My life. The fears. The hunger. My dreams.
A few weeks ago, I had a lovely dinner with a colleague. We ordered a variety of appetizers and Prosecco! In Medford, there is this little Italian restaurant called Lantana Cafe. When you walk in, it reminds me of a tiny New York restaurant. They serve brick oven pizza and bread topped with olive oil and julienned squash, carrots, and zucchini. The bread alone is worth the visit. We ordered an appetizer called pumpkin ravioli-the name does not do it justice because it is the most decadent desert-like appetizer. It has layers of flavor: sweet cream with dried cranberries, a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg in the ivory cream sauce and a burst of pureed pumpkin with more nutmeg and cinnamon. I’m telling you that you will savor every bite and moan with deep-rooted pleasure! Every time I have the pumpkin ravioli, I deconstruct it in my head and to my table mate. I have made the list of ingredients out loud and in my head at least a dozen times.
It wasn’t until last week when I went grocery shopping by myself in search of an easier dinner that I chose to make my version of this pumpkin ravioli. I made it with store-bought butternut squash ravioli. For the sauce, I added about 3 tablespoons of mascrapone cheese (N has gotten me hooked on this cheese; it works well with savory or sweet sauces), skim milk (it’s all I had), 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (a must have as a New Englander), a teaspoon-ish of nutmeg and cinnamon. Because the ravioli didn’t have the cinnamon in the butternut squash puree, I definitely missed that extra burst of flavor. However, I thought the sauce was an almost exact match to Lantana’s! (Side note: This a great welcome to Fall type of dish.)
As I get ready to begin a completely new and different chapter in my life, I have been preparing my mind for it. I’ve been dreaming of writing a young adult novel since last summer and am going that place where I dream the greatest possibility: the ultimate publishing deal and success. Having this dream on my mind got me trying to understand where this kind of thinking comes from.
Hi, I’m Sonia and I have trouble seeing reality. When I dreamt of teaching in New York, I didn’t know that I was going to sacrifice a large portion of my wants and needs to the profession. When I dreamt of dancing, I didn’t know that I was good enough to remain on stage. When I dreamt of acting, I didn’t know that rejection was the fuel to drive you to your destination. Yes, the theme is clear: I do/did a lot of all or nothing thinking. Either I was going to become a broadway star or I was going to quit acting. Either I was going to become a professional dancer or I was going to quit dancing. I used to think that I was a jack of all trades and master of none. Even as I write this, I have trouble not believing these thoughts.
When I was young, I remember having many dreams and laying in bed enveloped in my fantasies. There were times in my life when I spent more time living/thinking in fantasies than in reality. It was my way of coping with my reality. I don’t know where I picked up this idea- that if I don’t get to my dream quickly enough or at all that the trade is not worth putting my energy into. Maybe it’s because all these dreams have to do with others seeing me or acknowledging my achievements as successes.
My self-esteem used to depend so much on others. I was fulfilled when I felt needed, when I was doing something for someone else. My choreographer saw me as mediocre so I thought that I wouldn’t ever flourish. I didn’t get into more than one play in college; Therefore, I wasn’t a good enough actor. My principal thinks I am not good enough as an instructor = I am a bad teacher. This is no way to live, I now am aware. Understanding my thinking means accepting myself as I am TODAY.
So then, what are the realities of me?
- I am impulsive which means I may jump onto a new idea before completely processing it.
- My fantasies allow me a higher level happiness; They allow me to be a romantic at heart.
- I am fearful of failing and of others’ opinion of me.
- I am a good writer not good enough, but good!
The impulsive dreamer in me is why I can come home and reconstruct that sweet cream sauce. I am grateful for the Sonia that is idealistic who looks at a quaint town and can enjoy it without allowing other prejudices about small towns to annoy her, who can eat a simple pumpkin ravioli and be inspired to create. While reality is important to be aware of, creating dreams about new ideas gives me a reason to start each day. Seeing the facts, dreaming of the possibilities, and believing in hope…this is how I want to live the next chapter of my life.