Closing the year

Standard

Before I go right ahead to making New Year’s resolutions, I want to take some time to review my 2015 and be grateful for the wonderful year I leave behind, because it’s been phenomenal and I’ve grown so much since last year.

I travelled. I’ve been both in Belgium and Holland for the first time in my life. I’ve seen so many things, I’ve taken pictures and I’ve made memories. Above all, I got to see them all with my soulmate, my best friend in the world and that tops it all.

I finished high school. I aced my final exams and got into the college I wanted. It was hard work, no doubt, but it was worth it. I had a prom to die for, I was dressed in a dress made of dreams and got one night as a princess. I even rode a limo to prom! With friends I’ve known since I was 4 years old! These last weeks of high school were probably the most precious weeks of my life so far. I’ve learned friendship and goodbyes and happiness. We laughed through our years of school and we laughed now, even if deep inside we were already missing these moments.

I got a summer job. And not just summer job. I got the one I’ve been dreaming of since I was 15, working for three weeks in southern France. It’s been the most enjoyable experience I could ever wish for. I met some of the most amazing people, whom I could never forget, I’ve spend nights on the beach admiring a star crossed sky and listening to waves mixed with laughs. I finally understood that I can be a teacher and more than this, I understood that I would be a good one. I have some unbelievable memories, the kinds I always thought would only ever appear in movies. And! I finally got to practice my French!

I’ve been on a trip with my best friends in Greece. We’ve seen sunsets and sunrises, we’ve danced until our feet were sore and we’ve laughed until our stomachs hurt. We’ve had a taste of the sweet, sweet life and indeed, you can never have too much of a good thing.

I lost and got a dog. I lost my first dog and it broke me. My little Margo died along with all my dreams of taking her on road trips, of introducing her, some day, to my kids, of loving her for more than a decade. It’s been tough and  dark period, but the universe has a tendency to pay back sorrow. Although Margo will never be replaced ( and she’s found her place in my heart and on my hand, in the form of my first tattoo ), neither will Foxy, a little pup that was send to me completely by accident, my little angel that managed to glue my heart back together.

Now, at the end of the year, I’ve been a little down, so this is me getting back on track, choosing happiness over misery. I knew that reviewing my year would definitely help, because we always tend to forget how lucky we are. We tend to let sadness and anger creep into our lives and it’s such a shame. Yes, I’ve lost a few things along the way and for a while, I let them drag be back. My dog, a friendship that turned into an acquaintance, a hope for something more. But, balancing things, it definitely turns out that I’m one lucky girl. So this is me being cheerful again. Being optimistic again. Being kind again. This is me being me again.

Cooking tuesdays : Wookie Cookies

Standard
Cooking tuesdays : Wookie Cookies

My dearly beloved reader, the Cooking Tuesdays are back! That’s right, the wonderful ‘tradition’ of posting a recipe every Tuesday has finally returned! And, as you can see, I’m coming back strong, with apologies and a wonderful, amazing, delicious and geeky recipe for the Star Wars fans in your life (because everyone of us knows at least one Yoda/Darth Vader/ Han Solo obsessed person out there. Or Jabba-obsessed for that matter; no judging ). So, to celebrate the upcoming movie I present you the easy and delicious Wookie cookies! I was thinking about some amazing, stylish Vader brownies or Yoda cupcakes, to be honest, but found them waay to complicated for some of us (aham, me), and because I had no time to buy cookie shapes and you are probably just as busy, we’re going to do a very easy recipe, but tasty and good-looking, nonetheless. ( + they are actually healthy! )

What you need:

  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs at room temperature, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

What to do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients ; flour, sugars, cinnamon salt, baking soda, and oats.
  3. Add the butter, beaten egg, and vanilla. Stir until the dough is combined.
  4. Chill the dough. You can either chill the entire bowl in the fridge for atleast an hour or if you are short on time…Drop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoon on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Place the baking sheets in the freezer until firm, about 10 – 15 minutes.
  5. Once chilled, place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven, and bake for about 12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown all over
  6. The cookies will still be soft to the touch. Judge their readiness by color, not firmness. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet until firm (about 10 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Once completely cool decorate the cookies with chocolate frosting and white chocolate pieces to look like Wookies.
  8. Enjoy!

 

Recipe taken from here

 

 

Slipping

Standard

I’ve been off, lately. You wouldn’t say, if you didn’t know me. No one really noticed much.

At school, I’m as good as ever, even more sociable than before. I have good grades, I have friends, I have teachers who like me. I do my work, I answer, I read. But I don’t feel it there anymore.

Out, I am fun to hang around it. I hear it often, because my girlfriends call me every weekend. I’m the one they like to get drunk with. I am the one they want to go out to dance with, because when I go out, I’m almost the old me again. I shout a little too loud, I’m excited a bit too much, I take way too many pictures and I laugh with all my heart. I sing along to the music, but this time around, I look at my best friend with a smile playing on my mouth and pain in my eyes. She knows. She understands. This time, the lyrics break my heart, little by little, while I try to keep dancing to the beat. It’s all fun, because it goes away for a few hours, that annoying feeling in my chest. I’m excited again, about nothing in particular, but I am. And yet… I don’t feel it there anymore.

At home, my mom got the hang of it. I am writing again and being silent again. I write and read and write and read and do homework due for the next semester till late hours in the night. I draw mindlessly, constantly listening to a band she knows too well. I smile and I sit next to her when she watches her series and I hope she doesn’t notice. But tonight she told me I should live in the present and I understood she understood. It’s the words I can’t pay attention to anymore, it’s the lingering, the staring, the waiting, the nervousness, the always talking about the same subject, the nonchalance I play so badly. It’s the constant going out, the nervous eating, the always finding something to do. The constant talking about the future or about the past, as if I’m living there.

And yet, I still count days and hope for a brighter moment in the here and now.

 

Who am I, after all ?

Standard

A question I’ve had to answer for my psychology class and one that I probably shouldn’t answer myself. I don’t know who I am, not really, not yet. 

I am maybe a sum. The sum of all things I love and hate, the sum of the songs I find myself into, of the books I’ve worshipped and the paintings that moved me to tears. A sum of all the people I’ve ever met and whose traits I’ve tried to borrow, or, quite on the contrary, I’ve been mocking merciless. A sum of all the friends I’ve chosen and who stayed, but also the sum of my parents. Yes, I am mostly the sum of my parents: shy, but always determined in my actions, as dreamy as persevering, rational yet always wishful. I am a sum of the decisions I keep on taking, ever since I’ve had the power to choose and up until this day, of the opportunities I’ve had and of my luck, a sum of my destiny’s favours. A sum of the wishes that drive me, of my dreams and of my ambition, which I need to keep on growing. None of all these defines me more or less than the other. I am one ordinary human, but unique in my own way. Unique, just like everyone else.

Maybe I am a huge contradiction. A contradiction between the stars, to which I will always aspire and the earth that I am bound to. Between the optimism that characterises me and the pessimism that takes me by surprise sometimes, between the wish to fast-forward my life and catch up on all the good that I hope to find in the future and the lingering nostalgia of past memories. An infinite contradiction  between right and left, that doesn’t define only me, but rather all of us: between my mind, my thoughts, that scream at me to make sense of what I feel and my spirit, who whispers softly to stop analysing life; and who usually whispers louder than any scream.

The only thing that I am sure of is that I am always-changing: a mirror’s reflection for the strangers, who pass me by on the sidewalk; a quiet girl for those, who watch me from afar, with no intention to befriend me; a loving mother to my little puppy; the most special, beautiful and intelligent daughter they could’ve wished for to my parents; a quirky girl yet always ready to sacrifice herself for her friends. Who am I to me? I am all this girls, all these adjectives, all these words put together and bound with the thoughts that flow each second through my mind, never stopping.

I am someone. But I still need a little more time to define who this someone really is. I just need a lifetime. 

Letter to a friend’s friend

Standard

Dear friend of a friend,

you probably don’t recall this, but I do. We’ve had a little chat a while ago. While you probably went home right afterwards with your earplugs in your ears and your mind far away, I didn’t forget the things you’ve said. I didn’t  because in a matter of minutes you messed up all my principles and you took everything I believe in and mocked it with a dumb smile on your face. So I had to rethink my attitude a bit, worried that I might have been wrong all my life. Thinking that I was a fool. You looked at me, no doubt, as one looks at a naive child, who still has to learn about this cruel, cruel world he is about to step in.

You took all my friends and generalised. I hate generalisations. How dare you say everyone is bad at their chore? Oh, that’s not what you meant? You called me inferior, even if you talked it smoothly, with your foreign expressions, but, no worries, the mocking glance looks the same on everyone’s face, no matter how ‘well-bred’ they are. I don’t know what you read when you were little, I don’t know what you believe in, I don’t know what keeps you moving through your life and I don’t know about the things you dream at night. But now, you’ve made me curious, because whatever it is, I never want to have any of that. I will refuse to believe, no matter how old I will get and regardless of the tears that will try to drown me, I will refuse to believe even for one second that this world is, in its chore bad. I can’t believe. I refuse to look cynical at everyone I encounter, only because they might look at me the same way. I will defend to death the beauty of my world, because I fell in love with it before I even got here. Don’t you tell me people are perverse, because I will throw in your face a thousand struggling kids, good kids, who still get flowers for their mothers and a thousand artists, who still get inspired, every day, by the beauty of it all. I will point out for you thousands of people who stay together, every day, only because they got addicted to each other’s smiles. Don’t you tell me you’re nothing without a plan at twenty. Twenty is the age of no plans, didn’t they tell you that? Twenty is the age for love and laughs and learning, yes, but they don’t work separately, my friend’s friend. Don’t you tell me my friends will laugh at me behind my back, because you know nothing about them. What do you know about our sleepless nights and long hours discussing the stars? I bet there’s no place in your timetable for magic and what a shame that is. You have so much time to be cynical. You have so much time to be bitter, don’t waste your twenties. Don’t spend your precious time judging everyone around you, because you’ll waste it. And then, no wonder you haven’t got a second in your day to admire a flower or read a beautiful quote or merely think about how something made you feel.

You live so fast. You tried to convince me I am a majority, when I already know I’m not. You tried to convince me that the nights I spend dancing and laughing are going to damage me, but you had lost me before finishing that foolish idea, because I was already remembering that beautiful night that turned too quickly to daylight. You even tried to take my books and convince me that knowing statistics is far more useful, but by then I was already thinking that a story waits me at home, that my characters are waiting for me to define their journey.

So, my friend’s friend, the next time we meet, let’s just agree to disagree. If you want to keep your black and white perspective, by all means do, but don’t share your glasses with me, because I don’t need them. I don’t need your negativity, because my mother put flowers in my hair when I was a little girl and I’ve felt like a princess over a beautifully coloured world ever since. Call me an optimist with that dumb smile of yours and you’ll make me the biggest compliment. I won’t waste any of my time being cynical. You do that and let me be the irrational one. Let me feel too deep, let me experience more happiness and more pain than you’ll ever know. I take that, I take it with all my heart.

 

 

P.S. Next time, you should spend more time looking at the beautiful girls that were passing by, rather than argue with me. Or is that only the habit of ‘disgusting perverts’? I wouldn’t know, I’ve never denied myself the presence of beauty.

When life’s a pretty funny irony

Standard
When life’s a pretty funny irony

Okay, one thing’s for sure.

We’ve been arguing since.. forever about His form, His authenticity, His existence. We all have our own beliefs and mine are very strong. I know deep inside, and I’ve always believed that there is something out there, because I’ve reached out and have been helped. Every time. I’ve asked for signs and I’ve received them, only because I’ve been searching for meanings in everything that happens to me. Maybe it’s my hope that I believe in, it doesn’t matter. It keeps me moving, it keeps me dreaming, it keeps me sane and working. Mostly it just makes me happy. It makes me be kinder to those around me and more appreciative of their general existence ( even if sometimes I can’t help being annoyed with the world). It’s my own way of doing things and I have the right to have that.

But, we have to give Him one thing, whatever He, She, It is; be it a force, a deity, some kind of angel, It has a sense of humour. I don’t care if you believe only in the mere existence of the universe; then the universe has a sense of humour. I mean, how could It not? Even if sometimes it’s kind of a twisted one… . Have you ever begged in all seriousness only to be rewarded with a laugh-out-loud experience? You surely have, even if you didn’t notice. Try that: put your iPod on shuffle and the first song that comes on describes your next summer. Funnily crazy, right? It almost fits?  WHO does that, really? Have you ever noticed the paradoxes that surround us, the dreams that we achieve, only to realise they were never meant to make us happy, the perfect synchronising of a song when you think about someone, the meeting with that person you would have done everything to avoid? If that’s not a stunning sense of humour, I don’t know what it is. Frankly, I’d do it to if I could have, you know, absolute and unlimited power over every living thing. I’d mess them up, too.

 

 

19

Standard

When I turned 18 it felt like a conquest.

I could finally get a driver licence – which I haven’t got until now. I could finally drink legally – which I had already done, but never legally. I could enter that cool club without a fake I.D. – which I never got asked for, curiously, after I turned 18. I could leave the country without having to ask for permission, a could rebel, I could even end up in jail – none of which I did, because I am by definition a nice person. But now I could. And that’s more important than anything, right? The only was in which I took advantage of my new status as an ‘adult’ ( but honestly, that really is just a term, because how the hell am I an adult when I still have phosphorescent constellations on my walls and a huge poster with Johnny Depp on my door, that will never come down ) was to get a tattoo done. Of course, I could have asked for my parents’ signatures, but now I didn’t have to. So, in a way, I took as much as I could from all those newly discovered perks. Oh, and I got a summer job – only for those over 18, okay? AND a really cool credit card, that got me to spend like a maniac. ( quick notice here: credit cards – really dangerous. Seems like you have tons of money and then you have to pay 3 euros for a snack at Paul and the waiter tells you you’re card is empty… )

When I’ll turn 20, it’ll be a change.

And it’s there, you know, it’s visible. You change the prefix. You are officially cool. You are the new generation. Or, at least that’s how I imagine it. Twenty is nice. It’s a milestone, it has a nice ring to it. You’re definitely not a child anymore, at 20, but you can still get your mom to help you out, because you’re a newbie to the real world.

But today I turned 19.

It’s such a weird age, if you ask me. I feel like I haven’t even got an age at all. Actually, I feel like those depressed middle-aged women, because now I am the oldest teenager – not cool enough to wander with teenagers ( not that I would ever want to relieve that experience ever again ) and not old enough to be taken seriously by adults. I don’t even know what to do with my age. I can enjoy all the perks of 18, but they got a little dust on them now, because time already passed and I have been able to be all grown up for a year now. Plus, there are no songs for this age ( feel free to contradict me and suggest a really cool playlist, but the point is, there are no super-known songs for this age) because, probably, even the always imagining lyricists have nothing to say about it. By all means, let’s just all wait for that change of prefix, or be nostalgic about the freshness of adulthood.

However you see it, 19 is nothing but a longer while to reach your feared and hopeful twenties.

url.jpg