Hard Choices, Easy Hummus

Ken Hurd Issue: Section:

A while back I gave up a job that paid enough for me to enjoy life.  With this job, I had kept my expenses low and was able to live the weekend warrior lifestyle, contribute to my 401K, take yearly vacations, the gym memberships and cell phone bills were paid on time, and I was out of debt.
After 5 years in NYC I still wasn't satisfied but I was complacent.  Things were good, not great.  I decided to really think about what I wanted to do.  I was months away from 30 years old and started to ask myself if where I was is where I wanted to be in 10 years from now.  I decided to have urges of a creative direction that had always played second fiddle in my life.  Sure you draw and craft as a kid but once you grew up you had to peruse other directions that involved excel spreadsheets and emails all day, right?  Well I wasn't having it and after conversations with other creatives I realized that many others enjoyed their lives and were fulfilled with what it is that they do day in and day out.  A sense of fulfillment was never present in my professional life.  I worked hard, I put 110% into everything I did but at the end of the day I could care less about what it was that I was doing.  After 4 years of this I decided to jump ship.  Many of my coworkers had left to peruse their own dreams and I decided to take a shot at what could go swimmingly well or could hit the fan and spit 'it' back in my face.
I applied to The New School's graphic design program in NYC.  I have always drawn, painted, played with silk screening, etc. but had no formal training in art.  I submitted  the required amount of work with my previous transcript and of course, the application fee, and to my surprise I was part of the 35% of applicants that were accepted.  At that point it hit me; I had to really think about my life.  This was going to be a complete lifestyle change.  I was standing at the cliched fork in the road with the option to go right or left.  On my right was a road similar to the one I had been on for the past decade.  Comfortable, stable, boring but at the same time pretty predictable.  The chances of something severely shaking up this lifestyle were slim.
On my Left was a road that couldn't be more different.  It was dark.  It was uncertain.  It was full of that uneasy feeling of "what if this is a bad move?"  "You'd be spending the rest of your life regretting the choice you've made and paying for it, literally and figuratively."
I'll never forget what a good friend of mine told me once.  He was a gypsy of sorts and rarely held roots in one particular place.  He smoked pot and lived an "alternative" lifestyle.  Many people though he was "flighty" and "flakey".  He would leave town, get a job, then leave that town and get a new job.  From time to time he would come home to visit his family and friend and talk about his experiences.  On one of his visits home he told me over beers that once he feels comfortable he knows it's time to make a change.  The only way that he grows as a person is to push the boundaries of his comfort level to the edge.  He grows as a person and learns more than he ever would have from the mistakes and risks that he takes.   
I took this lesson and decided to step Left into the unknown.  I spent 2 years completely out of my boundaries and at times was scared to death and often felt that I had made a mistake.  Maybe I wasn't cut out for this?  Maybe I couldn't hack it out there?  Would anyone really buy into what I had to offer?  Well I stand back 6 months removed from one of the most challenging things I've ever done and I'm writing this smiling as I feel I truly made the right decision.  I pushed myself and now I see what I can do and have a purpose and direction in where I want to be 10 years from now.    
I was originally going to mold this story into something that discloses my cost saving hummus recipe that I discovered while back in school and living the poorman's lifestyle but it became much more than that.  But if you still want that recipe I've listed it below…

(1) LG can of chick peas (I buy the cheap GOYA brand)
Juice from (2) lemons
(2) cloves of garlic
(1/2) cup of liquid from chick peas
(5) tablespoons of olive oil
(3) tablespoons of tahini

Drain all but 1/2 cup of the liquid from the can of chick peas.  Juice the 2 lemons.  Dice the garlic as fine as possible.  I use a blender to blend all the ingredients until creamy.  I typically put the garlic in first to be sure it's properly blended.  Everything else is just put into the blender and blended until it's creamy.  I've added a teaspoon of salt in the past but I find the liquid from the chickpeas contains enough salt to add enough flavor but give it a shot if you feel it's too bland.    
Heat up some flatbread in a toaster oven and you have a kickass snack that can last you for a couple of weeks.  The cost for all the ingredients is about $3 and will give you roughly 3 to 4 cups of hummus.  This is perfect for anyone that's a brokeass student or anyone that loves hummus but can't stand paying the $5 a tiny container that's been in the deli fridge for weeks.
Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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