Not to be confused with this Cake:
The past week has been full of friends and good food.
Unfortunately, I had to bid farewell to a good friend with whom I went through my first master’s degree. I’ve made quite a few good friends since entering grad school, but a couple in particular have served as my faux family members, then they quickly became more family than faux.
My friend (we’ll call her “L”) and I have been determined all year to eat together at least once a week—a time we like to call “family dinner.” Others have always been welcome to join and sometimes have, but by and large it was usually just she and I cooking together and eating and talking (a lot!) about any and everything good, bad, and in between. L is cool because while she is neither vegan nor vegetarian, she completely complies with a vegan menu, and we both learned quite a bit about cooking together. We never kept tabs on who bought what or who cooked more food, because whatever we had to share that week with one another was good enough.
Last month was L’s birthday but we were unable to celebrate right away so I had to make her a cake before she left (because cake is the reason for the season):
All I did was buy a gluten free/dairy free cake mix (with minimal ingredients and very little sugar), and I used the Babycakes NYC recipe for vanilla frosting and topped it with “fresh” (from California…), organic rasberries.
We also made dinner, which is much less exciting and of course managed to rip apart the kitchen in no time flat:
Losing L this week and losing friends all summer who are moving off to the next thing (as I am staying in the same town for master’s degree #2), makes me realize how much it really takes a village. Usually this phrase is used in terms of raising a child, but I think it applies overall to what it takes to become a better person throughout your life.
Over the weekend I went to a wedding up in Michigan and hung out with lots of friends and family, and realized more and more that even apart we were all still close, and coming together to share our stories from afar made that the time together even more interesting and fun. It’s amazing to exist at a time when we can easily share information over the internet, because while we’re not experiencing our everyday lives together, we can at least keep abreast of both the large and small changes in our lives. I plan to continue my grad school friendships just the same.
I’ve been nervous about starting school again, because I’m essentially starting over in the same place and all the friends I came in with are (mostly) gone. Like a child I’ve been apprehensive, thinking “what if I don’t make any new friends?” or worried that I just won’t make friends nearly as great as the last batch. But, there’s probably hope as long as I can get up the nerve to say “hello” (I am a performer, after all). The opportunities that I’ve been afforded in grad school through meeting these people (and the faculty) have been so incredible, and I can only assume that meeting more new, talented, creative, and ambitious people will prove to be just as beneficial.