Lately I’ve been feeling inspired to try out different recipes. I like cooking my own food because it makes me feel in control of my own nutrition. It’s much easier to just order take out and be done with it, but I like the feeling of accomplishment. I like inviting people over and having them sample what I’ve made. I like when people enjoy my food. My love language is words of affirmation (compliment me loudly and often). Even though I’m super awkward about receiving accolades, I truly appreciate them and wish that I could accept them more gracefully.
This week, I hosted three times. Each time involved homemade food and great company. Last night, a friend came over for some girl time and I decided to whip up a meal. I made vegan scalloped potatoes, spinach stuffed mushrooms, and a brussels sprouts salad with homemade dressing. Chef’s kiss. It was mostly delicious. I said I like doing it, I didn’t say I was great at it. I will be eventually, though. Just gotta keep exercising that muscle. The cornbread muffins I made on Wednesday were next level. Can’t wait to make 300 of them for Christmas and eat them all myself.
Anyway, my friend came over last night and if you’ve ever had a solid girl’s night – you know there’s a possibility of crying. A good girl’s night equals a healthy catharsis. And that’s just what happened. She sobbed. She howled in emotional pain and I held her. I felt sad and simultaneously grateful that she allowed herself to be so vulnerable in front of me. It was the experience we both needed. A night of food, wine, weed, and crying. One piece of advice that kept making its way back into the conversation was “it’s okay to ask for help and lean on the people who love you.”
Why don’t we fall apart in front of each other more often? Are we afraid that people are going to judge us or think that we’re too much? Can’t say for sure and I won’t speak on behalf of the masses, but I know one thing. I didn’t see her as weak or “not together.” I saw her as human. I saw her as myself in a state of overwhelm. I recognized the emotional howl as my own. A bit of relief washed over me as it became apparent that I’m not the only one who feels the weight of the world sometimes. She felt so much better afterward. The whirlwind within calmed and some of the physical pain that she was feeling floated away, as if to say “thank you for letting me go.”
Emotional burdens don’t have to be carried alone. They can be shared with the people that nurture and support our need for human connection. It’s okay to ask for help and it’s okay to not be okay.