On Feeling Uninspired (Alternate Title: Who am I?)

It’s been a while, my little doves. For some reason, I’ve been feeling wholly uninspired and directionless for the past three weeks, and it makes no sense. Here’s the source of my confusion: In the last month, I’ve been greatly productive at work and have been gaining confidence as a leader; I’ve been spending a lot more time with my friends/loved ones; and I’ve never experienced so little anxiety about tangible life things (of course, with the notable exception of my acute vertigo episode). So what gives?

From the New Yorker

Perhaps, with all the momentum from my past few posts, I was a little too excited about what was supposed to be the next entry: On White Chefs and Ethnic Restaurants: The Fetishization, Commodification, and Appropriation of the Other. I recently took a look at all my notes from the various books I researched in preparation for that entry, and laughed. I had ten pages of notes, and two-pages worth of seemingly nonsensical or all-too-lofty ideas/theses statements. Because I was trying to do too many things with the essay, I started to feel overwhelmed. And, as I often do, I started to feel stupid.

I’m pretty sure that this isn’t the source of my general ennui, but it is a pretty typical trajectory for my descent into a totally unnecessary path of self-loathing.

In any case, I was wondering, is it possible that I have no frame of reference for the experience of contentment? Is this what life is like when I have more control over both internal and external stressors? Is it a lot like…boredom? Perhaps this feeling comes from the following pairing: the current absence of maniacal anxiety + my penchant for feeling unintelligent or uninteresting.

This is usually how I talk to myself.

Who knows?

Back to food. I can tell when I’m feeling uninspired, because my menu of meals either ceases to exist, or it doesn’t reflect my usual joy of cooking/eating. It’s possible that this feeling has something to do with cooking for myself for two weeks. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was sort of conducting an experiment to see if I could practice self-love by cooking for one. It was hard. And tiring. And clearly, it was difficult to convince myself that I’m worth my own time, energy, and effort. Anyway, there have been no complaints, but I’ve definitely approached my food in a super half-assed way since then (poor hubby!), and haven’t felt compelled to write. I could look at this dry-spell as a sign that I’m growing. Funny/strange but related anecdote: For the first two months of therapy, I always prepared an agenda, because I wanted to make sure we addressed everything that I identified as a problem, that week. As my seventh session was beginning, I freaked out and told him that I didn’t have a plan for the conversation, and felt extremely guilty. He pointed out that this was a good thing, that perhaps I was slowly learning how to let go. Let go of what, you ask? Let go of my intense desire to control everything that I think and feel, of my urge to orchestrate a maximized process for productivity and intellectual growth, of my fear that I am nothing and no one if I’m not constantly marked by motivation and passion. By letting go of these practices, he says I open myself up to new tools and paths. So, maybe this is like that?

So, rather than do what I would normally do in this type of situation (which would be to force myself to create an inspired and fun menu, as if that would signify that I’m back to being a passionate and ambitious person), I’ll ride this out as a confused and passive passenger, and see where it takes me. I’ll cook what I want, when I feel like it.

Ugh, that sounds so weird.

Even though I’ve been scheduling weekly menus for several years, now, I have not been able to do this for the past couple of weeks. And I can’t get myself to do it, today. However, I do know that I want to eat some, if not all, of the following:

  • Roasted pork belly with lettuce wraps
  • Pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, olives, cheese, tuna, and basil
  • Summer vegetable strata
  • Crabcakes
  • Farro salad with toasted pine nuts, currants & mustard greens
  • Pesto pasta w/ potatoes and string beans
  • Fried green tomatoes
  • Sour cream coffee cake with orange and chocolate

I may make all of these things, or none of them (this is preposterous!) Let’s see where this loosey goosey approach takes us. Maybe it will be SO strange and foreign that I’ll run back to my controlfreak ways. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I promise to post a recipe, soon! And, I am still working on the white chefs entry, a second installment of Pairing TV Shows with Three-Course Meals, and Meal-Planning 102.

In case you are curious, here are some of my less half-assed meals from the last couple of weeks:

Kimchi rice with fried tofu and an egg

Kimchi rice with fried tofu and an egg

Chicken thigh katsu w/ jasmine rice, a salad, and sweet steamed corn

Chicken thigh katsu w/ jasmine rice, a salad, and sweet steamed corn

Herbed chicken roasted on a bed of vegetables (carrots, shallots, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, garlic, and lemons) w/ bread

Herbed chicken roasted on a bed of vegetables (carrots, shallots, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, garlic, and lemons) w/ bread

3 thoughts on “On Feeling Uninspired (Alternate Title: Who am I?)

  1. Pingback: Menu Series: Forcing Myself Out of a Funk | Exposed Eats with Yejin

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