Salads and Dream Jobs

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I am reading the most fabulous book right now.

Shauna Niequist’s book Bread and Wine is a collection of essays about life and making beautiful food for amazing friends.  And honestly – that doesn’t even cover it.  My girl Brandi (whose music you should totally listen to, by the way) recommended the book for me, and I can’t say enough good things about it.

Some of my deepest, most viscerally beautiful moments have come when I’m sitting around a table with friends, eating through big bowls of herby pasta and arugula salad, when the wine bottles are just starting to dip below half full, when we’ve gotten past the important but still surface questions of How has your week been?  What did you do last weekend?  and gotten to the deeper questions of – How are you?  Really?  

Hearts are on display. 

I love cooking.  I love feeding people who walk through my door.  If you’ve known me for any length of time, I’m probably going to rope you into a dinner at some point so I can try out new recipes.  Bonus points for those of you who have survived my cooking disasters.  Most of the time, I think I pull it together all right, though.

But it’s so not about the food.  

Food is just what gets everyone to the table. It gives you something to do with your hands – especially on those first few times of hanging out, when it’s sort of awkward but sort of awesome.  No one wants to just sit across a table and stare.  And so you start eating.  You talk about the salad, and the salad you had at lunch for work today.  So tell me about your job.  And then you talk about your job and your career and your ultimate dream job. And that’s when you start getting into the real heart of people.

My dream job would be to run my own company, because I am so passionate about creating this type of world. 

My dream job would be a neonatal specialist in the hospital, because I watched my best friends in the hospital for six weeks with their baby.

My dream job is to travel to Africa and provide clean water for villages in Namibia.

My dream job is to be a comic book writer. 

My dream job is the one I’m going to get next year.  My dream job is the one I have now.  

And suddenly, a conversation about arugula, kale, shallots and almonds has just become a conversation about people’s core values and deepest wishes for their lives and for the world.  

Somebody pass the chocolate cake.  This conversation’s going to go late tonight…

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This is Part 1 of an ongoing series – Living Life Together … stay tuned later this week and next for more!

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