Cooking Insecurities

Quondam: former; onetime

I used to HATE cooking.

Whenever someone asked me what my least favorite thing was to do, “cooking” was always my prompt reply. Surveys requiring responses for disliked hobbies? Oh, easy. Cooking.  Young men would ask how I would plan on taking care of my future man in culinary ways; I told them to mind their own lives, and I’d cross that bridge when I came to it.cooking-knife-vegetables-meats-cutting boards

Growing up, I was a perfectionist. I liked things to be done a certain way, and I didn’t like to look bad. (Who am I kidding? I still don’t!) Because of these silly fears, I chose not to try out multiple things in fear of failing and being “found out.”

Additionally, I was a homeschooled child. Unlike many of my friends who were one of 5 or 8 or 10 children, I was one of 3. I was four years old when my baby brother was born, so I didn’t have to grow up babysitting or taking on household management to help my mom out. We were all babies.

I watched with envy when my friends could cook up a find tasting meal, change a babies’ diaper, or wrangle kids effectively. Babies would cry the instant I touched them, and I really didn’t know how to cook. Thank God I loved (still do) cleaning though. At least I wouldn’t be a complete lump on a log who just ate and did nothing to contribute.

From those moments on, a soul with mounted insecurity swore to never have children or never cook. It was easy to hide behind my fears and make pseudo-promises to myself. I didn’t have littles in my life, and mom did all the cooking. (Or the nights she was in no mood to whip up a meal, trusty old chips & salsa/cheese & crackers quieted my hunger pangs!)

As time passed, I began digging into the “whys” of my avowed statements. It wasn’t the fact I merely thought cooking took forever, and I was too lazy so no bueno. I realized it was my self-imposed limitations and prides/fears that inhibited me from living out these enriching tasks, namely cooking.

To take a load off her plate, my mom asked me to start cooking several months ago. I initially balked at the request, but since I’m not a terrible daughter and for the sake of her task load, I started. At first, I hated it. But over time, I realized that enjoyment started creeping into my mindset. I actually started looking forward to the process and cooking for loved ones.
Now, I welcome mom’s feedback and corrections. I find joy in the experimentation and the verbalized “yummy!” from my family or friends. It’s no longer about how I look but how I can serve my loved ones. And quite frankly, what does “perfect” look like anyway?

~Lina Marie

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Music Speaks When Words Cannot

Lachrymose: tearful or given to weeping; inducing tears

My younger brother was invited to participate in a piano master class at Reinhardt University last week. It’s a time of intense enrichment, connection with other blossoming pianists, and sharing with the community.

My mother and I made a trip at the end of that week to listen to his performance. The program listed him as the last performer. (I won’t say some “save the best for last” smugness didn’t wash over me a little.) The other musicians had their merits and gifts, but when my tall, handsome, serious brother walked unto that stage, he carried a presence no one else possessed.

Sitting down on the bench, he closed his eyes, mentally prepping himself for the performance. The moment of silence was almost breathtaking. My brother wasn’t classically trained throughout his entire piano “career”, but his hard work and persistence was evident as he made the keys sing. The notes he fingered made your heart soar, withheld your breath every few moments, and caused your mind to climb into the rich, emotional journey of the music.

Personally, classical music has a way of stirring eternal longings in my heart. It causes a blanket of peace to settle over my heart like snow that clothes the hills and valleys, giving it an ethereal, majestic quality. It shifts your mood and induces reflection. Beauty is the silencer of all discord.

As I sat, mesmerized by the music, tears welled up out of nowhere and slipped down my cheek. How is it that music can express sentiments better than words can?

After what seemed like one moment, the music ceased and the sound of enthusiastic applause took its place. My heart beamed with such sisterly pride. Gratitude swept over me as those that had chosen to give him a chance congratulated his work.

I pray that as he continues his ascent into mastery, the hearts and minds of listeners would be touched by the beauty of life and reminded of its Creator. Isn’t that what life is all about?
~Lina Marie

realMy brother was invited to play in New York City this August by a non-profit called Project 142. Its objective is to give blossoming musicians a chance to perform on a wider platform. Please check out his GoFundMe page for updates and more information. Any layer of support is much appreciated! https://www.gofundme.com/JesseNYConcert