The hardest part about working is losing yourself. It’s easy and it’s selfless, to give everything to a mechanism. I understand the Upton Sinclairs of the world now, having been in the corporate office for six months now. Funny how everything leads up to moments like this, and then you realize how comfortable you were drinking tea in coffee shops in Pittsburgh, in a scarf and rainboots. How the music was interrupted by a bell that clanged when the door blew open by the wind. How far outside your comfort zone do you have to go to find yourself, to find identity by a process of elimination of what’s novel to you, to the life you constructed for yourself like a cocoon of experience.
Then you wonder how you get to the position, when there is so much promise at your fingertips at sixteen when you’re applying to college and you choose the one you think has the most name to it. Duquesne. French and Catholic, two things I am not. Two things I would pretend to be later. I chose English and fell into Philosophy. I remain unmarketable, I remain steadfast in my decision that I did the right thing.
I moved to California and perhaps “sold out”, but I’m making the most of my decision and, ideally, will move into a more comfortable position that is not commission-based. And, to do so, I allow others to take control, to feel special, to give them what they want, whether they asked or not.
The following recipe is for chocolate banana bread, which I made for my boss in hope I’ll get a promotion.
Chocolate Banana Bread Muffins
3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. Mash bananas until softened, leave chunks if desired.
3. With a mixer, cream butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla until a pale yellow color forms in ribbons.
4. With a rubber spatula, combine bananas with butter mixer.
5. Gently mix in baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and flour over the mixture.
6. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan or into prepared muffin tins (i did mine with parchment paper and butter).
7. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack.