Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Three things I know to be true

1. There are no bad people, only hurting people.
2. There is nothing quite like the feel of a rain dripping down your face.
3. I'm going to save the world someday.

I cannot prove these things to you but I know - I know that even sociopaths start their lives as innocent babies, and that, more often than not, those are the babies whose parents don't love them the way they should.  Those are the babies who start off their lives thinking nobody loves them and I know that we all need to be loved.

People have hurt me, but I don't blame them, because I know, I know too well, that when I am hurting, I hurt people.  When I feel like nobody loves me, I lash out, and it is no surprise to me that everyone else does the same.  But for now, for now I know I am loved.

Love isn't all we need, though.  We need food, we need shelter, we need to be safe.  If we don't have these things, we are scared, and we will do what we can to get them, or at least to avenge the loss of our safety.  I watched a man try to convince an audience to have empathy, even for the people we hate the most.  We don't need to be okay with what they do, but they have their motivations just as we have ours.  And I know that I am trying, wishing that I could understand those people... the ones who have done the worst by me and the people I love.

It's been raining in Seattle, and nobody likes it.  Oh, but I lie to say nobody, because I, though it hinders my paddleboarding and my internshipping, I love it.  I love the rain, I know I'm crazy but aren't we all?  I love the rain, but I wish you were here to love it with me.  I wish I could pull on my fleece jacket and rainboots and drag you out to run and dance and laugh, mostly laugh, because when I'm out in the rain and jumping in puddles and licking the sweet skywater off my lips, that's what I do.  If you don't like this rain, maybe you shouldn't be here - there are no clouds in California, and I know that's what I miss the most when I'm there.

I don't know why I believe that I'm going to save the world.  I feel so helpless, so small when the problems are all so big.  But everyone who's ever known me has high hopes for me, everyone who knows what I want to do with my life tells me that I will go far, and, helpless as I often feel, I believe them.  I believe them because once in junior high, as everyone wrote their heartfelt "miss yous" and hardly-felt missives in everyone else's yearbooks, someone wrote in mine: "You're going to save the world someday, I just know it".  I haven't spoken to her since high school or earlier, I don't know where she is now and I doubt I ever will, but if I could thank her for the confidence that note has given me, I would, because, for all 6 years of yearbooks from that school, and even some from elementary school, that's the only thing anyone ever wrote that I still remember, and I know that doesn't bother me in the least.

Maybe I'll be a great leader and make great changes, maybe I'll design some great sustainable thing, maybe I'll just love someone and tell them they're worth it and that will give them the boost they need to go on in live and change everything, but I think my contribution will be great and small - lots of little interactions, lots of little contributions, and lots of little moments that lead someone else to do their little bit.  That's how I've always done things, see - when I was fundraising, I didn't ask for a hundred dollars, fifty or even twenty, I asked for two, because even then I knew that two dollars from everyone is better than a lot of money from just a few, if only because then more than just the richest can own the project - everyone can play a part.

No one person needs to change the world to save it, and no one action will save the world.  I believe that I am going to save the world because, for all I know, everything I do now could be what does it, and if that's my life goal, and I often tell people that it is, I will save the world - as long as I'm willing to contribute more than just my two cents when the chance comes along, and instead put in my full two dollars and inspire others to do the same, all those dollars will add up to something great.  And for all my uncertainty, all my feeling helpless, I know that I can always spend a little time working to make this world a better place, and myself a better person in it.  For all you may be hurting, I know that you can too, and I know that I will be right here, trying to love you every step of the way.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Gourmet cooking can't be *that* hard... can it?

I mean, all you have to do is follow the directions.

Have all the right ingredients.

Have all the right equipment.

Have a clue what you're doing.

And all that means is following the directions, I think.

I'd love to be able to cook well, to cook food like you could get at a restaurant.  I do need to clarify that first statement, since I have no doubt in my ability to cook food that people like, which, ultimately, means I can cook well.  But at the moment, my collection of recipes is small and nothing particularly fancy.  I've got a mac and cheese, a couple pasta dishes, banana bread and some breakfasty-things.  I still swear up and down that I make the best cinnamon toast ever, though I haven't really had any other variations.  (Easy too - remind me sometime and I'll make it for you.  Now I'm hungry.)

Oh, and cheesecake, I guess.  I do make a killer cheesecake.  I guess that counts as fancy... and I've never had a better cheesecake at a restaurant than the cheesecake made by me and my dad.  Believe me, I've tried.  (Surprisingly, Scripps dining hall cheesecake came close once, as did a cheesecake bought at Vons for my birthday by my awesome roommate... who may or may not have known I have a birthday cheesecake tradition.)

That said, I'm still itching to expand, especially to dinners and breads.  My panini habit means that I could probably shave off a quarter of my food budget by baking my own bread (or not eating paninis, but that's boring).  I'm doing okay with that one... my sights are set fairly low - making a good sandwich bread actually isn't difficult, if you find the right recipe - but I'm looking forward to experimenting more over the next couple of months.  Maybe try... spinach, bacon and cheese bread.  Thanks Reddit for that one.

Dinners are trickier though.  I'd love to have a couple meals that I can make which make going out to eat less worth it - I mean, not having to cook or clean is nice, but when I go out to eat in college, I appreciate it more for the amazing food (Aruffo's Italian is far better than even Pitzer's dining hall has to offer, but it costs far more too...).  I'd love to be able to master an alfredo sauce, something college has somehow taught me to love.  Okay, I realize I'm a bit Italian, but honestly, many of the pasta dishes I've had at various restaurants in the past leave me drooling just to remember them.  If I could make food that good at home...

My main food goal for the summer is to recreate a certain soup, however.  I went to Aruffo's twice last year, and both times, the soup of the day was a salmon and crab bisque.  Now, I've never been a soup person, but I love salmon and I like crab in small quantities.  So I got the soup, and the soup was amazing.  Unfortunately, there seem to be no recipes on the internet for salmon and crab bisque, so the question of the day is - do I make a crab bisque and a salmon bisque and then try to combine them... or do I just find a few recipes for salmon or crab bisque and mash them all together?

Updates on that when it happens.  Whatever happens, it should be delicious...