If you had asked me a while ago about dating someone long-distance, I’d have looked at you as if you were crazy.
And, if you’d asked me if I would consider having lunch with my Mom on Memorial Day, I’d have replied “Maybe on another planet.”
Both of those things have happened in the past two weeks. My life has changed in a multitude of ways. For one, I’ve met a warm, honest, handsome and loving man who I am slowly getting to know, and vice versa. He may live in San Francisco, but via the wonders of modern technology, it’s as if we’re hardly ever apart.
At the same time, he opened my eyes and made me realize that I was trapped in a prison of my own making, for if I’m living in the past and not in the present, I can’t really know what it is to love myself. If I can’t love myself, then I have no hope of loving other people. It seems so simple, doesn’t it? The answer to some of my problems had been in front of my face for a long time, but because I wasn’t open to seeing, I had missed them.
I’ve written about my relationship with my parent before, which you can read here, here and here. The details of and reasons for some of those interactions aren’t important now, because all that is in the past where they belong. While I haven’t forgotten about them, I won’t be reliving them. They deserve to be under lock and key forevermore.
I love my Mom, but in my own way. I’m also heartened to think, when I look back on my life and how I’ve lived, that things have worked out in the end. It’s been a strange and twisting path, one whose end I could not have foreseen at the start. That’s what I believe — that the Universe looks out for you, that it sends you stuff when it thinks you’re ready and not when you think you are. It just takes a bit of waiting, and maybe a little bit of effort on your part.
So here’s to the future and to the great unknown, for the journey is more important than the destination or that which has come before.
Insalata di Tonno e Ceci (Tuna and Chickpea Salad)
1 cup ceci (dried chickpeas)
4 cups water + additional water to cover
2 celery stalks, cut in half (you should have 4 pieces excluding the leaves; reserve the leaves)
1 large carrot, peeled, trimmed and quartered
1 onion, peeled, trimmed and cut in half
sea salt, to taste
1/4 cup olive-oil packed Italian tuna, drained and mashed with a fork
reserved leaves from the celery stalks above
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
juice from half a lemon
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly milled black pepper, to taste
fresh lettuce leaves or other spring greens
Cover ceci in 4 cups cold water. Soak for 8 hours, or preferably, overnight.
Drain ceci, then place in a pot and cover with cold water. Add celery, carrots, onion and a pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 1 hour, partly covered, or until chickpeas are tender. You will have at least 1 cup cooked chickpeas; the salad above is sized for two people and uses about 1/2 cup cooked ceci.
Mince the reserved celery leaves and set aside.
Spoon 1/2 cup of the cooked chickpeas into a bowl. Discard the celery, onion and carrot. Save the remaining chickpeas for other uses. Also consider reserving the chickpea cooking liquid for another use, such as for pasta, for rice, as vegetable stock for soup or sauces.
To the 1/2 cup of cooked chickpeas, stir in the tuna, the minced celery leaves, the chopped onion, lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil. Taste for salt and pepper, then spoon onto some lettuce leaves or other spring greens (in one of the pix above, I used fava greens). Serve at once.