Every day, I wake up and think, “Here we go. Another day. Another day of yelling and fighting with people who are idiots, of bending every which way to finish my tasks on time. Another day of dealing with a commute that takes exceptionally longer than necessary because of train traffic, or signal problems, or taking the long way around so I’m not stuck in a stairwell that smells like fresh pee. Another day of working nonstop then coming home to a daughter who needs me, but I somehow just don’t have the energy to fully be present. Of looking at her with slightly vacant eyes while she demands I help her build yet another tower with her stack of blocks. Another day of just being exhausted, falling into bed around 11:30pm and passing out into a dreamless sleep until the next morning.” I close my eyes again for a few minutes just trying to breathe, then force myself out of bed to deal with all the drama that is bound to unfold.
The day goes exactly as I expected, sometimes worse and sometimes not as horrible as the day before. I used to take small breaks between all the headaches by browsing Instagram, reading a book on my commute (when I manage to wrangle a seat), crying through the latest NY Times Modern Love article, or scrolling through Facebook. But now, even that doesn’t cut it. My personal feed is filled with the Hell on Earth that the people of Gaza are living through, my email is forever reminding me about all the people in NY who are without food* and shelter, and I can’t even get into the elevator at work without the little elevator TV reminding me of everything else that is wrong in the world. Try as I might to escape, I just can’t.
Some days, the panic sets in. My soft heart and my imagination take hold of an image, a blurb, and run with it. How are they surviving? What series of events led them to where they are? God… how easily can me and my family fall into that same situation? To get injured and not be able to work, to watch out savings vanish in a matter of months trying to keep up, to fall to the fringe of society in what will probably feel like an instant. What can I do to keep my baby safe? My parents safe? My family intact? God… why is life so difficult?
There are times I just can’t believe I’m 32. A full blown adult. With a husband. And a baby. It’s kind of crazy. I can’t believe it’s been ten YEARS since I graduated from college. Where did the time go? I somehow still feel like I’m in my early twenties. Cutting classes and going out to restaurants, museums, and films without a care in the world.
One of our regular hang outs was actually the Cheesecake Factory. Me and a friend of mine would cut class, drive out a half hour just to get this one drink. A frozen mango raspberry concoction that just tasted like summer. Spring, Summer, or Fall you would find us out in Long Island sipping on these drinks (Winter was reserved for hot chocolate) discussing the most serious of topics – my parents are awful, this guy said this to me, what am I doing with my life?
Looking back, as ridiculous as these conversations were, I knew I could trust her with anything. One semester my workload was so intense, that I couldn’t commit to both working at my job and continuing my schoolwork. This friend was there for me in an instant and lent me a thousand dollars to help me get by. And when someone she trusted betrayed her, I didn’t think twice about rushing to her house and staying with her until it all passed.
As is blatantly obvious by all these posts, I love chocolate. Truffles, cakes, frostings, pudding, cookies, etc etc etc. There’s just something about the taste of the ingredient that takes me to another place. I don’t remember when I had my first chocolate covered strawberry, but that opened up a whole other set of emotions for me to experience. Since then, my go to “I don’t really want to bake but I have a craving” dessert has been a sort of fondue of 60% chocolate and strawberries. It’s quick, simple, and satisfying.
Raspberries… ehh… I wasn’t about them. If there was a show down between the two red fruits, I’m pretty sure I would have picked strawberry hands down. Until I started getting serious about chocolate that is. A few years ago, I walked into a Godiva store, nervously picked out a few truffles and walked out with my little gold satchel. I think there was a hazelnut praline of some sort in there, and a raspberry truffle. Life changing. There was a certain tartness in the raspberry that the strawberry didn’t capture. And it worked so well with the dark chocolate. I let it melt and rode the waves of the mingling flavors.
Eid Mubarak folks! Happy happy Eid! This Ramadan was intense, and wonderful, and amazing and so fulfilling. But um, my body needs a break so I’m glad Eid is finally here. For those that don’t know, Muslims around the world (including this blogger) have been fasting from sunrise to sunset for the past month to observe the month of Ramadan. The month has now drawn to a close, and we are celebrating the holiday of Eid 🙂
Here’s to celebrating! Morning iced coffee runs, afternoon ice cream treats, and licking the little bits of chocolate off my fingers when I bake on an weekend afternoon. And to get you started, I wanted to share this Earl Grey ice cream recipe with you all. It’s creamy and smooth, with the flavor of tea really shining through at the end. The next time I make this, I think I’m going to try and pair it with chocolate in some way. I have a feeling the flavors will compliment one another real well.