34.) Change of Taste – Summer has been a whirlwind of activity (who’s that?? August?? Already?! REALLY!?!?). There was all the traveling and studying and craziness I mentioned in my last post. Then, I went to San Francisco with one of my best friends, flew home to Austin for one day, repacked and was off the next morning for a conference for several days in Florida, flew back to Austin, and started my first job the next day.
So far, the work world has been AMAZING. I wake up and go to work, and for every moment I’m at the facility, my mind is on my therapy. In grad school, I would be doing therapy, but my baseline stress levels were a constant jitter running through my nerves. The pressure of thesis, classes, projects, other rotations, etc., always thrummed constantly inside me. I cannot express how wonderful it is to go to work and to concentrate all of my focus on the task at hand.
In other news, I’ve been noticing different changes about me…almost all are related to a change in taste, too. It’s been a fun adventure to detect these new developments, and I’ve been keeping a little mental list. I don’t know if these are things that have just evolved with age (hi there, official-late-20’s!) or boredom with my customary preferences, or biochemistry of my taste receptors. But they happened pretty rapidly…all within the last 2 months…and it’s fun to acknowledge the growth, as well as surprise people who knew my former tastes so well (“But you HATE spicy food/dry wines/hoppy beers!”)
1.) Hot sauce – I used to find Pace “medium” salsa to be spicy, and you wouldn’t catch me near a bottle of hot sauce. Now, I have a collection of several hot sauces, and put sriracha sauce on almost every dinner dish I make. I also require a lot more heat to make me grab for my milk glass – and I actually crave fiery food now.
2.) Wine – I used to love sweet Italian Lambrusco red wine and syrupy chenin blanc whites, and oh my…an after dinner port?…the sweeter the wine the better. Now I really have developed a taste for dry reds and whites, and actually cannot stand the taste of wine that’s too sweet. I even sent back a wine that I got at a restaurant that was too sweet (another first).
3.) Coffee – the only coffees I ever drank were like warm, liquid candy bars. Aside from being a sucker for anything that was actually a milkshake disguised as a frappy-mocha-flavor-blast with a shot of espresso, I loaded my regular ol’ cup o’ joe with packets of sugar (or worse, faux sugar). When I first began drinking coffee in college, I would drink it black with 2 packets of Equal, because it tasted sweeter than sugar to me…I think I eventually worked up to 3 packets. Sometime this year, I started really getting off of the sweet coffee deal….I can do coffee with milk, and maybe a little honey or simple syrup, but I really can’t stand my coffee to be too saccharine. I got a hot chocolate from my favorite coffeehouse this June and was WHOA-ed by how overly sweet it was…it used to be a favorite order of mine. Time to find a new favorite.
4.) Beer – I’ve always loved Yuengling, and that has not (probably will never) change. But 5 years ago my absolute favorite beer was Blue Moon, with a close follow-up being Jack’s Pumpkin Ale. Although I still LOVE pumpkin spice everything (including some beers), I had a Blue Moon last night for the first time in months. It was good…refreshing on a balmy Austin evening for sure, but too sweet.
Ok. So actually looking at the list, it looks like the running theme is Col Can’t Tolerate Sweet as Much as She Used To. Which is likely a very very good thing, considering the amount of sugar I used to take in. I guess that was a bit anticlimactic and uninteresting. Hmm. Moving on….
35.) The Secret ‘O Life – On another note, the Summer Olympics have begun! I love the Olympics. It’s so fun to watch, so inspirational to get my butt back to running and working out on a new level, and also brings people from all countries together. Everyone has a shared topic of conversation, besides the weather, and it’s generally something to cause more unity and less division (unlike the conversational topic of politics, etc).
I think for me the most heartwarming moment was watching US gymnast Gabby when she was competing in her final event: she danced and tumbled with the BIGGEST smile on her face. She didn’t look like she was fighting for the gold medal – she looked like she was playfully enjoying doing the thing she loved the most.
And it reminded me…sometimes these days all things feel like a competition. It’s great, and necessary, to remind ourselves that we are here to enjoy our life. Enjoy our jobs. Enjoy our passage of time.
“The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.” – James Taylor