Many times in my life I had the impression that the closest people in physical terms aren’t necessarily the closest to my heart. Like-minded people can live very far from each other. Sometimes, they cross paths for what is a blink of an eye before continuing in their own direction. Others, they never meet, at least in person.
I grew up in a place that I didn’t feel I belonged to. I have never had anyone that I could consider a friend, no one that I would consider interesting. Things changed slightly as I grew up, as I was trying to fit in, but a deep feeling of dissatisfaction was lingering within. Until college, I rarely met someone that made me “wow”, or that really stimulated me, or pushed me toward greater things and thoughts. Deceived, I spent lots of my time on my own, contemplating. I got used to solitude, and I learnt not to fear it. Back then, I decided that my own company was better than void conversations.
It all changed for the best when I moved to college first, and then onto my masters. I hoped and knew that somehow it was going to happen. More people, more choices, more opportunities. I finally made life-lasting friendships and consolidated some old ones. Like-minded people were finally around me, engaging in conversations about controversial, challenging topics, dreaming about better futures, enjoying the same small pleasures. It felt good. I finally met my soulmate, too, we bonded together. And then, we left, as many of our friends.
Life as a simplifier is what I always dreamt about. No boundaries, no weights to keep me planted on the ground. I don’t miss having a car or owning a house. Sometimes, I just miss my friends, those friends that I met back then, and that now are living their life in different places. All of us decided what was best for ourselves, decided to stay or to leave, without compromising our friendship. Like-minded people can live far from each other and keep that relationship alive just by writing a few lines now and then. We all know that many of our thoughts are with each other, and there is no need for constant confirmation. I feel blessed for this. Like minded people can be found through blogs and emails – and I did feel like I made some long-lasting friendships through these pages.
Purple Sprouting Broccoli Panzanella
freshly ground pepper, to taste
Rinse broccolini under cold running water and drain. Cut off the ends and cut roughly in small sized bits. Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch broccolini for 1 minute or so. Drain and place in a bowl with cold water. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, add the onion and cook until soft, deglaze with balsamic vinegar and let it go until the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally (about 3-4 minutes).
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil and when hot add bread chunks. Saute until crispy and deeply browned. Remove and set aside.
Prepare the seasoning mixing lemon juice with mustard, salt, honey, 1 tablespoon olive oil and pepper. Drain broccolini using a towel or kitchen paper. Place in a serving dish, then add the onion, the green onion, and season. Toss well to coat. Add croutons and cheese, toss again and serve.