As I mentioned on my last post, I’ll be writing three Self-Reflection posts in preparation for the New Year. So please excuse me if I babble on and on about me, me me for a whole week. ;-p But I really do encourage everyone to do some self-reflections with me. Get a cup of coffee to clear your mind, sit up straight, deep breath-in, deep breath-out, and…
Okay, here goes Part I of my Self-Reflection for the New Year: Thanksgiving. How have I changed? What am I thankful for this year?
Looking back to the person I was in the beginning of 2009…there are definitely some obvious changes in me: I no longer look like Gollum from Lord of the Rings. My complexion is better, my skin isn’t scaling, my eyes don’t boggle out, my cheekbones aren’t jutting out, and I don’t wake up in the middle of the night because I’m crushed by my own bones. But those physical changes are just a manifestation of the more subtle, inner changes within myself.
Changes in Me:
- Confidence: A year ago, I was ashamed of my eating disorder. But now…well, look at me. I’m blogging about it! I’ve come to realize that there is no shame in imperfections…in fact, openly sharing my imperfections was actually a necessary step in healing myself. It was beneficial not just to me, but to others who can relate to the same struggles I face. I still feel a bit awkward talking about my eating disorder, but I’ve learned to stop feeling so embarrassed about it. In fact, with a fresh perspective, my blemishes can actually be an asset.
- Emotions: Good or bad, I’ve rediscovered emotions. I’ve rediscovered laughter and excitement, but I’ve also rediscovered anger and frustrations. It’s tough having to relearn dealing with this influx of emotions, but I can honestly say…I’m so glad to be human again!
- Passion: Now that I have hope, confidence, and emotions, I’ve also reignited the passion within me. For one, I’ve always been a very passionate person, and it feels great to be back in college, to absorb all the different passions and interests of students around me. But the biggest instigator of my passion for many things is this blog. Through this blog, I’ve rediscovered my passion for writing, for meeting new people, for food, for God. I don’t know how long I’ll be blogging, but until now, this blog has been a tremendous lifesaver, because it’s brought back the zest and fun in life for me.
As for thanksgiving:
I praise the Lord for all the healing He’s performed in regard to my recovery. I praise the Lord for the wonderful people I’ve met, including all the bloggers I’ve met ever since the first blogger meet-up I had in July. I praise the Lord for my admittance into college, although I had my doubts. I praise the Lord for my first foodie festival ever, my New York trip, my San Francisco trip, and the experience to cook with a real chef. I praise the Lord for all the joys and good things that have happened to me.
But I also praise the Lord for the sorrows, the anguish, and the pain, because they are interwoven into the fabric of my life to create a complex, yet beautiful and intricate picture. Without them, I wouldn’t have even been able to make those changes I listed above! Problems inspire change and transformation…without them, I would forever be an immature, bratty, spoiled kid.
Not to say I’m perfect now. I still have many things I need to work on about myself. I’ve only just escaped death; I’ve only just started living. Which is why I cannot wait for yet another “semester” in Life University…I’ve got great expectations for 2010, but that’s for next post. I’ve yabbered enough.
Okay, enough talk. I’ve actually got quite a number of pictures to share too. This is gonna be one heck of a post! But it’s the holidays, and my damn shiny blog, so I’ll blog the hell out of my blog!
As I mentioned on my last post, it was Clara’s 20th birthday yesterday. We don’t really celebrate birthdays in my family, but we decided to take her to eat her favorite food: Korean-Chinese cuisine! We went to Jang Won Korean-Chinese Restaurant in Annandale:
This place seems pretty popular. We arrived kind of late, but it was still pretty packed:
The interior was warm and decorated in a mix of traditional and modern Chinese-style:
There were private rooms, and since we were a large crowd, we got a private room! Yay!
And then the feast started! We were first served the ubiquitous Korean side dishes, or called ban chan in Korean:
Radish kimchi, pickled radish and onions, soy sauce with pepper, and fermented black soybean paste.
And then, deep-fried dumplings:
Crispy skin, with pork, vermicelli, and vegetable filling
It was okay. I’m not a big fan of dumplings that are deep-fried. I miss the chewy texture of the skin!
Next, deep-fried and seasoned spicy chicken:
A Koreanized version of General Tsao chicken.
With real red-hot bird chili!
As if that wasn’t enough fried foods, we also ordered deep-fried crispy pork with sweet and sour sauce:
Koreanized version of sweet and sour pork. With real pineapples! Probably the only thing that is remotely nutritious, hee hee.
I don’t care for the sickeningly sweet sauce, but I do enjoy those crispy bites of pork. It’s really mostly batter and very little pork, but we all know the best part of deep-fried food is the outside batter!
The next dish was Spicy Seafood noodles, or called jjam bbong. We ordered two of these!
Full of mussels, scallops, shrimp, squid, cuttlefish, onions, zucchini, and carrots. The spicy broth clears the sinuses right up!
Finally, we ordered a double-portion size of my favorite dish:
Jja Jang myeon, or black soybean noodles.
It’s not a dish for the unadventurous, that’s for sure. But I highly insist that you at least give it a try before you die! And you must have it with the pickled radish…jja jang myeon is made to go with it!
The best part about these noodles were the noodles, as it rightly should be! They were hand-pulled noodles, and so springy and chewy…love, love, love!
After stuffing our bellies, we were in need of some serious digestive activity, so we went to go for a walk around Lake Accotink Park. Despite the bare trees in the winter, it was beautiful.
My poor cousin grumbled the whole way because walking 3.7 miles was not her idea of birthday fun! But she cheered right up when I asked her to model for me:
Look, a cross!
After the hike, we decided we needed some dessert. We stopped by Shilla Bakery for some snacks:
Tofu chips! Yes, made with real tofu! I have no idea how, but this is probably the only way I’ll eat tofu.
And crunchy, buttery almond cookies:
And two kinds of shaved ice:
Red bean shaved ice
Ah, life is sweet!
I implore you: make it a new year’s resolution to eat something fantastically deep-fried, and preferably something you never imagined you’d ever try…like jja jang myeon !!
Question of the day: How do you think you’ve changed this year? What are you thankful for this year?