Excuse the French displayed in the title – but as it is the second official language of Canada, and this is an instance where I feel it is entirely relevant as this exact phrase was uttered to me, I’m counting myself excused.
Also, I just looked up where that phrase, “Pardon my French,” came from and it’s very interesting, but largely self-explanatory so I won’t waste time explaining. Regardless, here’s the link if you are interested: Pardon My French
I’ve been up at all hours of the night lately. Which, along with a lot of other stuff, makes for a grumpy Raff. This morning I woke up at four and decided to make an egg dish because I knew I would want breakfast in the morning, and hell, if I’m awake and unable to sleep, why not?
It’s a quinoa egg bake that I’ve made several times and always, always am overjoyed with the results. It’s delicious, plus it has a crunchy quinoa crust that is fantastic. I love quinoa. I don’t care if you think it is a “food fad” it is delicious and nutritious and I jump at the chance to include it in any and all recipes. Also, this recipe is basically unable to be ruined. Even when you don’t have all the ingredients. Even if you are baking it at 4 in the morning, swearing under your breath and banging pots and pans about the fact that you are home alone and this is pretty much the only time you get to sleep yet you are STILL up. Even when you are half- coherent from a drunken night, (and likely still drunk) and you throw ingredients in that you aren’t sure about – then fall back into bed to wake up an hour later to a deliciously smelling baked dish that you forgot you had thrown together. Basically, this dish is foolproof.
Here is the original recipe that I use: Quinoa Egg Bake
The thing that is so superb about this recipe is that you can include anything. Sometimes I put tomatoes in. Sometimes I put onions, or peppers, or zucchini. Anything goes. It’s so quick too! You don’t even have to precook the quinoa, just mix all the ingredients and throw it in the oven.
As you can clearly see, I didn’t even take the time to chop up the spinach.
The thing about baking at 4 in the morning is that you are so hungry by the time you are done that you forget to take any photos. I can tell you it looked and tasted delicious, but beyond that – all you get is that slightly unappetizing looking glob of egg mess and spinach.
Trust me, it is wonderful once it comes out of the oven.
The other thing about baking at 4 in the morning is that it is very quiet (at least, in between the times when you are banging around pots and pans, and dropping utensils, and swearing at missing ingredients that you SWORE you had).
And the point about quiet, other than the fact that I don’t get enough of it, is that with it you get some time to really think. Yesterday, I finished what will hopefully, barring any catastrophic mistakes, be my last university exam. I wont officially graduate until October – but the work is done! I always finish my exams fairly quickly. This time in the first half hour of the two hour period that we were allotted. After I filled in that final scantron bubble, I felt inexplicably odd. That was it. The last exam. The last time I would scribble a note of thanks (for a course I did not enjoy) on the back of my exam. The last time I would attach an interesting story or doodle on the “show your work” section to entertain the stressed Prof or TA who would get my paper among hundreds of others. The last time I would sit in this lecture hall, at this university, and stare at the broken clock.
And then I thought, ‘Where did the last five years go?” As cliché as it is, it literally feels like it was just yesterday when I was being dropped off at Res. Hating every second of my first year existence. Trucking it back to Brantford every weekend to spend time with people I thought were my real friends.
Then second year, trying out for one of the top rugby teams in Canada, scared shitless, and positive that I wasn’t going to make it. Starting in my first national tournament as a rookie. Experiencing the sickening feeling of losing by one point in the gold medal qualifier. Scoring the winning try to get us that bronze medal. Ups and downs.
Third year – rearranging my entire life. Losing friends, gaining friends, experiencing life growing pains that I didn’t know could ever be so bad. It was a year of redemption when we finally won that gold medal. But, third year was also a year of tearing down. It was the top of the hill on a roller coaster where you can’t yet see the drop, but you know that it’s coming.
Fourth year was a year of hitting rock bottom and rebuilding. Fourth year was losing every ounce of self respect, then realizing that you never had it in the first place. It was struggling to understand the meaning behind decisions. It was accepting failure. It was learning to learn. If you had asked me a few months ago – fourth year would have been the worst year of my university experience. Maybe the worst year of my life. But in the months I spent alone in my hermit hole workshop, I learned a lot about myself. I built not just beds and longboards and shelves, I rebuilt myself.
The point of that brief recollection of my university experience, (actually it didn’t really have a point, but I needed a written synopsis of it somewhere, because when I’m upset I write and that’s what came to mind) is that it went by SO quickly. I can’t begin to explain how different of a person I am today than I was nearly five years ago. Someone told me the other day that, “You need to slow the fuck down.” Life isn’t about constantly moving.
Let’s be serious, it’s not as though we are all racing to get to the finish line of life. So, winning that race isn’t something to be competitive about.
But she was right. I do need to slow down. If university has taught me anything it’s that things go by so quickly that if you aren’t paying attention you’ll miss them. I know that one of my weaknesses is never allowing myself to slow down. I need to stop rushing towards the next milestone. The next achievement. I need to stop worrying about my destination being different if I don’t get there RIGHT NOW.
I wish I would have slowed down here. I wish I would have joined more clubs, accepted more invitations to parties, maybe… I even wish that I had gone to more classes and handed in more assignments.
I loved my university experience. Some moments were tougher than others – but this place has taught me so much. Most of my best memories are right here. There are more to come – I’m obviously not finished – but from now on I’m at least going to try to slow down to enjoy them while I’m in the moment – rather than looking back and wishing I had enjoyed them more then.