December 8, 2014

Roasted Miso Sweet Potatoes | Journey to the Center of my Worries"

Over the summer, I wrote a series of posts, titled "Journey to the Heart of Germany". And four months later, that trend, "Journey to the..." continues. I was inspired by the book "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (never read it, but I've heard of it), and I think the whole concept of something, whether it be a theme, idea, realization, being at the very core, the very center, of something else, is pretty amazing. Now you may be saying "wow. this girl just figured that there's a point to everything". Well... yeah. No. I've known that there's a point to everything, but the part that makes me step back and appreciate everything is the fact that whatever is at the "center" of something is completely subjective. What I think is the point of something may be different from what you think is the point of something. 

So now that we've got the discussion out of the way, let's get into today's "Journey to the Center of..." post. My worries.
Only three more days until I find out about my ED college notification. On top of that worry, comes the worries about all of the tests and midterms, meetings, rehearsals, concerts, events, projects...all in two weeks. Two weeks. Wonderful. And to top that off, a little first-world problem: my earbud jack got stick in my iPod two weeks ago. It's been two weeks since I could use my iPod to listen to music and watch videos. Two weeks. And I seriously miss listening to music. Especially when my frustration peaks in the middle of the day at school. I have nothing to let me escape the real world. I have to wait it out until I get home.

Today, I felt like I was mute. I couldn't express myself. I was tired (more sleepless nights, constantly telling myself to not think about colleges). But one thing my friend told me this morning has stuck with me. I told her that there's only 3 more days until I "discover my fate", and you know what she said? With a smile on her face, she said, "Well the good thing is that there's no reason to worry because worrying isn't going to make a difference in terms of your admission, so don't worry!"

I wish it was as simple as that. But nevertheless, her advice really stuck with me and made a profound impact. I kept thinking about what she said, and I kept telling myself, "there's no reason to worry. Worrying isn't going to help. Stop worrying.", but I kept worrying. 

I kept thinking. Why am I still worrying? What is at the center of all of my worries? What is the source of my worries if I already know that college admissions aren't dependent on how much I think about them? 

I've realized a few things after all that thinking (well, okay, a couple of hours):
  1. The center of my worries = validation and value
  2. The source of my worries = my feeling of helplessness

Let's talk about #1. 

I want my work to be validated. To mean something. All of those teachers that I've had to deal with, all of those classes that I was forced to take, all of that need to mean something. Something important. Like a reward for my work. Which, I know, sounds silly. Immature, even. But I need that reward. I can't express how many people I see get away with success despite their lack of hard work. It's not fair. And don't tell me "that's life", because I don't care. It's not fair. (see? when I get frustrated, I start to rhyme.) I'm sick of being the underdog, the goody two shoes who does all of the work and hates to procrastinate. Because you know what? I don't feel like it's helping me all that much, but I still do that/am that person, because that's who I am. Those around me who aren't still manage to succeed, even wayyyy above me. So yeah. I'm jealous of them, and I want to feel valued by achieving something important. To be proud of myself. 

Now for #2, today's breakthrough: High school for me has been a lot of things, from "self discovery" (sounds cheese-y, but it's true), development of values....and most importantly, preparation for the next four years: college (which in turn is another four years of preparation. but i can do things my way there, so that's different). 

All throughout high school, the last year in particular, have been filled with nonstop work. The work piles up like crazy, and you're constantly working working working working working. That's all that's on your mind: work. And now, during this "waiting game" , all the work doesn't really directly impact your goal (college) anymore. So I've been feeling helpless. Of course I'm still going to do my work and try my best, but it's frustrating because all of the work lately, which has been quite the motherload, isn't going to help me get into my dream school. Ughhhh. I don't think I'll ever have "senioritis". It just doesn't sit well with me. Which isn't fair because I want it to, but it goes against every fiber in my being.

I'm dramatic. Thanks, I know.


But on the flip side, cooking always helps me relax, de-stress, forget. The problem is that I then eat a whole lot and have no time to exercise on the weekdays ;) But it helps when I'm cooking healthier things:


Recipe: Roasted Miso Sweet Potatoes
By: Hannah Claudia

1 large sweet potato, chopped into 1 inch cubes
juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoons of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of miso paste (please use non-GMO)
2 inch piece of ginger ( I like a lot of ginger, scale down to 1" if you're a bit more hesitant), peeled and grated


1. Preheat oven to 400*F
2. Mix all of the ingredients (except for the potatoes) in a large bowl.
3. Toss potatoes in the mixture and spread out on a baking sheet.
4. Bake for about 15-20 minutes (until fork tender and crispy on the outside). Stir the mixture halfway through.

thanks for listening ;)

xoxo, hannah

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