Category: identity

Bedside letter

Dear Marianna,

I am sorry, but lately I have been saying some things that most people, including yourself, might not agree with.  Ok, that’s not true exactly- I am saying things that you never would say out loud. Truth is not a click bait, acceptance of reality sometimes needs a full lobotomy.

-Marigold

Advertisements

Realistic Image

Advertising is everywhere.  I was listening to a podcast and the program challenged the audience to count how many advertisements they saw in a single day.  I have not accepted this particular challenge because I am not sure that I can count that high.

I know that everywhere you look companies are trying to trick you into buying something. This is a fact that I accepted a long time ago, and I can say that for most of the time advertisements don’t really work on me.  Not only because I don’t have extra spending money, but also because I know its a trick.  And mostly I don’t want extra stuff.  I like my space to not be cluttered and I hate getting rid of something that I spent money on.  Blame it on my Dutch heritage, but I am a true penny pincher.

The worst part of advertising is the unreal portrayal of female beauty.  So much of your worth of a female is based on your looks.  For men, it is based on how much money you make in life, but for the female, it is about weight, makeup, skin, boobs, hair, jewelry, fashion, and shoes.  I know that the images are photoshopped, I know that the models are teenagers, I know that a lot of women get boob jobs- but my knowledge does not matter.  I still compare- I still look at myself naked in the mirror and pinch my fat, lift up my boobs, consider spray tanning, I want to dye my hair, I need to stay on my diet.

I am lucky though because these are passing thoughts, then I get dressed and remind myself that I am hilarious, charming, and one of a kind.  I don’t need a certain pant size to make an impact in the world, I don’t need the perfect body to find love.

It’s not because I am more mature than women around, it is because I am a realist, because I live in the world and I look around.  This is one reason that I am glad that I live in a city, it gives a larger base of comparison.  I look around and I see how women actually look, and I see very few models.

But what about the ladies who live in smaller towns, who don’t have the comparison with the world at large?  These are the women who I feel for, who only have ads as a base for their self-worth.

 

Semi-Obligatory Birthday Post

It’s that day again- it happens once a year to everybody and today it’s my turn.

My birthday always makes me so self-reflective, it makes my heart look in the mirror and ask “What have I done with my life?  Who have I become?  Have I made a difference?  Am I successful?  Am I happy?”

Seriously, why I can’t just be carefree like I usually am, why can’t I take the day off emotionally?  Instead it’s the opposite where I question everything about my life: who I have become, what impact I have made upon the world around, where my career is going, what does my future hold?

Some birthdays are filled with the most happiness I have ever felt, some are filled with tears and remorse.  Very few are non-memorable in terms of emotion and self-reflection.

This year, my 34th, I have finally reconnected with that sense of indescribable joy that has slowly leaked out of my heart over the last year filled with work stress.

I am a giver.  I give out all my energy to the outside world- mostly to strangers, but also to my coworkers and friends because I have this unending need to make everyone happy.  I am only partially delusional- I know I can’t actually make people happy, but I want to do all I can to make everyone smile.   Lately, it has taken its toll on me-  I have nothing left for myself.  Lately, after a full night of rest, I still feel drained, tired, empty.  I need a lot of coffee, a daily personal pep talk, just to get a minimal sense of momentum to take on the day, to endure the tasks.

Something has got to give. This is a reality that has been weighting on my mind a lot in the past few months.  And that in itself is tiring.  Being mad, upset, questioning everything, unsure, making myself motivated every morning is so exhausting- on top of the long, hard days in a hot, demanding kitchen.

Today, though, after deep though and self-reflection, after a personal examination of what I have done, what I am doing, the people in my life, why I work so damn hard basically all the time- I feel so fucking joyful.  I have wonderful people in my life that give a damn about me, about wanting me to smile, about wanting me to shine my energy with them.

I have spent so many years wanting a career I am proud of.  Although it’s a lot of work, I have been given the chance to finally be a Chef.  It’s way more work than I bargained for, but I am proud of everything I have created, and at the end of the day, that is really the most important thing to me.

So cheers, Marinara, to a new year.  Cheers to not being stressed about work, cheers to having more to talk about then work, cheers to following my personal standards for health and happiness.

I have a wonderful people in my life, and at the end of the year- that’s all that matters.  I am looking forward to focusing on the love in my heart, to keeping this joy so that I can shine it out.   The most I can do to help increase the happiness of the friends, co-workers, and strangers is to concentrate on the love and joy that I create with relationships and art.  And that is not hard, difficult, or draining- this is the easy part.

Focused on the Blur

After so many first times, it must, at some point, level out and start to get easier to do things for the first time.  It Must. Right? Or is it like how getting fully submerged in a cold lake on a hot summer day never gets easier no matter how many times you shock dry skin into the heavy wet water?

I have a great salt and pepper blend of confidence and humility, but I get nervous-I am not graceful on my feet.  I am a behind the scenes person, I am the focus of my delusions, but secretly super shy.  Interviewing a chef is like photographing Sasquatch, we are creatures not fully of this dimension and most times talking is hard.

I remember the first time I split and scrapped a vanilla bean- a long, thin, small, precious, and plump, ready to create a subtle explosion of flavor- I was hands shaking with my pairing knife, afraid to waste any one of the million seeds, knowing that this was a turning point in my life- one small step, the first one really, into a study that I so enthusiscitcally pursue.  So everytime I do something for the first time, I remember how natural it is for me to split a vanilla bean.

Burning Magic and Love

Last year it was all about magic.  The trip down the rabbit’s hole, as I like to describe it, has been anticipated every day since I discovered the burner community.  Last year was without a doubt magical.  The lesson learned was finding belief in myself, in the powers that lies within and all around.  I felt that magic comes from a special feeling, but its has to be brought out.  Magic exists intrinsically, but it has to be manifested, it has to be sought out and forced out into a constructed being.

Last year was a very exquisite introduction to an alternative lifestyle, one that puts moral values over monetary ones, one that puts imagination before practicality, that puts friendships before convenience.

This year, it was all about love.  You go into it having some set of expectations, but also knowing that you have no idea what to expect.  It’s never the same, something (actually everything) always changes.  This burner concept is a very fluid environment, so preparation only takes you so far.

I thought that this year would reestablish that magical feeling of rediscovering imagination, but it that was not lesson that I learned this merry-go-around time.  This year, I felt the love of the temporary community and spaces that we made.  I soaked up every second of the town, of the merriment, of the place and space that we created.  I felt special to bond with people through a shared effort, through tribulation, struggle, problems, shared adventures, true connection.

This year helped me reestablished that I absolutely love feeding people, and when it comes down to it, that is really the one thing that gives me the greatest joy, sharing food.  Eating is the backbone of everything we do.  Nothing can be created or enjoyed without the energy to do it.

It made me realize how important it is to have special connection with a person, how much you can learn from a community, how everyone adds values to your life, how relying on people around you is not a weakness, it makes you stronger.

This year, it was all about love.  My heart feels shiny, in fact I think it’s glowing

Coffee Shop Moments

Every time I tell people that I don’t watch movies, or even television, or that I have never actually owned a telly for that matter, the response is pretty much universally the same question.  What do you do instead? is the follow-up response.  There is usually an underlying shock in the question, like it is almost unbelievable that I don’t sit down and stare at a blinking screen for hours on end.  I get too bored, just sitting there, trying to follow some truly unbelievable story line, or watching excruciatingly uncomfortable situations that are supposed to be funny.

I don’t actually know how to answer that question, what do I do instead?  I don’t have a problem wasting time without this diversion.  There are things to do, things to clean, art that can be drawn, a whole system at your fingertips to answer any question that you might have, endless hobbies to adapt, stories to tell your roommate, cats to be chased around the house.  Most people follow up the question with another question, do you read a lot?  Do I read, well yes some, but not like all the time.  From time to time, like before bed to calm down, but not as much as I would like to- I got a list of things to do, all of varying importance, but still they are on the to do list.  Today at the coffee shop, the other employee answered the question for me very well: living, she lives instead.

A Blazing New Year

The hustle before the storm, getting ready to party out all the bad decisions of the year before the great January purge.  Dance it out, shake yourself clean, shuffle off regret.  Take a deep breathe to relax your stressed out spirit, for tomorrow is more than a new day, it symbolizes a whole new start.  Bubble your way in a new direction, sparkle your soul, glitter your spirit, confetti your smile.  Most importantly, find the music in your fingers, the beat in your toes, the rhythm in your perception.