It’s one of those days. You know, those days in which you just feel…irritated. Your vision is shrouded with negativity, and everything and everyone just seem to exist for the sole purpose of annoying the heck out of you. I’m –what do they call it?—in a funk.
The thing about being in a funk is that it doesn’t just suddenly happen in a day. It’s like dirt—it builds a thin layer of dust over you, bit by bit until one day you find yourself covered and weighed down by a thick grime of negativity. From then on, you can’t just brush the funk away like dust. It’s not that easy anymore, because it’s not just an overnight thing, and that’s why it’s so hard to get out of a funk.
I’ve been stressed out by quite a few factors since I got back. First of all, it’s been rather hard to see my high school friends come back as fresh college graduates, excited about their new jobs, and…well, drifting off to their own separate worlds. Even my younger brother is busy with an internship, and I can’t help feeling that all I do is eat up my parents’ hard-earned money.
Second is a mixture of both excitement and anxiety. I’ve been assigned a weekly food column in the Daily Trojan, my school newspaper. At first I was elated because I didn’t think I would get the job, but now that I do have the job…Well, I’m freaking nervous, because I have just been asked to churn out my first column, and I haven’t even decided on a name for my column yet. That, and the usual self-doubting voice telling me that maybe my editor made a mistake choosing me.
Third is again academic-related. I have one month left till I have to go back to school, and I can’t help feeling nervous about the new semester. I’ve got a much fuller class load this year, and my home is a mile away from school, which also means I’m two miles away from the grocery stores. But I have no car, and I can’t walk or bike 4 miles with heavy grocery bags, and I have to juggle all of that while trying to maintain my GPA and squeezing in enough credits to gain a major and two minors…Okay, I’m hyperventilating.
Fourth may be laughable to you, but it’s a serious matter for me. I cannot seem to concentrate during Sunday service. I get incredibly tired and irritable, and have even dozed off a couple times. Instead of gaining strength from the message, I leave feeling enervated and guilty.
Fifth is…a personal matter which I cannot share because it would not be fair for the people involved. But it’s also the problem that is upsetting me the most, because I can’t even tell the people upsetting me that they are upsetting me in consideration of our fragile relationship. Oy.
Anyway. Sorry for spewing out these silly personal dramas on you. But thank you for listening (reading). I feel a lot better after letting it out…because even as I was listing all these factors, inside me, there was a wiser voice telling me, “They’re not it. They’re not the real problem here. It’s you.”
The voice is right. The “problems” I listed ain’t really problems. The real problem starts from me—my insecurities, my immaturity, and most of all, my lack of an active spiritual life. My mother asked me something the other day which tripped me up: “When was the last time you read your bible?” Umm…I can’t remember? Ahem. Wow.
No wonder I keep sinking into a mire of negativity. I’ve been neglecting my relationship with God, instead focusing on things with my own power and smarts. Without my daily feed from the Word of God, I have been running on my own energy, which is limited and conditional. Basically, my soul is “malnourished” and becoming cranky from the lack of “proper nourishment”.
Despite it all, I realize how blessed I am. I may be in a funk right now, but I’ve recognized it before it got any worse. I’ve pinpointed the source, and determined the solution. I think it’s time for some intense scrubbing, don’t you? And it starts now. After all, I don’t want to develop an “odor” and attract “unwanted flies”, if you know what I mean.
I remember when my dear friend Christina from Dinner at Christina’s was in a funk some months back. She told me that in Christo from Chez What? advised her to cook something she never thought she would ever cook in order to pull herself out of it. For Christina, it was cooking up an all-Southern dinner of country-fried Steaks, sausage gravy, butter beans, and buttermilk biscuits (check it out and drool your hearts out!).
Well, I don’t think it’s really the physical food I need right now, but hey, it can’t hurt, can it? Thus I decided to try a completely new cuisine: Afghan. Fortunately for me, I live in the coolest town ever, and there happened to be an Afghan restaurant called Panjshir II just a few minutes walk away from my house. When my good friend Jane asked me out for lunch, I immediately suggested that place.
However, I started doubting my decision as soon as I walked into the restaurant:
Do you see what’s wrong with it? Well, annoyingly dark lighting aside, it was empty. Not a single customer in sight. Hmm. I got even more suspicious when the manager came out to wait on us. Where is the server(s)? But the manager was nice enough, and I couldn’t help wanting to like this place because of him.
He gave us the menu, and didn’t show the least sign of annoyance when we both just got water for our drinks (trust me, every server gets annoyed when you don’t order a proper drink because that’s a huge part of restaurant sales):
I didn’t really need to consider much on what to order. I got the Kadu Chalow:
Sautéed pumpkin topped with seasoned yogurt and tomato sauce; served with spinach rice.
I suppose I need no explanations on why I ordered this dish. It kind of just screamed out to me, “I am FOR you! MUST get inside your tummy, right NOW!” And boy, did it feel good in my tummy!
The pumpkin was lovely—sweet, yet seasoned into a perfect blend of sweet and savory, topped with tangy rich yogurt. The spinach rice was great, too:
I love it when the grains are individually separated. Especially when they’re coated with green specks of spinach. I wish they had given me more of that red sauce on top, though. It went really well with the rice.
Jane ordered the Kabab-E-Gos Fund:
Chunks of lamb marinated in herbs and spices, served on skewer with saffron rice.
I love being able to order and enjoy a dish which I can’t even pronounce, don’t you? It adds a bit of exciting and mysterious quality to the experience, even though it is just lamb kabob. Jane generously handed me fat piece of lamb:
I loved the little sizzling sound it still made on the plate, and also the balanced seasoning of the meat. It was juicy and flavorful, but the texture was a bit too chewy for me.
On the side, we were also served some bread:
I took a few nibbles, but didn’t finish them because they were rather dry. They didn’t seem all that fresh, probably because of the low customer turnout. Which is unfortunate, because this place does have really good food. As for myself, I’ll definitely be back.
Okay, that was a rather pleasant experience! Not only did I get to try a completely foreign cuisine, I also got to catch up with my dear friend Jane, who has always consistently been a great friend to me. She’s actually a recent graduate from Pratt Institute, and is SO incredibly talented in designs. She’s actually the one who has always been encouraging me to study art, and a proponent of my decision to double-minor in Fine Arts. You’ll probably meet her sometime again in my blog…she’s one friend with whom I’ll always keep in touch.
Now that I’m physically full, I think it’s time to fill up my spiritual tank as well. I’m off to de-funk myself. See you soon, unfunked!
Question of the Day: Ever been in a bad funk? How do you snap out of it?
And more importantly: HELP ME!! Can you help me think of a brilliant name for my food column? Here are some random ideas I might consider:
That’s What She Ate.
Grab the Grub.
Chop Some Sticks.
Chop the Suey.
Glut & Gluttony.