What’s next?

I have been home 6 weeks now. Six weeks of readjusting to drinkable tap water, guaranteed hot showers with no insects, and a mild climate.

The question that has been swirling in my mind since before I even came home has been what’s next?

My family and friends have given me a reprieve. My father was the first to ask it in the context of what’s your next trip? a little over a week after my return.

The truth is? I don’t know. When he initially asked me this, my first thought was somewhere cold. But with opportunities as they are currently, the better and more reasonable choice would logically be either Australia (to visit my muchly missed old roommate) or South America.

As of today I’m leaning towards South America for 2 months in Fall/Winter 2011; then again, that could change in three days.

The fact of the matter is there are long term goals that I have that I’ve been putting on the backburner in favor of adventure, of “the big trip” and now that the experience is over, reality needs to be faced and those long term goals need to be completed.

Unfortunately on the list of long term goals to be completed within the next year, landing a 6 figure job is not in the plans.

Neither is taking another trip.

Responsibility is winning. And while I just got a part-time job I am over the moon about, a part-time job does not allow for the funds to do another big trip. And so it goes…

But then what? My biggest passion is too expensive for my current reality.

This led me to burrowing in my own thoughts this morning and afternoon, watching a movie on Netflix and casually browsing the Quarter-Life Crisis forums in search for answers. Because what better way to find new short term goals, new mini-passions for the meantime than by piggybacking off someone else’s?

And now I found it (though no thanks to the QLC boards).

Growing up, my maternal aunt and grandmother were the people I went to for advice; to help me make decisions when I could not.

My grandmother loved to cook. I enjoy cooking. My grandmother loved Lidia Matticchio Bastianich’s cooking show on PBS. I like Italian food.

Can we deduct which movie I watched today that spurred this short-term decision? Hint: Two words, both the same with Meryl Streep.

That’s right, Julie & Julia will be reprised in reality in the form of Kelly & Lidia.

Thanks to my aunt, whom I am currently living with and has one of Lidia’s cookbooks I will be cooking up a storm.

Unlike the film, inwhich Julie knew exactly how many receipes she had to conquer (574) in a year; this cookbook estimates: Over 200 recipes.

1 cookbook by the end of 2010: that is the goal.

Thanks Nonnie, RIP

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