I’m not a very happy person.
I’ve had bouts of depression for a solid 10-15 years, with a couple of really bad periods over the last five. Social media exacerbated it. I know the filter of perfection is just an illusion – the globetrotting trips, the awesome concerts, those really annoying banners with inspirational quotes from people you’ve never heard of (likely made-up names so the postee sounds trendy and hip). It’s an illusion I don’t wish to perpetuate, which is why I’ve been pretty public about my mental health.
Some friendships have soured over the last couple of years. Other friends have offered emotional support and encouraged me to get back to writing, even though I feel like the well is dry. That’s a sad thing to admit when you’ve got only a few publications to your name.
Cooking, on the other hand, has made me happy, everything from long hours of making savory soup to a quick spicy sandwich. I can make something, share it with friends, and enjoy the flavors of the aftermath. Not everyone can write. Not everyone can cook either. But we discriminate literature and have appreciative taste buds.
The other thing about cooking is the fearlessness. I’m the only critic. The saying goes that the writer needs to be his first audience. Cooking is cathartic and scratches an itch that writing hasn’t for months. I thought maybe I ought to wipe clean my cutting board, burn the blog like I’m playing with matches and start over writing about cooking and what it does for me. Maybe that’ll at least get me the momentum I need to get back to fiction.
This isn’t a journey of self-discovery, not in the Julie & Julia or Eat, Pray, Love kind of way. I don’t plan on finding myself on the Pacific Crest Trail or in a Bruneian harem. I know who and what I am: frustrated, overstressed, running on too little sleep, and with a head that feels like it’s going to explode. In the meantime, I’ll make sandwiches.
Bon appetite, bitches.