Every so often you come across one of those days when you feel....off balance. You know, kind of "magenta" for a minute (Golden Girls reference). You're not sad, but you're pensive and a little lost. You're not outright joyful, but you are able to cope and smile and function without drawing too much attention to yourself. And you're not moody, but you're not exactly energetic either. Today had that weird kind of feeling, and I say weird because the events and the people I had the pleasure of sharing this day with were amazing, but still a switch was able to just turn off. I spent a great brunch with the beautiful and talented Andrea Pippins of the blog Fly. She introduced me to two other incredibly cool and creative ladies and we had great conversation over good food. I also spent the rest of the afternoon with Dave, laughing and unwinding in a rare few hours of respite that we were able to enjoy before one of us was off to gig or a photoshoot or work.
And then a thing I can't fully explain happened. I started to feel...lost, removed. Somewhere deep down in me an anxiety that I had regarding the direction of my career and my goals crept up on me. It was like an uncomfortable and ill fitting sweater that I couldn't quite wriggle out of. A little voice whispering how am I going to grow my portfolio and get more assignments? This rent increase is doable but so inconvenient. Should I actually consider buying a house compared to what I'm shelling out in rent? Does this mean I'm officially staying in D.C longer? Will my job be secure that long? Am I still certain of the direction of my goals? And David, being as sweet as he could be, was trying his best to figure out if I were okay and what he could do. He even felt guilty about having to leave for a gig as I sat in a blank stupor, unable to articulate my thoughts. All I could do to save a little face was to sweetly assure him that I wasn't angry at him and that I would be okay. I just needed rest.Yeah, that was it. Rest.
Well, as we all know, feeling overwhelmed and suffering from a sudden sweet tooth usually don't lead to good things (hello, whole pint of Butter Pecan in one sitting). But this time was different.
Whenever I'm feeling slightly "magenta" I retreat to baking for catharsis. But this time, instead of over a homemade dessert, my relief and breakthrough came from a single scoop of restaurant vanilla ice cream. On my way up to my apartment after Dave dropped me off, I decided my sweet tooth needed to be satiated faster than the time it would take me to bake, so I walked over to the restaurant Busboys & Poets for a take-out order of their White Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding. The menu said it came with a small side of vanilla ice cream. But oh dear revelation did come when I returned to the apartment and was standing over my counter taking that first dip of ice cream and learning that this was in fact more than just your average vanilla scoop. This was sweet, creamy, hard-to-take-the-spoon-out-my-mouth vanilla ice cream was made with roasted coconut. That first taste drew an a long, drawn out "mmmmm". I instantly felt my muscles relax a little. It was decided. This dish would be one of the desserts for this massive picnic affair I'm planning for friends later this year. (Yes, I am a nerd and have been jotting down recipes for a picnic that is at least six months away). With that one coconut-infused bite, I said ok, I'll release. It was amazing that something as simple as ice cream, really good ice cream, could ease the hold the earlier troubles had on me. Further inspired by the amazing aforementioned treat, I decided I would keep the declaration I made to myself about making a Sunday dinner, every Sunday this year. (See this earlier post).
Tonight in the quiet space of my kitchen I decided to make a fresh vegetable soup. And with each diced carrot and shallot and red skin potato I entered deeper into a sweet catharsis brought on by good food. Food that if I were a child would have me kicking my feet in my chair out of excitement. Mincing garlic and chopping chives and green onions and red peppers. Experimenting with adding a dash of Tabasco, because, well, some like it hot :)
But a huge part of this cathartic process was the amazing playlist of songs streaming from the Carly Simon Pandora station that I randomly selected. I had to put this list on the blog for you because how could you not be inspired by these amazing voices: Carole King and Stevie Nicks, and Bread (my goodness have you ever heard such melodies?!), Beach Boys and Joni Mitchell. Their voices ushered in nostalgia and all at once relief, a calm. The previously complicated anxiety was all but present. And instead was replaced by contentment. I have wonderful people to call friends, a loving boyfriend, and great opportunities unfolding all the time. Life truly is taking things one day at a time--one bite at a time--and enjoying the moment while anticipating--not fearing--your future. The future of my dreams rest in my attitude today. There's much to be achieved and with time, prayer and persistence it will be.
So please excuse this longer-than-usual post. Funny how Sundays bring those out of you ;)
Have a great week, everyone! And here's wishing that if you've been feeling magenta or have been feeling a little overwhelmed lately, relief is sometimes a loving spoonful away.