I read somewhere once that kale is the most powerful of all the superfoods. I don’t know if that’s true. And heck, I don’t even know what defines a superfood. But I do know that I love kale – superfood or not. It’s good in a salad, it’s good sautéed, and it’s especially good blended into a smooth, fruity, healthy concoction like this.
For as simple and straightforward as this recipe is, you would probably expect a pretty short post to accompany it. Yeah, about that… You’re gonna need a few minutes for this one. [I hope you read that in Bill Lumburgh’s voice from Office Space.]
We made a visit to Purdue over the “weekend.” By weekend, I mean Monday and Tuesday, because that’s the weekend when you work at a bowling alley. Or a restaurant. Or a bar. Or any other hospitality-related business. Anyway, we mostly went because we could. Campus is beautiful this time of year, so we did some rollerblading and walking around to enjoy it. We also got to meet up with our good friend and former housemate for coffee at our favorite spot. We hiked around the nature park. We went to the Irish pub. And we parked the Subaru in the parking lot of our old apartment complex and slept in it.
Being back at Purdue for the first time since graduating was a bittersweet experience. They’ve torn things down and built new things. The expensive recreational center is finally completed, which allowed us to take a nice shower. Things have changed. We have changed.
When we started school, I think we both had a pretty clear sense of where we were going. 4 years of college would prepare us for great jobs – that was the general idea. But somewhere along the way, we changed course. And whether the sailing is smoother or rougher for it, I couldn’t really tell you for sure. All I know is that there’s never a dull moment.
At every stage in my life, it seems there has always been a million-dollar question.
In high school: “Where are you going to college?”
In college: “What’s your major?”
Near the end of college: “So, what are you going to do after graduation?”
After college: “What are you going to do?”
After marriage: “When are you guys having kids?”
Currently: “What do you do/Are you going to use your degree?”
Me: “Make kale smoothies… duh.”
Some of those questions have straightforward answers; most do not. How do you explain to someone over 40 that working in social media means you’re always on the clock, especially when you appear to be texting? How do you explain that the desk life or the factory life or the mortgage and pension plan isn’t right for you? In fact, I prefer to make pizzas and cocktails using my college degree. And I make recipes, take their pictures, and write about them as a side gig? Good luck explaining that one.
College degrees come with a set of expectations. Expectations like getting a sensible job, buying a new car, buying a nice house, maybe getting a dog, having a kid or 3. Not meeting said expectations has the tendency to confuse a lot of people.
The thing is – along with many of my peers – I graduated college to find out that I’d been bamboozled. There weren’t many jobs, and what jobs there were sucked and didn’t pay enough. Wait… I thought that if I got good grades and went to a good school, I’d have my choice of fulfilling jobs that met all of my needs. Nope.
Out of this epidemic of disillusionment, a new breed of graduates has evolved. We’re working jobs that don’t make sense… if you judge us by our degrees. We’re doing random things like bartending and woodworking and working at bowling alleys and blogging on the side. We’re making trips to our alma mater to visit friends, go bowling at 11pm, and sleep in our car. All the while, we’re enjoying ourselves infinitely more than we would be if we were spending our days in the office.
I’ve got nothing but respect for the people who grind it out 5 days a week – really, I don’t know how you all do it. And I’m sure that many of you enjoy it, which is even better! As for me, I have a feeling I’ll be confusing people for many years to come and I doubt I ever have the answers to that long list of questions.
So here’s a green smoothie and a cheers to whatever path you decide to take – may it make you happy and keep you healthy!