Noodle days.

by - 05:53

“Be Yourself. “
That phrase gets thrown around like confetti. But what does it really mean? How does one “Be yourself”? Now, I’m in no way an expert- but I did go through a fairly intense crash course on self-discovery. Which (funny enough ) began with the crashing down of what I had thought was the definite way my life had to go.  (This is me trying to immortalize this experience in writing- watch me use instant noodles as a metaphor. ) Now, I’m sure many of you “smarter people” know this already- but to anyone can be helped by this. This is for you. 

I have quite a fortune telling problem- simply put, I tend to obsess over the future and the next day, year, decade. I liked worrying about the future. And that- paired with an almost equal fondness for things that had happened in the past (which I of course used as variables for my “fortune telling”). Those two, in moderation- you could call that “foresight based on precedent. But at the levels I was on? It meant that I was in my own head so damn much that I was missing what was happening in front of me. How bad am I talking? I mean, I spent an entire month in a bigger city with awesome people, create something big, run an obstacle course race and yet still managed to keep my mind on something that was totally far away. Imagine if I had stayed fully in the moment? I would probably have laughed harder, run faster and created better.  Everyone makes mistakes- this one was mine. 

Living in the moment (even if you’re not as obsessive) truly does take work. It’s a long discipline in a single direction. And to get there- to the state where you actually look in the mirror and say “Hey, put down the Cheetos, stop sulking, take care of yourself” (true story) you’ve gotta lose a few things. In my case- I stopped cooking. (Not your average bacon and eggs cooking.) I mean I stopped playing and experimenting with my meals for one. The greater translation? I stopped taking care of myself. No more fun dinners that are born out of re-inventing take out- instead, instant noodles and occasionally- a fried egg. It’s almost odd when I look back at it now- like these noodle days had metastasized into one lump in time- but I can remember all the nights and every dish I cooked when I was happy. Which lead me to sink deeper into my well of memories- remembering the night I made 40- garlic chicken- while I slurped noodles. I accepted this as reality.  Usually, when I’m filled with fear- I make concessions that are not at all okay in the long run. The worst thing you can do is lie to yourself. I wanted to get better and to do that- I had to wake up and stop compromising the truth for less. 

Sometimes, the source of the situation can be a little- close and fairly magnetic. And I can’t believe that it took me so long to consider distance as a possible solution. (For someone who thinks so much- it’s amazing how I missed this one) Distance allows perspective. I took myself out of the equation, (and to this day) I’m making an effort to learn, understand, create connections and hopefully everything I’ve gained aids in the overall betterment of the situation. My current favorite thing I’ve picked up is: “Healing comes slowly, but it comes”.  May not really strike many as an awesome thought- and believe me, noodle eating me would just keep crying in her bowl. But I found it liberating to know that it will be okay one day. Shit sucks now, but it’s going to get better- the first step is wanting it to be. 

Don’t hate on your noodle days. My noodle days were dry and starchy, but I would have never realized that they were making me bloat if I hadn’t gone through them. I accepted that the noodle days were part of the process and that if I wanted out of the cycle- I’d have to make the conscious effort - it would take work. The discomfort was my compass toward growth. Who says the “work” portion cant be fun? I took that shot to go back to what I loved- real food, real cooking and just taking care of myself. There’s isn’t much more that's better than a dance break in the kitchen. And there isn’t much more that's better than falling in love with the most important person in your life- you. No one can love you better than you. So, be forgiving to yourself. Learning to forgive others and ourselves because we had not chosen wisely is what makes us most human. It’s how we learn.

I’m not saying I don’t have gaping holes in my life I need to fill, because I’ve got a few. But I feel better these days because I’ve made the choice to want to feel better. The best lesson though is that even if you’re in the probable worst of it all- parts of you still remain. I’m still a hopeful, over-sharing, slightly sarcastic person. And even at the worst of it, all I wanted to do was make others happy- I was still, at my core- me. Just a slightly less present me. And I guess that in itself is a beautiful thought- that you never actually “lose yourself”. Sometimes, you just need a break.  

PS. Oh, yes- I still eat noodles. Dry ones like Mi Goreng/ Pancit Canton. The best way to have them is with Spanish Sardines on the side and with a fried egg. Trust me. (I will probably be having them like that for the rest of forever)

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