I wanted to like it…

… but quickly found out that I don’t. It ended up being the reason that I didn’t enjoy dinner that night. This is the most frustrating thing that can happen when you don’t have much to lose concerning food.

It was a normal night at my apartment, where I was figuring out what I should eat. Nothing unusual, right? I decided to try a recipe that I had seen online, and was very excited about it. It looked delicious, and now I had the freedom to make this dish without worrying about who wouldn’t like it.

or so I thought.

I followed all the instructions, making sure to follow everything precisely. The apartment smelled amazing, and I was already salivating. When it came out looking like nothing short of something you’d see in newsprint, I was all too excite to pile some of the rice on my plate, and top it with a perfectly golden chicken thigh.

I excitedly tore off a piece of the chicken with a fork and popped it in my mouth.

Well… it wasn’t what I expected. In fact, it was a little underwhelming. I cautiously put another piece in my mouth and ate some rice with it this time. Flavorful rice makes things better…

…but it surely didn’t this time. In fact, my stomach turned a little.

What on earth happened?! I followed the directions and even made sure the thighs were cooked through! This wasn’t right; how can something so beautiful not match up in taste?? This is when I made a discovery. The cool thing about living on my own is that I’ve been discovering a lot about myself, including the things that I do and don’t like.

I don’t know why I decided to smell the smoked paprika that I bought, but I did. I took a good whiff, and immediately turned my nose up. All in one moment, I immediately saw where I went wrong and figured out why I loathe bbq chips! I had no idea bbq chips had smoked paprika in them until I smelled the spice, which smells exactly like bbq chips.

I had never tasted smoked paprika before then, and assumed in my head that it would be like chili powder; I couldn’t have been more wrong. I thought it would have the same heat, and it doesn’t, and the last thing I expected was that it would smell like one of the few things that I hate eating.

I finally found a spice that I don’t like, and it upsets me a little that I don’t… partially because that’s leftovers that I now have to waste! I don’t want to give it to someone else because it didn’t agree with my stomach, so the only place for it now will be with the squirrels that frequent the dumpsters outside.

Smoked paprika, I’m so sorry. I wanted to like you, but apparently I never did.

The moral of the story is: if something has smoked paprika in it, I’m going to do an about face and look for something else. Also, it’s okay to admit to not liking something as long as you admit it to yourself.

Now let me go out and feed the squirrels. This entry is dedicated to you guys; bon appétit!

The Me I Miss

This post was inspired by this blog, which was written by suzie81speaks. 

I haven’t seen her in a while, and it excites me when I get to meet up with her.

She is one of the coolest, most grounded people I know. It’s not that she’s perfect or doesn’t have days where she feels crazy. Trust me, there are days she wanted to put herself away.

I stand in awe of her because: she’s creative, adventurous, genuinely loves physical activity, and is wickedly smart. She’s not the smartest of the smart, but her wit is sharp and doesn’t mince words.

She jokingly admits to having her mother’s looks and her father’s mouth.

I’ve known her for a while, but we only cross paths at certain times. During times of travel, single girl outings, or various other adventures. She drifts onto center stage unannounced, and owns moments in a way that is captivating. In truth, I envy her.

She is me. This she is the extrovert in me when I let her out. Whenever I take myself out or force myself to do something new and different, I turn into the woman I’ve always wanted to be. Not everything is perfect, but when I’m immersed in something, I’m happy, focused, and excited for what the next moment has in store. I’m in the perfect environment for me to be my most awesome self, and it shows… even to me.

I wish I could be her all of the time; when that me isn’t around, I miss her like crazy.

How To Be Happy: Learn From Your Mistakes

“Mistakes are the portal to discovery.” ~James Joyce (1882-1941)

When viewed in the proper manner, a mistake can make a great teaching tool. They give great insight and revelation that can be applied and used in the future. Here are some things that I’ve discovered:

  • saving money is ALWAYS a good idea
  • never bake at 4am when you’ve been awake for any length of time over 24 hours (I wrote an entry about this)
  • conversely, do not bake late and rush through the recipe. You’ll inevitably do something stupid and waste good eggs along the way.
  • do not stay awake for over 24 hour or attempt to drive, do math, study, or anything that will exert more energy than you actually have. this can be dangerous. results vary, but it’s never a good idea. definitely don’t drive. or do math.
  • getting the right amount of sleep is always a good idea
  • little activity+lots of butter=tight pants
  • if a friend is constantly gossiping to you about other people, she’s probably gossiping about you as well, but to someone else. mind your distance from that sort of a person.
  • Maya Angelou said this one best: “If someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
  • 95% of the time, you get what you pay for.
  • not all criticism is meant to harm; keep your ears open and don’t take yourself so seriously. you just might learn something.
  • trying new things keeps you from losing your mind, and it makes you an interesting person to be around.
  • any and all dreams can be achieved; you just need a plan of action, and you need to stick to that plan of action to get to where you want to go. you can get there if you keep at it and don’t give up.
  • people are helpful and resourceful. be friendly and make plenty of friends. they might be able to help you down the road.
  • when someone you know loses a loved one, no words can truly be adequate to comfort the person. just be as supportive as you can, and be armed with lots of hugs.
  • my pastor once said that “people that aren’t meant to be in your life can’t stay, and those that are meant to be in your life can’t leave.” I have definitely experienced this personally. I’m going to add to this thought: if people that are meant to stick around in your life do leave, they will make a round trip right back into your life. welcome them with open arms.

Some lessons will be silly and some more serious, but take them in and learn them all… and glean what you can from each of your experiences.

that is all.

Daily Prompt: A Brand New You, Effective Tomorrow

For some time, I thought I wanted to be someone else. If you had asked my middle school self, or even my self a little over 5 years ago, I probably would’ve wanted to be someone else. However, some things have changed. I’ve decided the only person I want to be is… well, me.

I may not be where I think I should be at 29. At 25, I wanted to be married, and by now, I wanted to have 2 children, or at least have one and another on the way. None of this has happened as of yet, and it left me feeling like a failure. It also didn’t help to see many of my friends getting married and having children left and right… and having stable careers or careers that they liked. While I haven’t “achieved” the whole “starting a family” thing, I did get to do some things that are just as awesome.

Up to this point, I have:

  • been to France twice, been to Italy, Jamaica and Canada
  • gone parasailing
  • interned in Walt Disney World for a summer
  • went to cooking school for 2 years. this is how I ended up going to France the second time around.
  • managed to hold down a job for 4-1/2 years
  • experienced being in a photo shoot
  • performed at a showcase and convention
  • landed a part in a play (where I got to work with someone from Double Dare. Fricken awesome!)
  • managed to become fluent in French
  • sang back up in a friend’s band
  • experienced a couple of new favourite eating places, thanks to Groupon
  • took myself on a smashing date at the art museum
  • took a couple of circus arts classes (I can do a couple of basic tricks in trapeze, rope and silks)
  • learned to hoop dance with little more than DVDs, a hula hoop and youtube

I’m sure there’s other things that I’m forgetting as well, but those are the big things that I remember doing. Some of the things that I did on a regular basis (once I had a ride and more money) were: go into the city a lot, frequent coffeehouses to watch the open mic nights, chill out at Starbucks, and cook… and more recently, started keeping a blog and a Facebook page, and got a small following on Twitter.

Why was it important for me to list all of this stuff? Well, in doing all of these things, I discovered something… well, someone: I discovered the real me. Because of a variety of factors–lack of money, lack of transportation, fear of man’s approval, no one to go with at times (I’m all about riding solo, to my mom’s horror)–I haven’t gotten to do some things that I’ve been interested in. When you do things that catch your attention, I’ve discovered that it unfolds parts of your personality that you may not have discovered otherwise. In other words, you may not have developed into your best person.

Since I’ve done these things and discovered new favourite things to do, I’ve found out that I’m a far cry from the person that I think I am. My mortal fear is being boring, and I was afraid that I was. I act shy even though I’m not, much to my frustration, and I never speak my mind. When I did the things that I was doing, I was that me that I knew I always could be. She’s confident, groovy, adventurous… and not scared of anything. If she is scared, she does it anyway. I also dove into my lust for adventure and performing in some of the things I’ve thrown myself into. Performing and acting is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’ve found that I do have some potential there. When I’m on a stage, the real me is set free somehow. I’d like to be more like that girl more often.

My conclusion is, well, I’m a pretty swell gal. I’m glad I discovered the me I want to be, and not the me that people think I should be. Having said that, I would like to keep her around. Now that I know, I’m never letting her go. I don’t care what anyone says or how crazy I look; this outgoing performer-flower child-granola girl-gypsy within me needs to be let loose. She’s fun… and I’d love to get to know her more.

and by her, I mean me. Thanks for the offer, but I’d rather not be anyone else. If I am to be someone else, I want to trade being the version of me I am to please people for this truer version of me. I feel like I’m more suited to be the real me.

“Live right now, just be yourself, it doesn’t matter if it’s good enough for someone else.”
~Jimmy Eat World, The Middle.