Call me crazy but taking a break from blogging was the best thing I’ve done this year. Since taking a break I’ve finished a manuscript (and then chucked it out the window), began outlining a completely new project (a NOVEL), submitted essays to a few online magazines (SHE DOES THE CITY PUBLISHED ONE about me hating everyone and everything while wedding planning), spent more time wandering around Toronto, and developed a confidence rooted in the acceptance of failure.
I owe my new-found motivation to all of the mistakes and shortcomings I’ve experienced in the last few years. I owe it to the like-minded and goal-oriented people I’ve surrounded myself with. I owe it to notebooks with powerful sentiments scribbled on their covers. I owe it to sleeping in and going out.
Most importantly I owe it to myself to use this motivation and allow it to spring me forward.
Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed, when there are too many people at home, or when my anxiety gets to its max, I go for a car wash. The vibrant colour of the soap combined with the sound of the brushes smacking against the car create a womb of comfort. I can move forward without actually doing anything. I don’t have to worry. I can coast and allow my thoughts to hatch without any sort of distraction.
Last week I decided to get a car wash because I don’t think I’m living my best life. There, I said it. Like many people (I’m sure), my weeks blend into one another without a moment of real pause for excitement. I wake up early, head to work, work my 8+ hours, come home, eat, work out (if I find the energy), sleep and begin again. I find little joy in what I do. My job is great and challenging in its own right but most days I feel as though I might be wasting my time. I am reminded quite often that a job is a job. You have to work, you have to make money but that can’t be all there is to life, can it?
Apart from feeling unfulfilled at work I noticed that I haven’t been taking care of myself. I used to work out 5-7 days a week and now I’ll be lucky if I get 2 or 3 days in. I used to write and read like crazy and now I don’t. I used to go for a manicure or pedicure and really enjoy pampering myself, now I don’t. I used to stay away from sweets and junk food and now I can’t.
There are many things I am proud of and so many people in my life that fill me with warmth and happiness, but there is a large piece of me that knows I am not living my best life. I keep thinking that if it all disappeared tomorrow, what would I regret not doing? What would I wish I had made more time for? Which routines would I regret not breaking?
I don’t belong in the kitchen but you’ll find me in there anyway. I burn toast, under-cook eggs, over-cook pasta, and don’t put enough salt on anything. My go-to meal is avocado toast and scrambled eggs.
I shouldn’t be allowed to hold sharp knives or peelers (I nearly lost a nail the other day) BUT as a 27-year-old adult, I feel as though I need to learn how to cook. I need to learn how to cook well and fast. My plan is to begin with easy meals and progress very slowly to more intensive ones. I’m not even going to give baking a try – not any time soon.
A few Sunday’s ago I decided to make the easiest soup in the world; a minestrone. Apart from all of the chopping and the peeling of the potatoes it was pretty straightforward.
Heat olive oil in a large pot, throw in chopped onions
Once caramelized, add in chopped carrots and celery – let those cook for a minute
Add in the canned diced tomatoes and beef stock (if you need more broth, add water)
Add salt and pepper to taste
Let that simmer and add in your diced potatoes, chopped zucchini, green beans, and Romano beans
Let this cook until the potatoes, zucchini, and green beans are soft (but not mush)
Add in a bunch of spinach – once that’s wilted you’re ready to eat!
I understand that the above isn’t a recipe and I didn’t provide an ingredient list. It doesn’t have measurements or proper terminology but that’s how I’ve always watched my mom cook. She rarely measures anything and tastes the food as she cooks. She cooks from her heat and that is how I hope to cook some day.
What are your favourite homemade meals? Let me know!