My Little Furry Care Provider

I was having a really silly dream right before I woke up this morning.  I was sleeping in bed (suspiciously in the same position I was sleeping in for real) when a butler came into my room with my breakfast.  (I think I’ve watched too much Downton Abbey in my life).  My breakfast was a bowl of sugar pops cereal, which I can’t even remember the last time I ate cereal, let alone sugar pops.

I was trying to wake myself up enough so that he knew he could leave, but I wasn’t fooling anyone.  I started talking about some joke that included me teaching French.  I don’t actually know French so my joke was being done in English with a French accent.  Realizing that I wasn’t actually speaking French, the conversation shifted into how much funnier it would be if I taught a class in how to speak French accented English.

I thought I was being a riot.  I could not figure out how the butler was keeping a straight face and patiently waiting for me to actually sit up to eat breakfast, with all of my shenanigans.  So finally I sat up, he handed me my bowl of sugar pops, which I was wondering how he kept them from getting all soggy in the milk and whether the next person the butler was going to, was going to have soggy cereal because of me taking so long to get up.

At this point I started to wake up for real, because I had a little black Gir kitty walking into my room meowing at me.  I was just as reluctant to wake up as in my dream.  At first I thought his motivation was him wanting food.  I knew his wet food dish was empty because I had given him chicken from the day before instead of his usual canned food.  But this cat has never been motivated by food, so I wasn’t completely convinced that that was the situation.

I’ve been slowly recovering from both of my ears and deeper sinuses being blocked for quite some time.  I don’t know how long it’s been going on, but it must have been for awhile.  All I know is that it was reaching a point where I was barely able to get any oxygen into myself.  I began the long process of reversing all of it.  It took a long time to get to that point and so it’s taking a long time to recover from it too.

Each step that I take helps remove a deeper layer.  This has been a process of weeks and weeks.  It’s been like chiseling away concrete using a needle, but I have made some incredible progress.  It’s getting easier to breathe, which in turn is making it easier for me to sleep at night, which in turn makes it easier for me to get through a day before I start hitting anxiety, which in turn puts me in a more overall pleasant mood.

With where I’m at in the process, a good portion of my body that has been basically frozen in survival mode, is starting to relax.  More feeling is starting to come back into me, and with that I’m noticing just how exhausted my body has been from all of this.  So I feel relief, I relax, and then I’m like holy shit I am tired!  I had absolutely no idea, how over time, my body had started to fight more and more for the little bit of oxygen I was letting into myself.  It’s that stupid conditioning thing, where something happens slowly and subtly enough over time, that you don’t realize it’s happening.

So this morning I was almost in a drunk state of relief and exhaustion.  “Omg it feels so good to be able to relax {slobber} I don’t want to get up ever again.”

That’s the state I was in when Mr. Gir came sauntering into my room.  I was too crashed to even get mad at all his racket.  I was able to just stay there in my body, all comfy, not really giving a fluff.  It felt so nice to not become unhinged by what he was doing and my temper coming out.  I laid there comfortably watching what he was doing.

He was putting a paw onto my bed (I’m on the floor), walking himself into my outstretched hand.  Talking and going on and rolling on the floor and knocking everything over.  He was being adorable.  I could see an earnest want or need for me to get up.  This cat was on a mission.

So finally I was ready to get up and I started my morning routine, which Gir knows so well he leads the way.  Into the living room, open the blinds.  Plug in the internet.  Off to the bathroom.  Into the kitchen.  As I willingly cooperated with Gir’s monumental efforts to get his human moving, I noticed a whole change in his demeanor.  He got a little bit of a bounce in his step.  He started to purr so loudly.  He looked so happy.

In my half asleep (but very relaxed) stupor, it hit me what was playing out.  He has found a way to contribute to his family unit.  He has found something that he is good at, and that is useful and helpful.  It’s not just humans that like to feel needed and useful.  It’s not just humans that need a purpose in life.  As all of this went through me, I looked at him with new eyes and became as clear as day.  It was written all over his little kitty face and in his expression.  “Look mommy, look I helped!”

It’s something that I was incapable of noticing before my health started to return to me.

When I got him his breakfast (and mine) and went to sit down in the living room, he came and chilled in the living room as well, looking all extra pleased with himself.  His motivation had not, in fact, been about his food.  He was just doing his self assigned job.  In his own little kitty way, he has shown me more care than many humans are capable of showing anymore.

The little dude cares whether I get out of bed or not.  It may be for his own reasons (which are the best reasons for doing something), and it may not be a conscious thought . . . but it doesn’t matter to me.  I know care when I experience it, and he’s providing genuine love and care.

As for my dream, I can see how the more my health returns to me, so does my humor and joking.  I stop being so super serious about everything . . . I become more playful.  I, in fact, do wake up out of bed saying stupid things that I think are hilarious even if nobody else thinks they are.  And the sugar pops cereal was obviously a reference to being a kid.  My inner child returning.

And no wonder the butler wasn’t laughing at my hilarious french jokes . . . I mean, he’s a cat for crying out loud.  It had nothing to do with how funny my jokes were.  😀

Gir

The Goddess Of . . .

So I was watching a bunch of shows over the weekend (I was supposed to be packing) about ancient gods and goddesses.  Okay, I was watching Ancient Aliens.  Anyways, it got me thinking about how different gods and goddesses have things they are known for.

“So and So was known as the goddess of agriculture.”

“Such and Such was known as the god of writing.”

But sometimes the list of things a deity is said to rule over (protect, help, etc.), seems to me like they were just drawn randomly.

“Let’s see, I shall be known as the god of sugar, donkeys, annnnd . . . ”

{digs hand deeper into the bowl of randomly worded pieces of paper}

“. . . monkey butts.”

But then, I was wondering if maybe it wasn’t just things that the god or goddess totally loved or were naturally attracted to.  Based on their unique energetic imprint, *these* are the things they were totally into, and thus ruled them like a boss because that is what floated their boat.

The next logical stop on the imagination crazy train was, “Well then, if I was a goddess . . . what would I be said to rule over?”

So if I ever make it to goddess-hood, here’s a sneak peak of what I am the boss of:

  • Starbuck’s Chai Tea Lattes (Hot & Iced)
  • Jigsaw Puzzles
  • Cats
  • Excel Spreadsheets & Formulas
  • Laughing
  • Dancing like a loon
  • Singing off-key
  • The color Magenta
  • Ballet flats
  • Walking
  • Unruly hair
  • Awkward social situations
  • Insanity
  • iPods
  • Haribo Gummy Bears

As I said, it’s just a sneak peak and really it’s a living dynamic list that is subject to change at my whim because I’m the boss of it too.

It almost reads like a profile from Playboy in response to  “What are your turn-ons?”

{Shrugs} Whatevs.

Tha Tis All!

(:

Sphinxy

The Moment Of Surrender

Years ago I had a very lucid dream where I had walked into a large room that looked very much like a classroom, but without the desks and chairs.  Some sort of special training appeared to be taking place.  The two people in charge approached me.

I don’t remember what they said exactly, but something along the lines of an audition taking place.  It was a special VIP invite only.  The best of the best had been gathered into this room.  The best of what?  Auditioning for what?  I have no idea.  But the looks I received from the instructors told me that they were thinking exactly what I felt.  “What are you doing here?”

I looked at the group of phenomenal people who were currently gathered in the middle of the room showing off their obvious talents.  Things were being fired at them.  Lasers, orbs, things I couldn’t identify.  Stuff whizzing throughout the center of the room.  Some were good at using weaponry they wielded, some had the ability to move fast, some used martial art-like moves to deflect and protect themselves.

The information that came to me about the situation, was that these people had been training hard since childhood.  This was something they had been dreaming of and working towards every moment of their life.

What on earth was I doing here?  I didn’t belong here.  The instructors asked me what my special ability was, and I just shook my head and told them I had no idea.  That there must have been some mistake.  I was starting to feel a little humiliated and embarrassed to be there.

The woman instructor did some sort of energetic scan of me to see if she could assess what stood out in me, but wasn’t able to hide her own disappointment when she found that no, nothing special stood out in me . . . confirming my own worst fears.  I got the impression that the only reason I was even there was because of who my dad was (in the dream).  My dad was apparently someone who held a great deal of respect and importance.  So I was feeling like *that* person.  The one who wasn’t there on their own merit.

I continued to watch and observe the others.  They were amazing.  I knew for sure I didn’t belong and with that acceptance in me I was able to let go of even trying to prove myself.  I would stay because I had been instructed to come here by some authority figure that I respected and trusted completely and wouldn’t even dream about disobeying, but I wasn’t going to try and pretend to be someone or something I wasn’t.

It felt good to accept the reality of my situation in which I found myself instead of panicking and trying to force something to happen.  I found myself smiling at them.  Appreciating the hard work and dedication they had put into getting themselves to this level.  I admired them.  I respected them for the hard path they had chosen.  Their dedication.  Their spirit.  I looked forward to discovering my special ability so that I could work hard like them and maybe one day truly deserve to be here.

I thought perhaps that was the true reason I had been sent there in the first place.  Maybe an exercise in humbleness.  The understanding that you have to work hard to get what you want.  And I was okay with that.  I was okay with that being my lesson to learn from all of this if that’s what truly held me back in my growth.

With that feeling I closed my eyes, feeling a wave of peace and calm wash over me.

In that peace, I also felt love and joy.  I was happy with this lesson.  I was happy in my acceptance of what was, instead of what I wished it to be.  Maybe today wasn’t my day to shine, but one day it would be.

I became centered in myself.  The world outside of me became quiet.  The joy and peace that I felt inside began to grow and well up from deep within me.  With it, I felt music.  I felt a song.  I felt the vibration of my soul song.  It demanded that I express it in dance.

Eyes still closed, my heart open and at peace, I began to move.  I swirled on tiptoe, my arms spiraling out around me.  My body and the living music humming through me, moved as one.  Up on one foot, pause, and then swirl both arms to the right . . . and then to the left.  Right arm out and around and then behind me.

Every movement surrendered completely to the love and joy I felt moving through me in the most divine song.  My current situation totally forgotten.

Until I opened my eyes and found myself square in the middle of the firefight, completely untouched and unharmed.

Then a flash moment of, “OH SHIT! WTF am I doing?!”, while also catching the completely shocked faces of the instructors that I’m sure mirrored my own.  The woman instructor quickly pulled herself together and then yelled at me to keep doing whatever I had just been doing . . . because whatever it was . . . it was my special ability.

So I quickly closed my eyes to the chaos and danger all around me, willing the absolute terror I had started to feel away, and called back again the music inside and danced.  But now I was also aware of what was going on around me.  I could see with my mind’s eye, how every movement I made naturally moved me out of harms way.  Every twirl, every pause, every extension and sway kept all of my body in the safe spaces for that moment in time.

If I were to doubt, resist, question my movement at all . . . I would be hit.  But when I fully trusted in the music in me and let go of worrying or being afraid of what was happening around me, then I was perfectly safe.

I became so overjoyed in learning this about myself, that I truly had no reason to be afraid, that the music in me began to grow even stronger and louder, to the point that I was able to fully open my eyes and give in completely to the joy and ecstasy that it was to be me.

The intensity in me increased until I no longer saw the things being shot at me as my enemy, but as my dance partner in life.  I no longer saw the difference between the dance and the fight, they were one and the same.

Graceful Dance II

Jenn’s Big Day Out (:

So I’ve been out and about in an effort to keep the momentum going in my “Live, damn you, live!” personal tour.

Last Sunday, I went to go see a movie. *At* the theater! I went to see Maleficent. And it was magnificent. I did not regret my choice in going at all. I may even go a second time.

Princess Maleficent

Friday, I stayed after work and had some wine with co-workers. A new friend and 4 new book recommendations later, I went home feeling happier than I had in a really long time.

wine dinner

Yesterday . . . yesterday I *may* have over-extended myself in my new-found enthusiasm. This is a typical Jenn-maneuver, so no big surprise there.

I went to the Starbucks near my house instead of the one in downtown because I wanted to purposely have to get out of my car and walk amongst the people instead of my usual drive-thru.

Star Fucks

While I sat waiting for my drink to be done, another customer was in such a rush that they didn’t bother to listen to the kind of drink being called, and slammed their straw into my Venti Iced Chai Tea Latte as the barista said repeatedly to the man, “Is your drink the Chai Tea?  The Chai Tea, is your drink the Venti Iced Chai Tea Latte?” until the straw stabber guy realized that oh, that’s not his drink.

I was sitting nearby texting and decided to keep on texting while I decided how I felt about some stranger stabbing his straw into my drink.

Wonder woman

I mean, he had that straw unwrapped for quite awhile before he tried to impregnate my drink with it and I don’t know what kind of hygiene habits this guy has.  But at the same time, is it really such a catastrophe that I’m going to make the barista make me a completely new drink because of it?

Avoiding the issue was the right decision, because when I looked back up, the drink was gone and a new one was being made.

dog starbucks

So I hopped back into my car and headed to my favorite little café gift shop in town.  In my head I was hoping to run into some old friends and it would lead into some sort of Bollywood music number.

Devdas

But the reality of it was that I just quietly walked around and bought a bunch of (awesome) things for myself and bought a pastry called a ‘Soul Roll’.  I did get to snag a half-hearted hug from a friend in-between her giving readings . . . so that’s *almost* like a Bollywood movie, right?

Next I had ran into the craft store next door because now I needed two frames for a couple of art pieces I had just purchased, as well as a hook to hang up the butterfly wind chimes I had also just bought.  This is where I just went nuts.  I *didn’t* measure the art pieces to know what size of frame to get . . . I just walked in and bought what I thought looked like the right size.

This was dangerous territory I was walking, folks.  You see, I hate . . . and I mean HATE having to return anything.  So much so that I just won’t do it.  If it doesn’t fit, or is the wrong size, or wrong whatever . . . it’s going to end up in the charity bin.  I hate having stuff I don’t use or want cluttering my house.  That’s how my world operates.  I also hate being wasteful.  So between all of these nuh-uhs of mine, I am *very* careful with what I purchase.

So here I am buying stuff I didn’t need for my absolute survival, which is quite a big day all on it’s own.  But then I was walking out of a craft store with these frames that might not even suit my purpose!  Just what kind of crazy path had I put myself on?

Motivate me

So, by this point I’m sitting in my car sweating.  Well, mostly because it was like a hundred thousand degrees out and I had decided to start texting ninja hugs to a few peeps, and it just couldn’t wait long enough for me to roll down windows.  When I get the urge to ninja hug text someone, I have to ninja hug text someone immediately!

But then to keep from dying because of the near heatstroke I suffered by doing that, I had to get back to a Starbucks stat.

starbucks brat

Then I realized that it helps even more if I put the AC on in my car.  I know that sounds like I’m trying to be funny, but I actually try to avoid the AC in the car if I can stand it because it has this smell that doesn’t go away for awhile even after you shut if off and it gives me a headache and then I become all dramatic and like I’m going to die and then I have to switch my ipod to one of my ‘contemplative’ playlists where Natalie Merchant is singing about ‘The End’ or Johnny Cash is all ‘Hurt’.

But it was incredibly hot and so the AC had to come on.  I get over to the town center shopping mall and no sooner do I park, when my friend Carmen called to give me a verbal ninja hug . . . which I said, “Well, now it’s just a verbal assault.”  I decided that it was best to stay in the car with the AC rather than face the Death Valley temperature happening outside.

Melting cat

We talked for like two hours!  Again, I need to put this in perspective.  I HATE talking on the phone.  I have this weird brain delay thingy when on the phone that makes it feel to me like the person is speaking a foreign language to me.  But just like the earlier insanity that had ensued, I was breaking my own rules.  The first few minutes I had to focus like a bomb squad trying to diffuse a ticking bomb . . . but then something switched (the bomb squad was successful?) in me and it was like I was listening from a different place in me and I was able to focus easier.  It was kind of nice.  The conversation itself was AWESOME!  All kinds of epic topics and zooming over a huge variety of things.  Just how I like it.

After I hung up, I didn’t want to waste a trip there so I got out to at least walk around the shopping center.  I love this shopping center during nice weather because it’s outdoors, which I used to think was really stupid for the Seattle area . . . but then global warming came and now we have mostly awesome weather and I was like, “Ah, never mind outdoor shopping mall.  You knew what you were doing.”

So I went for a stroll, and thankfully there was a wind to keep it pleasant.  I wandered into the game and puzzle store, because . . . I can never have too many puzzles.  Something to remember about gaming stores on hot days, and most especially when there is some sort of tournament going on inside, is that you have to brace yourself for the inevitable wall of body odor that is going to smack you upside your head when you walk in.  It’s just a part of life and something that you have to come to peace with inside of you.

I did find a puzzle.

And I also got to watch a parade of teenagers dressed in formal attire, nonchalantly walk around a shopping mall in broad daylight trying to act like they weren’t dressed in ball gowns and suits walking around a mall just to show off how good they looked.  And they did.  The dresses were super pretty.  I wondered if I had ever been that skinny.  I can only remember having a mom body at this point in my life.  {Shrug}

By the time I got to the car, I was starving.  I wanted good food and I did not want to have to cook it because . . . heat.  So I went to get some take out from a Thai place by my apartment.

Too much

Okay, the place is a little expensive . . . but they definitely don’t skimp on the portion.  I can easily squeeze 4 meals out of it for myself.  My son can make his last two . . . which is impressive.

I asked for a 2 star spicy . . . which is mild to medium.  My son gets 4 star because I think he’s trying to burn himself from the inside out.  However, both of our meals were pretty damn spicy.  I nearly cried the whole time I was shoveling the food into my mouth.  I was so bleeping hungry, but it was so bleeping hot that.

It required an immediate Twix ice cream bar to put out the fire in my mouth.

It was starting to get late, but I wanted to take care of the things I had bought earlier.  So I hung up my wind chimes.  I framed the two art pieces, and then hung them.

Self Reflection and Joy

Finished the laundry.  And then the cat was meowing for me to join him on the floor, until . . .

God knows how much time had passed before I realized I had just been staring blankly at this:

 Ceiling

With my feet like this:

Feets

Exhausted doesn’t even begin to express what I was experiencing.  I had no idea how exhausting it was trying to have fun.  I need to slow it down a bit until I build up a tolerance or something.  Until then, I’m going to have to balance it out with my usual recluse nature.

batcat

Speaking of which, it’s far past my bedtime.  Goodnight!

Jumping Back Into Life With My Party Of One!

The soundtrack for today’s post:

I Lived by One Republic

I’m currently sitting at the car dealership getting new tires put on my car.  {Transferring money from savings to checking AGAIN for the hundredth time this month.  %^@!*?%  <– can’t put hashtags in my “swear” words anymore . . . it tries to make it a *thing*.

So anyways, on the long ass drive to my appointment this morning I was contemplating my existence (also for the hundredth time this month).  It was more of the “what am I doing?” . . . feeling like I’m missing or not getting something.  That scratch you can’t itch.

Letting stuff float through my mind.  “Nope.  That’s not it.  Nope.  Nope.  Already been down that road thoroughly and nope.”

Sitting in the long line to get onto 520, an energetic dance song came on my shuffled music.  I started bopping to it, my ponytail swishing.  Now, understand that normally, I’m too self conscious to do something like this while stopped in traffic.  I mean I’m *stuck* next to these people for at least 15 minutes . . . it can get awkward.

But something in me is SO tired of everything, that I’ve worn down the strict-disciplined-always-follows-the-rules inner Parent that has always been there to stop me from making a total ass of myself.  My inner child was like “I DO WHAT I WANT! YOU DON’T OWN ME!” and gave into the dance.

I think the key difference for me that separates this from all of my other minor rebellions, is that I truly did not feel subconscious about what I was doing.  I just felt the need to bring the fun and party to where I was.  Right there.  In my car.  Party of one.

And I felt comfortable in my skin with what I was doing.  I smiled.

I felt something start to well up in me.  A new resolve.  It’s time to change.

I’m a motherfluffin Gemini.  Do you know what the ONE thing is that I should have mountains of?  (And that doesn’t even include the effect of *expands everything it touches* Jupiter that is conjunct my sun).

Friends.

Everywhere I go, I should have friends.  Friends coming out of my ears.

But I’ve been sitting around being a pussy about being super sensitive and empathic.  “Oh I need time to myself, I can’t.”  And not to dismiss my own actual needs, yeah I need down time . . . but so what?  So what about that?  Being so guarded and protective of myself, all I’ve managed to do is isolate myself.

I tell myself I don’t want to get involved in drama.  Or maybe I even have a fear that by having friends I’ll create karmic debt and then I’ll never get off this fuckin’ carnival ride.  I don’t know!

But sitting in my car this morning, all I knew was this.  Without friends and personal relationships, life for me is meaningless.  It’s all the people in my life and the interaction with them that makes life worth it for me, and I’ve gone and cut myself off from everyone.

There’s reasons.  I had healing to do, I had to get my own shit together, and all that.  Again, I don’t want to dismiss the process I needed to go through.  But what I do want to acknowledge, is that obviously that time for me is over.  There’s a powerful force inside me that is ready to get out there and get my hands dirty with life.

I want my current friends to know how much they mean to me, and I want to make new friends where ever I go.  I want to turn that party of one into a party of everyone!

So I ninja’d a bunch of my friends this morning.  Texted, left messages in Facebook.  Not all my friends, trying to wade into the pool slowly.  The first response I got back on my phone was “Sweet!  Who is this?”  :/

Actually, it was more like LOL!  Because yes!  That’s exactly it!  I’ve totally disappeared from everyone’s life, so what else could I expect?

I’m giving myself a new challenge in life.  I’m going to learn how to be a friend.  I’m going to learn how to be the first to reach out to others.  I’m going to learn how to be open and invite others to join the party.  I’m going to challenge myself to stop being so self conscious and holding myself back.

In fact, while sitting here in the waiting room and listening to the song from One Republic on my headphones . . . I let myself enjoy music the only way I know how, and that is to dance in one form or another.  I’m the master of seat dancing.  I’m not even thinking anymore “I wonder if they think I’m crazy.”  I’m just thinking, “Yay! Yay! Yay! <tap> <tap> <tap>.”  It makes it feel like the room is coming to life . . . it’s AWESOME.

You know, I’ve *always* wanted life to be more like a musical, where it was acceptable to break out into inspired song and dance.  And who knows . . . maybe I want it to be that way so bad because it has something to do with what I have to offer.

So, if you get some random text or message from someone and you’re trying to figure out who the hell is sending you random hugs and high fives.  Don’t worry, it’s probably just me . . . jumping back into life!

The Green Marshmallow Stuff

I think one of the more awkward parts for me after a breakup, is wading through the minefield that becomes my daily life after the initial shock has worn off.  I have all these *blank spots* in my life now.  Both the things we used to do on a daily basis, as well as the joint future plans . . . they’re all just gone.  I have to re-orient, re-prioritize, re-establish everything.

Until I gain a foothold and give myself new coordinates on where I’m headed, I’m just a ship lost at sea.  Wishing I had thought to bring a game of yahtzee or a puzzle or SOMETHING, because it’s really fucking boring bobbing up and down out in the middle of nowhere.  Patience, schmatience.

So, in the meantime in order to fill the holes in my life I’ve started doing crazy shit like cooking.  I know I’m in a weird place in my life when my response to “what now?” is answered with anything even remotely related to the kitchen.  That is *not* my domain.  It’s like a new foreign country to me.  I don’t understand the customs and I definitely don’t understand the language.  It’s all ooga booga to me.

The night before last, as I stayed up way past my bedtime reading, out of NOWHERE came this intense craving for some green marshmallow “salad” thing I used to eat when I was younger.  I wanted it so much, I nearly got dressed at 1am in the morning and braved the cold to hunt down the needed ingredients.  But the warm, comfy bed won that battle.

So I stopped on the way home after work yesterday to get them.  I’m not sure what I was thinking, but I walked into the grocery store with no recipe and absolutely no idea what the name of the stupid dish even was.  Just green . . . fluff . . . stuff.  I’m a planning type person.  Walking all willy nilly into a store without an exact list of needed ingredients for a recipe isn’t my m.o.  I was out of control.

I probably spent a good 30 minutes standing in the cake mix aisle next to the Jell-O boxes, doing search after search on my phone on ingredients I was guessing based on a very fuzzy memory of something I hadn’t eaten in years and years.  *Green stuff*  *Green Jell-O salad stuff*  *Green fluffy marshmallow stuff* *Green Jell-O salad with cream cheese and marshmallow*  *Green Jell-O salad marshmallows* Oh wait . . . I don’t think it was green Jell-O . . . I think it was something to do with . . . pistachios?  *Pistachio green salad* *Pistachio green stuff with marshmallows* *Pistachio marshmallow pineapple*

Finally!

I finally found a recipe I was willing to commit to.  It didn’t involve words or items that I did not want to deal with or have to figure out, like “2 cups of heavy cream”.  Did you know that there isn’t anything in the grocery store that is *just* heavy cream.  WTF is it referring to?  Is it milk that needs to go on a diet?  Is it creamer, but . . . special?  Is it soupy yogurt?  Is it condensed milk?  Is it heavy cream for whipping?  I don’t need that kind of complication in the kitchen, so those recipes got axed.

Once home, I put my brave face on because I didn’t want the food ingredients to know I was intimidated by them.  I tried to show them who was boss.  I drained the can of crushed pineapple, *BUT* . . . retained the juice.  Yeah, now who’s scared?  You thought I’d miss that little detail, didn’t you recipe?

And then . . . the recipe went all vague on me.

Stir together half of the pineapple juice with the pudding mix until well blended.

What?!  I thought I had done a good job of vetting out complicated recipes, but I FAILED.  I need measurements!!  I’m not some fancy Iron Chef who works with dashes of this and a dollops of that!  What is “half” of the pineapple juice?!

So then I started questioning whether I had even drained the crushed pineapple correctly.  Is there a kitchen “standard” for pineapple draining that I don’t know about?  Do I let it drain naturally, or do I press all of the juice out of the pineapple?  There’s a lot of liquid in pineapple that could make a huge difference in the amount of juice I start out with before “halving” it.

I winged it.  Why not?  I was already living dangerously.  I picked up my bowl of pineapple juice and just poured some into a bigger bowl.  I took a deep breathe and started stirring in the pudding mix.  By the 2nd package, it started to feel like I was trying to stir cement, so I was fairly certain I was going to need more pineapple juice.  And also at this point, I was starting to come to peace with the fact that this entire thing may not work out and be a disaster, in which case I was going to be grabbing the chips and dip and consoling myself on the couch.

More juice.  More pudding mix.  Little more juice.  Rest of pudding mix.  Feeling more confident about my choices thus far.  Starting to calm down a little and backing away from the ledge.  Whew.  Okay.  Ready for the next step.

Gently fold in the Cool Whip and carefully stir in the pineapple and marshmallows.

Gently fold?  Am I making love to my laundry or am I making food?  The lines were beginning to blur.

I started doing my best impersonation of folding 16 oz of cool whip (the big container) into what looked like green Laffy Taffy at the bottom of my mixing bowl and having many, many doubts.  And getting exhausted from trying to mix two completely different consistencies, but I powered through.

Successful mixing of green concrete and cool whip.

Successful mixing of green concrete and cool whip.

I mixed the pineapple without much fanfare, and so had arrived at the final ingredient: marshmallows.  I had gone through a lot with this dish.  I had had my ups and downs.  I had been pushed far out of my comfort zone more than once.  I was a changed person.  I started to measure out the two cups of marshmallows.  The relief of finally getting to use a measuring cup for the first time the whole evening was indescribable.  “Oh finally, thank you!  I love you, measuring cup!”

After I was done, I stood there staring at the bowl.

* * * c o n t e m p l a t i n g * * *

And then grabbed the bag of marshmallows and poured more in.

Every single marshmallow you see, is above and beyond the 2 cups asked for in the recipe.

Every single marshmallow you see, is above and beyond the 2 cups asked for in the recipe.

I had gone mad.  The recipe had broken me.  It was anarchy in my kitchen.  Not just with my rash recipe decisions, but with the mess I had left behind on the counter:

Just look at that pistachio pudding powder disaster.

Just look at that pistachio pudding powder disaster.

I survived, but I will never be the same.

Now . . . if you’ll excuse me . . . I have some delicious green marshmallow stuff waiting for me in the refrigerator.

Let Me Drive!

I was out eating recently, when the most peculiar thing happened to me.  Initially, I had zero idea what had happened, only that immediately afterwards I heard myself saying to Jay,

I think I just fully came into my body.

Which was promptly followed by me giving myself a funny looking wtf? face.  {O.o}

And Jay was just looking at me nonchalantly with both eyebrows up ^ ^ saying,

Oh yeah?

And I was all,

I don’t know. {shoulder shrug}

And then went back to eating.

I went into deep contemplation about what exactly had just happened, because it was the 2nd time it had happened in a week. . . (both times involving food).

I had just been sitting there, looking at my food.  When suddenly the food seemed to . . . come into focus?  It seemed Super Real (vs. you know. . . semi-real)  The colors were so. . . vibrant and clear.  Like my eyeballs had just been upgraded to Real 3D.  I saw the butter on the Naan I had been holding in my hand, and I was so fascinated by it.  I looked down at my Butter Chicken, and it seemed like I was looking at food for the first time in my life.  It was a great big W  O  W-fest in my head and body.  I was thoroughly amazed by my food.

Not only that, but it felt like I had gone from the back seat of the car, to the front of the car and was driving.  Meaning, I felt a distinct shift from being an observer in the background of myself. . . to suddenly coming to the forefront.  I felt like I <— the Soul ME, was HERE and in body and getting to use the eyes of this body and the limbs of this body and the feelings of this body, for the first time. . . like ever!  Or at least since childhood.  Before the teenage me, booted Me out. (hehe)

It’s like I’m me. . . but the conscious part of me. . . what I think of as my Soul. . . has had to sit in the backseat of the body as an observer, until the me. . . uh. . . the physical? emotional body? me, moved out of the way to allow the Soul Me to come forward.  That’s probably as clear as mud, but oh my god is it an awesome experience.

At least the Soul Me was absolutely fascinated by it.   There was a whole bunch of “NO WAY!”, and “OMG!” going on.  Meanwhile, the smaller me was in the backseat going, “What?  What are you going on about?  What is so fascinating?”.

The food in my hand and on my plate was the most real I had ever experienced life.  I had also taken a moment to look outside, because the sun was reflecting off of the building across the street and was shining on the Naan in my hand and highlighting the butter. . . and that was just about blowing my mind.  I could NOT understand how I had gone all of my life not experiencing this awe and wonder every.single.second of my life.

How were people not jumping up and down about getting to experience all of this?!?!  How was everyone able to stay so calm?  I mean. . . oh my god!??! this is SO INCREDIBLE!!!  Being a Soul in a body is just about the coolest damned thing a soul can experience, and everyone is ACTING LIKE THEY’RE AT A FUNERAL!!!!

I have to admit, I’m pretty fond of Soul Me.  It was kind of contagious.  I had forgotten how excited I used to feel about getting to experience things in life.  And She was so damn genuinely excited and happy about just sitting there and looking at butter on Indian Bread.  I thought She was going to explode into dramatic song right there in the middle of the restaurant.  But I gave Her a “please god not right now” desperate big-eyed O.O stare.  She was merciful.  Plus, Her mouth was stuffed full with rice, bread, sauce and chicken.

But I know She’s not going to put up with being in the back seat for much longer.  Just this morning, as I waited for the Crosswalk to change on my daily Chai Tea Latte run, She popped into the driver’s seat and began moving to the music I was listening to.  I didn’t feel self conscious or foolish, I only felt great.  There was a feeling of, “I wanna move to this!” as my left leg started moving on its own.

It felt so good to allow that impulse, that on the return walk, I didn’t even try to hide it.

Enjoying the moment.

Sitting. The new walking.