April 29, 2010

Illuminations

mom painting

Turns out Gena’s mom is an amazing artist. I had a peek at her collection, “Illuminations,” tonight at the First Street Gallery. I would encourage any New Yorkers to go enjoy a look at her work, on display until May 22.

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Looking at those paintings of trees and considering the title of the show, I had a good think on the word “illuminations” and decided I’ve had a few of my own, so to speak.

Things are in flux for me right now, and I’m a little overwhelmed. That accounts for my lackluster presence in blogland lately. This is not to say I’m on a downward spiral—quite the opposite, in fact.

For one thing, the Boyf no longer earns his nickname; we ended our 2.5-year relationship about two months ago. It hasn’t been a cakewalk, but I think I might actually feel a little lighter now that it’s behind me.

At the other end of the spectrum, my roommate, who is like a sister to me, is about to have her wedding. Though it’s bittersweet to move on from our comfy roomie-ness, the joy I feel for her is incredible.

In the midst of it all, I started seeing a counselor in order to gain some intense unbiased, third-party perspective on all the thoughts and feelings that have converged on me recently (and not so recently…). I know I’m being pretty vague, but as a generally private person, I’ve already divulged 100% more than I’m used to revealing here. One thing I’ve taken from my sessions with the counselor, however, is that I need to be writing. A lot. So please be witness to me acting upon that advice.

My cooking has obviously fallen by the wayside in the meantime. The part of my brain used for conjuring new recipes is otherwise occupied, so when I do cook, I “get by with a little help from my friends,” if you know what I mean.

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Thank you to Gina for her Slow Cooker Eggplant Curry recipe—I added mushrooms, green beans and an extra hit of curry powder. It was a mountain of veg with but a molehill of whole wheat naan bites, and it has fed me lunch all week.

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My naan stash also made it into an Ethiopian meal, courtesy of the upcoming Happy Herbivore cookbook (you know it’s available for pre-order on Amazon already, right?). Turns out I didn’t have any injera bread on hand (go figure), so naan stepped in as a pinch hitter for this meal.

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I’d never had Ethiopian food, let alone made it myself, so I think I loved this Yater Kik Alitcha recipe all the more so for it. It’s a deliciously spiced yellow split pea dish (the green beans were my own addition, as they are to pretty much everything else I eat, actually…) and you really need to plan on getting the Happy Herbivore cookbook ASAP so you can taste it too.

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Speaking of peas, I also tried Lisa’s raw pea soup this week. Mine wasn’t raw because I nuked some frozen peas briefly to start the recipe off, but I’ve been eating microwaved peas since time immemorial so that taste holds some comfort for me. Loved this combination of peas and avocado!

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With a little massaged kale salad and sesame ginger drizzle, it was a super-filling meal and super-green too, so I know my innards are happy with me.

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Oh, and don’t forget the juicer pulp crackers for dipping—that was the best part!

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Clearly, I have a number of bloggers to thank for keeping my meals healthy and interesting when food inspiration isn’t at the fore of my daily energy expenditure. It’s a good thing, too—I’ve had a little too much birthday mentality where sweets are concerned for, say…the last four months.

The good news is that my resilience hasn’t deserted me. Not for a minute, actually, and I have that to be proud of. In fact, the first third of 2010 has brought me all good things, come to think of it. Though I’m short on new recipes in the kitchen, dealing with my challenges this year has been a recipe for success, both personally and professionally. My value at the office is greater than ever, and my personal relationships have brought me to a new level of maturity and independence (remember when I signed the lease for my first studio apartment on Monday? That was awesome.).

For the first time in a while, it’s what I can do, rather than what I can’t do, that is illuminated. I just need to get out of my own way.

15 comments:

Danielle said...

YOU GO GIRL! You know I understand the mental and emotional confusion even in my physically different circumstances. I hope you really are doing well. And that we can get together soon, I'll be in the area in a few weeks :)

Mom said...

Atsa my girl!Well done.

Mama Pea said...

True story, so pull up a rug.

When I was in law school, the first love of my life (not Pea Daddy) dumped me after 5 years and started dating another girl within a day and a half. That same week, my roommate announced that she was moving in with her boyfriend and leaving me with a two bedroom apartment that I couldn't afford or in need of finding a new place to live.

The point is, I can relate. And I was nowhere near as wise and composed as you are right now. It will get better and easier every day. And I am with your counselor. Write, write, write!!! I reap the benefits of getting to read your lovely words.

Sending love and prayers at you!

CrookedMoonMama said...

Wow, what an honest post. I loved reading it. You are well on your way to somewhere!
xoxo

sophia said...

Wow, a lot of dynamic changes in your life...it would drive anyone into a confused and blabbering mood, but you're taking it all in stride and grace. Write, cook, uncook, bake, eat, or whatever it is that you do, I hope every single moment is therapeutic for you, and a learning adventure. That's what life is after all. A lifetime university.

hugs to you, girl!

Your Big Sister said...

Love you kid. If you keep this up, I might have to stop calling you my baby sister. On second though...nah, you'll be 72 and I'll still be calling you that....

xoxoxo

Erica said...

You are fabulous and there are so many good things to come for you. Sorry to hear about the bf, but sounds like it was for the better. LOTS of amazing cooking. I want to try that Yater Kik Alitcha- love split pea anything. Enjoy the weekend beautiful lady :)

Gabriela said...

I'm a private person too, but sometimes it's nice to just get things off your chest. This is such a great community, and it's wonderful that you've found a passion in writing in it! Given all of those changes in your life, it seems like you're in an awesome place! I love how positive you're staying :) Can't wait to hear all about that new apartment!

fitforfree said...

I've started talking to an impartial 3rd party recently too, and it's definitely illuminating—and so freeing to get all those thoughts out of your head. Your healthy perspective on all this is inspiring—and I'm SO happy to hear that you're focusing on writing, because your writing is that rare blend of hilarious and intelligent :-)

Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) said...

Oh man, I can relate. I went through some similar stuff in late 2009 (and am STILL dealing with it). Ending relationships are never easy. But you have a strong head on your shoulders and lots of things to look forward to - your own studio apartment, a great relationship with Sun In Bloom, and SUMMER. Yay!

talesofexpansion said...

Yay Diana!! So glad to hear of all the things you are doing to keep yourself healthy and happy. Can't wait for our next date!

Mo Diva said...

Hugs hun! Hope everything starts to look up for you.
although i must say- foodwise, shit is lookin tays-tee

Gena said...

Hey sweetheart!

This must have been a very tough post to write, and I'm very proud of you for writing it! You are doing so, so well -- embracing the year's challenges and sorrows, but focusing on the positive directions in which your life is heading. I'm personally proud -- I've only been your friend for a year, but I think you've grown a lot in that year. I'm happy to have been a small part of that growth, as someone who cares for you.

xoxo

whataboutsummer said...

art is so exciting. thank you for your post; I'm being a bum and putting off reading it until later but I promise I will be insightful soon!
Katherine

Juicers said...

Your post is really a good one. thanks for sharing.