Monday, October 17, 2011

To New Beginnings

"Follow your heart, do what makes you happy and f**k the rest."

Here I am, finally listening to all that commonsense wisdom I know we've all heard countless times before. On the morning of Tuesday, October 11th, I woke up a third-year student at a large Massachusetts state university and by 2:45 that afternoon, I was officially a free bird. After two very unhappy years and a month and change into yet an even worse third one, I finally decided to withdraw from the school and follow my heart. I had known even before I began applying to colleges that a conventional college education wasn't likely to suit me but I had no idea what I wanted to do instead so with much reluctance, I followed what everyone else was doing. 

Finally sometime half-way through my second year I realized that my calling had been there all along. When I replayed the dusty home movies in my head they always seemed to have some running theme of food. Those weekends I spend with my mother, my little elbows deep in flour as we made animals out of whole wheat dough with wrinkly raisins for eyes. The excitement of unveiling what delicious treasures were hidden in our bullet-train lunch boxes during summer trips to visit cousins in Japan. Giggling with my brother as we slurped up the sticky, sweet juices from the bottom of the watermelon fruitbaskets my mother would carve for my birthdays. I had realized my fondest memories of childhood all shared a common theme of food and the way it brought people together.

Whole Wheat Bear Bread with Raisin Eyes/Nose.
Weekend Bread Baking with MamaBear.

Even though I had this fantastic light-bulb moment, I still spent the rest of the academic year miserably dreaming of happier, yummier days. I certainly wanted to leave the school but my parents insisted I stick it out. They suggested I had already gone this far and a bachelor's degree in Japanese was at least something to fall back on in the event my dreams of opening my own food business in Japan was not successful. This made me extremely unhappy and hostile towards my parents which pained me so much but I felt trapped, as if I had no way out. I fell into depression, became reclusive, and quite sick.

With the rapid deterioration of my health, my parents and I realized that "sticking it out" just wasn't an option for me anymore. Finally we began furiously seeking out better options. On Sunday evening, the night before I was to return to my dreaded school, my parents and I sat down to have our deciding discussion over withdrawing from the university. The verdict was in, come Tuesday when the campus reopened, I would march up to the admissions office backed by the full support of my parents and hand in my completed exit document. It was the most freeing feeling I had ever felt. I couldn't stop beaming as I walked out of the building. The ominous rain cloud that had been hovering over my head for so long had instantly vanished. Now with my newly acquired freedom, my possibilities are endless. 

I decided to create this blog as a way to document my new life and share my experience in cooking and baking. Not only am I embarking on a new career path but my family and I have decided to adopt a new lifestyle as well. Inspired by Hippocrates' quote "let food be your medicine and your medicine be your food"and the clean, eco-friendly and stress-free lifestyle of minimalistic living, we are going to detoxify our bodies, minds, and surroundings and set about on our own journey to achieve true health and happiness.

So here I am, finally listening to all that commonsense wisdom I know we've all heard countless times before. There is no better time than now to embark on a new adventure.

Apple-Toothpick Caterpillar.
Playing with food since the early 90's.

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