On December 31, 2013 I decided to spend New Year’s Eve by myself. Most of my friends were at work, my roommate had just left for New York and even though I had invites to parties I decided to stay in. I chose that night to truly think about what I wanted for myself in all aspects of my life. I’d never sat down to think about this. For years my goals were always: more money, a great title at work, become a size 6, meet a guy who was hot and rich, maybe travel the world and then I’d be happy.
When I thought about my past desires I realized why I was never satisfied so I cleaned out my list and kept the one thing I truly wanted: Be happy! But how was I going to accomplish this? The only way was by choosing to always be honest with myself. When I choose this, my entire list changed:
- I don’t want to “maybe” travel the world, I want to visit every single country out there (Geek alert: I have an excel file with tabs divided into continents, that are divided into areas, then countries with their capitals so I can keep track of where I’ve been).
- I love food more than I love clothes that only look good on people size 6 or smaller
- I don’t care about the work as long as I get paid enough so I can travel. Don’t get me wrong I am a hard worker and will always give 100% to any task but my main goal is not to become Vice President/Owner of anything I just want to travel more. (Looking for some part time/temporary/translation work right now if anyone knows anything)
- I want to live life
- I want to share my life with someone who loves food and wants to travel the world (hot & rich are optional)
When I figured out that this 5 things were what I truly wanted, I decided that things had to be different for me when I moved back to Santo Domingo. I had to detach myself from the internet and the comfortable sofa and the smartphone and do more. It’s been hard to do this, since I do enjoy losing myself in the web and sharing my life with everyone (hence the blog!!)And taking pictures of everything, and watching documentaries and planning future trips, etc.
Trying to make lifestyle changes is hard. In the month since moving back I’m trying to walk places more often, I’m taking Salsa lessons ( Coro en el Jet esta noche!! ) to limiting my computer use to regular work hours, volunteering at an Organic food market and trying to say yes to every invitation I get. Thanks to this new approach I’m noticing things about my city I took for granted before and I’m learning what things take away or add to my joy. This past weekend, for example, was action packed and it helped me learn some new things: I love taking pictures! I will always remember to take a picture with a friend or of something that moves me and that I only take pictures of food if I’m alone or bored while eating said food and lastly that not paying attention to my smartphone when my friends are over makes for a better night.
A couple of friends have mentioned that I should blog about the food I make (with recipes) or the food I eat since I spend so much time doing one or the other. Last week a high school friend who lives in Tampa said he would be in town so I decided to plan a get together. After all plans were set I decided to follow my friends’ advice and blog about the planning process and the menu. Before the actual event I already had about five hundred words written which I would complete with the pictures I was supposed to take of everything I made.
Fast forward to Friday afternoon, and I totally forgot to take pictures of all the preparation process. Then people started arriving and eating and drinking and talking over each other and again I forgot to take pictures of the food table I set up. So I have no proof that I made anything at all!
I decided to try again the next day when we went out for lunch to a restaurant called Sheng Yuan in Chinatown. Through the meal I took notes about the service, the ambiance and the food but again I forgot to take pictures. I was disappointed, the idea to write recipes and restaurant reviews to help monetize my blog seems great in theory. I have a culinary background + I love to eat + I enjoy writing + I need money to travel the world, so why not combine all this to make some money?
Maybe I just need more discipline, or I’m just not focused but this weekend helped me realize that if I’m really busy in the kitchen or if I’m enjoying the company I’m keeping at lunch I will forget to take pictures. I don’t seem to forget critiquing the food, just taking pictures of them. This became an “aha’ moment: I don’t want to take any pictures of food, or at least not commit myself to taking them all the time. I could write restaurant reviews and party planning posts but in this day and age would anyone be interested in the old school style of just reading about it? I don’t think so. Maybe I’m wrong and if so please tell me about it so I can tell why you shouldn’t visit Sheng Yuan in Chinatown but try Delicias Campestres instead.