My life as an escapist – I’ve moved six times in the last few years, all throughout California. I’ve moved so many times that I don’t remember the comfort of being in the same place for any length of time – having a well-worn route to a job, a familiar grocery store, a favorite coffee shop. In all my life, when I’m starting to get to know a city or area or person, I end up leaving.
I leave, or I evade them completely. The first time I found out a boy liked me, I avoided him. I was terrified. I made a beeline every morning for the library, so I could get one of the few golden passes to spend my lunch recess safely among the books and away from him. I went out of my way to take a new path or route if I saw him with his friends in the hallway. My classmate’s mom, who was a library volunteer, actually noticed and told me I could no longer use the passes and had to let other people have a chance at them. I was devastated.
I’ve always been a little bit flighty, but I’m not sure why. I either avoided committing at all, or I overcommitted and entered everything with a fraction of my attention, because I’m afraid of missing out on something. In college, I wore it almost like a badge. It was cute to be flighty, to date guys for a month or two, until they really started to like me, and then run. I entered into relationships with this mindset – there won’t be time for him to really get to know who I am at my core; I’ll just leave before then. No risk. I’ll leave before he does.
Meeting my husband changed that. He was so committed and so direct early in our relationship that he was ALL IN with me, that I felt myself let out a deep breath I had been holding for years. This person sees me and loves me. And this allowed me the confidence and stability to let him get to know me – the dark parts I had hidden, the past hurts, the dreams and ambitions – and he fully supported any crazy ideas I came up with. I told him I wanted to quit teaching and start a tutoring business. He said YES, absolutely you should do that. You should never be doing a job that you don’t love with your whole heart. Life is too short for that. I told him I wanted to start a blog, that I felt it could quench some of the need for a creative life, that I could reach out and help people understand how truly important self-care is. And again, he said YES, yes, yes – what do you need from me for support?
In all of my other relationships, I felt anxiety about being left behind – that they would get to know me for a while and decide there was something better. And if that man thought I was not good enough, it would force me to consider all the ways in which I am not enough. It was better just to flee – then I wouldn’t have to face it.
With my husband, it was different. He made it 100% clear that he had no interest in other women, that he would never, that I was exactly what he had been looking for. That if we were ever to break up, it would be my decision. And yes, trust is important in all relationships, but it is the lifeblood of long-distance ones, and I never worried that he was going out and meeting girls that were better, prettier, funnier, and smarter than me. Because God knows, they exist, all over the place. But he was all in, for me – who I was at my core. He loved every part of me. He was done looking.
I am so grateful for him, for these moves, for this process of learning about myself through all the relationships I’ve been in, because it has made me a stronger, more self-aware person. And having the stability of my husband’s love has allowed me to face and work on those escapist parts of me. Why is my first instinct to run? What is it about myself that I’m turning away from?
As much as I’m ready for the security of a home city, of a house I can call my own, I’m also learning to enjoy the adventure and exploration of this season of my life. Instead of comparing myself to people my age who have owned houses with beautiful yards for years, I’m trying to replace the feeling of “being behind” with the feeling of being comfortable in the present.
And every time I move, in each new city, I’m seeking out my comfort space – the place I’ll go to de-stress, to work, to relax. And I think I’ve found a few parks and coffee shops in the two months we’ve been here that might just work.
When I was sixteen (and actually, far beyond – before I knew about better coffee shops), Starbucks was this space for me – where I would meet friends or first dates or do my homework. And I didn’t like coffee yet, but I was obsessed with their iced lemon pound cake and passionfruit iced tea. That one slice of cake had 42 grams of sugar in each slice, and this Paleo Lemon Poppyseed Bread recipe I’m about to share with you has about the same for the ENTIRE loaf! It’s only sweetened with raw honey, and you can pronounce all of the ingredients.
And in the interest of comfort spaces and comfort food, I scoured the internet for a great paleo lemon bread I could make in the Instant Pot, but found nothing. I wanted a quick recipe that I could just blend, pour in a pan, and pop it in the IP… so I made one!
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For the Bread:
-3T raw honey
-1.5c almond flour
-1/2t baking soda
-1/2t sea salt
-1/2t apple cider vinegar
-1/4c hemp powder
-1/2c juiced lemon
-Zest of 1 lemon
- Grease a glass loaf pan with coconut oil (or butter, if not strict paleo). Make sure the pan will fit in your Instant Pot! I had to use a square Pyrex container.
- Process all of the ingredients together in a food processor and pour it into the glass pan.
- Put your trivet in your Instant Pot and place the glass pan on it. Fill the Instant Pot with water so it reaches up the sides of the pan.
- Put the lid on the IP, seal it, and turn it on to Manual for 24 minutes.
- Once the time is up, let the pot naturally release pressure for about 15-20 minutes, or until the metal pin releases.
- Take your bread out and let it sit for about 20 minutes, then flip it over to get it out of the pan, and cut it.
For the Drizzle:
-Juice of 1/2 lemon
-2t almond milk
-1t coconut oil
Heat briefly on the stove until the coconut oil melts and the ingredients combine. Place in the fridge until the mixture is cooled, then pour on top of your bread before you eat it!
The texture on this bread is fantastic – it’s soft and moist, with a nice punch of lemon. And the ingredients are clean! The only sugar is a little bit of honey, so I felt okay eating this as part of my breakfast with a little protein and some veggies.
Let me know in the comments what your favorite “breakfast” bread is (Bagels? Zucchini bread? Chocolate muffins? Croissants?) and also, if you have spent any time in your life as an escapist like me. (: