so excited about going to Mexico. I'm so excited about so many parts of my life right now, and none of the things I'm excited about involve settling for anything. I've had an experience, guys. It's all going to be good.

Roger hanging out with some Easter tchotchkes at his parents' house.

Anyway. Roger's parents apparently thought I was crazy because I was a little vocal about how amazing everything was at the lunch we had at their house afterward. But I really just feel like I've been striving for all the wrong things, and now I'm back on the right path again. Lunch was lovely, and coming home afterward to our disaster of an apartment was even better.

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