I wanted to hit the ground running in Toronto. I’d been at this comedy thing for a long, too long time, and I was hungry for recognition and money. I have a sneaking suspicion that, as with most things, my desperation kept me from getting much of either.
I’ve learned a lot in a year. About Toronto, myself, my intimate relationships, my Instagram, and my creative life. I think I’ve started to realize what I want from all of those things, and I wouldn’t trade any of the lessons I’ve learned stumbling around in the dark.
Looking back though, my first year in Toronto should have been just that. I wasn’t ready for the projects I took on or the pressure I put on myself. I have, for years, seen each new venture as THE ANSWER/the moment everything will make sense and fall into place. And I don’t know that anything can give me that kind of straightforward comfort.
I’ve been doing a lot of quiet contemplation since my birthday on October 5th. I’m trying not to feel guilty about missing open mics, taking reruns of Seinfeld over social events, and treating myself. To a box of wine, a grocery run at the organic shop with the nice lighting, and most importantly- a good cry over nothing at all.
A wise friend of mine said something interesting over frozen bananas once. I was saying that I’ve been working so hard on finding myself, and feeling guilty about all this unorganized wandering, that I didn’t realize I could just identify as someone who hasn’t found their identity yet.
“Or maybe you’re just an explorer,” he said.
Which is a really nice spin on the number of half-assed schemes I’ve indulged in over the years.
I think I’m done seeing each new idea as the answer, and instead, I will hold them up to the light and say “What an interesting question. Let’s come up with some theories.”
Anyway. Here’s a little budget meal I named after my 20s- wherein I went to school for a short time for a few different things, got big tattoos, was vegan for a spell, and bought into two pyramid schemes.
A Little Bit of Everything (for about $8.)
I pre-heated the oven to 450. This little collection of foods doesn’t need to be cooked at 450, but my heat hasn’t come on yet and it’s just nice to press your crotch against something warm now and again.
I sauteed some onions in a lot of vegan butter on the stove, then let them simmer for a bit while I waited for my parsnips to get nice and soft in some boiling water. After about 10 minutes, I drained those suckers and tossed them in with my buttery onions. Added a pinch of seasoning from an instant noodle packet I hadn’t used, plus a little bit of garlic salt and Himalayan sea salt. What can I say? Some days I want my ankles as light and puffy as a hotel pillow.
I chopped up some baby bok choy and threw the whole mix in the oven while I prepped some frozen dumplings. At that point, I turned the oven way down to 250 and my crotch was NOT. HAPPY.
Typically for frozen dumplings, I toss them around in a really hot oily frying pan, then add a little water and soy sauce. When everything starts bubbling, cover up that pan and lower the heat.
Once the dumplings are lovely and plump, I got rid of the excess liquid by tossing it in with my oven mixture. Then I turned up the heat in the pan and moved the dumplings around in there til they got all crispy.
Now, I have the taste of a cheerleader who’s also a divorcée, which is exactly why I paired this with a glass of boxed rosé. If you’re ready to live your best life, I encourage you to do the same.
Until next time…