Blogmas Day 6: Bonding Galore!

Greetings, dear friends, and welcome to Blogmas Day 6! I hope all of you are getting pumped and prepped for the coming holiday festivities- I know I am!

Today, like yesterday, was a great day. I woke up around 10 a.m. but fell asleep again until 11:00 a.m… silly me! As I didn’t feel the motivation to leave the warmth of my bed, I grabbed my Elenor Roosevelt autobiography and read it in bed until nearly noon.

At noon, my mom suddenly called my name in a frenzy, as we were in a hurry to eat lunch at this interesting hot pot place called “Fashion Wok”. While my mom told me she had informed me of our lunch plans the day before, I honestly had no recollection of such prearrangements, and thus was very confused! My brothers, who had both gotten up before I did, were all ready to leave the house, while my dad and I were still getting ready. So Mom, Austin and Chris left for the restaurant first in a separate car.

My dad and I finally arrived at the restaurant at 12:30 p.m. This restaurant is really interesting, because unlike traditional hot pot, where you have one giant pot filled with boiling soup base that everyone shares and cooks their raw meat/veggies in, this restaurant serves each person their own little pots, each with a different combination of meat/veggies/noodles. I ordered #10, the “Korean Army Pot”, which contained ramen noodles, sausage, baloney, bok choy, tofu, and this random slice of cheddar cheese! Each order also came with a bowl of rice.

I hardly had time to finish my meal because I had a therapy appointment at 1:00 p.m. with the new therapist!  So I tried my best to gobble down the really really hot food, and was bummed when I had to leave at 12:45 p.m., without indulging in my meal to its entirety. My mom said she would doggie bag my food, which she ended up NOT doing (since I guess it’s difficult to take home the hot soup base).

My dad dropped me off at Kaiser at 1:00 p.m. sharp. I walked up to the 4th floor to fill out a bunch of paperwork, since this was my first time in adult psych. As usual, I felt a bit jittery before the therapy session, but more so because this was my first session with the new lady, whose name I still don’t know how to pronounce!

As I was sitting in the waiting area, this female therapist walked out of the door leading to a wing of offices, and I presumed she was my new therapist. She approached me, and I was about to introduce myself, when she cut me off and told me, “Hold on one sec,” and walked back through the swinging door she’d just come from. I was a bit confused, as this didn’t seem too professional. I waited for about ten more minutes, continuing to complete the paperwork, when she reappeared and led me through the doors, to her office.

The session lasted around 45 minutes. As usual, I told her what was going on with me, as well as my family background and some other relevant info. I’d say my former therapist was a lot warmer and easier to talk to, but that may be because I’ve been with her for over two years, and I’ve developed a deeper connection with her. The vibe I got when talking to this new therapist was that I was talking to an equal, as opposed to a professional whom I’d be able to trust with my deepest thoughts… I don’t know why I felt this way. Maybe it was her nonchalant, borderline “fake” tone of voice, as opposed to the sincerely empathetic and understanding one of my former therapist. And when I asked her how I could get out of the depressive cycle I’ve been in for the past couple of weeks, her reply was simply, “Do stuff.” Of course, she elaborated on what she meant by “do stuff”, but just the delivery of her advice seemed devoid of sympathy or understanding of the crippling nature of depression. Sure, it’s easy to say “do stuff”, but when a depressed person can’t even find the strength to get out of bed in the morning, the very task of “doing stuff” is probably the hardest thing in the world. That said, I think her advice is legitimate. My depressive cycle is like a positive feedback loop (credits go to my LS 30A class for teaching me this concept). My depression is often triggered when I find my life devoid of structure or a goal to fight towards. After ten weeks of hardcore studying and getting the hang of college life, I came home for winter break, unsure of what to do with all the free time I suddenly had. That was the primary trigger for the depression. The more depressed I felt, the less motivated I was to do anything, which in turn exacerbated the pre-existing depressive feelings. It was this endless cycle that has been very hard to break. I know that once I go back to college and start the daily grind once more, my depression will likely fade. However, I don’t want to wait that long to feel better. I hate letting my circumstances dictate how I feel. I wish I could develop an inner core so steady and unshakeable that no matter what situation I find myself in, be it winter break or during the school year, I will be able to control my emotions, remain level-headed, and live productively and happily. I’m determined that, starting tomorrow, I will get back on my feet and force myself out of bed, even if I don’t feel motivated. If I feel that my life lacks structure, I will create my own structure! The new therapist told me to make a very structured schedule for each day that I will abide by. The key is to force myself to stick to the schedule, even if I don’t feel like it. Only then will I be able to get out of the unhealthy cycle I’ve been entrapped in since the start of winter break.

Once the therapy session ended, my mom picked me up and drove me home. By the time we arrived home, our high school friend, Noa, was already waiting in his car to take me and Chris to his house for a baking party! We planned on baking blueberry scones, but I decided to bring along the molasses cookie mix I’d bought from Nob Hill, just in case we had time after the scones were finished.

Upon arriving at Noa’s place, introductions were made and formalities exchanged. Noa’s mom and dad were home, as well as his sister and her friend. Their family dog, Piccolo, was super friendly to me and kept giving me kisses! He wasn’t as friendly to Chris, however… lol. But Chris has had a history of making dogs angry, so I wasn’t terribly surprised. After washing our hands and reading the instructions, we proceeded to make the scones from scratch. The procedure wasn’t terribly difficult to follow, and I’d say the three of us made a pretty A-OK team! Since Chris’s livelihood depended on his hands (he’s a pianist), I made sure he was super careful when using the grater. After the dough was made and placed on the pan in little “wannabe-right-triangle” shapes, it was time to bake ’em! The whole process took no longer than half-an-hour, I’d wager. Thus, we had plenty of time to make the molasses cookies from the cookie mix I had brought! While Chris showed off his piano skills on Noa’s electric keyboard (he has a habit of playing piano at whosever house he goes to), I tried my best to follow the seemingly simply instructions to make the cookies. The recipe said to put 1 stick of butter, 1 tablespoon of water, and 1 egg into the cookie mix. But did these measurements correspond to the entire bag cookie mix? I wasn’t sure. So I measured out 12 teaspoons of mix, which yields approximately 18 cookies. Once everything was mixed together, the resulting dough was far too liquidy for cookie dough. However, I didn’t think much of it, and Noa suggested we put the dough in the refrigerator for it to firm up a bit. Meanwhile, the scones had finished baking, and, after letting it sufficiently cool, the three of us had a little tea party with freshly-brewed tea and our homemade blueberry scones! The scones themselves were not too sweet, but once we lathered lemon curd on our pastries, they were perfect. Soon after, the molasses cookies were ready. Boy, were we unprepared for what we saw!!!! Because the dough was so liquidy, the cookies essentially “spread out” and blended with one another to create one really flat and gigantic molasses cookie, with one or two rogue individual cookies that transcended this unfortunate fate. Shape aside, the cookies were delicious, although their extreme softness caused them to taste more like pancakes than cookies! Next time around, we’ll know to add the ENTIRE bag of cookie mix, instead of just however much we pleased, to create cookie dough of the correct consistency.

While we waited for our mom to pick us up from Noa’s house, Chris, Noa and I sat on the sofa and watched the French movie, Amelie. You know, I’ve been meaning to watch that movie for a long time now, and I’ve even fallen in love with the soundtrack. However, something about its being in French turned me off, because I thought that having to read the English subtitles would detract from the movie’s experience. Well, boy was I wrong. From the beginning of the movie, I fell in love with the unique style of this film. It’s third-party, omniscient narration was quite interesting. The soundtrack, as I mentioned, was so beautiful. I was entranced by the title character, Amelie, who is super eccentric but kind-hearted and beautiful. We only watched about 15 minutes of the movie at Noa’s house before it was time to go. I plan on finishing the movie either later tonight or tomorrow.

After saying our goodbyes, we left Noa’s house and headed back home. Both Chris and I were yawning continually during the ride back! I’m not sure why we were so exhausted… Maybe a post-sugar crash. Anyway, once I got home, I took an hour-long nap from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., while Chris, whom I presume was still in his “cooking mode”, made semi-raw tuna with handmade dipping sauce. I woke up at 7:30 p.m. to his voice yelling at me to come downstairs and try his creation! He was very excited, in an almost adorable way.

Now don’t get me wrong– I’m a huge fan of Chris’s cooking. He’s got a real knack for it. However, when it comes to anything even the slightest bit raw, I will refuse to eat it. I’m the person who likes her steak well-done. I’ve never tried sashimi in my life. My childhood obsession with the Animal Planet program, Monsters Inside Me, that documents cases of worms and other disgusting parasites that enter the human body, has scarred me for life. Anyway, I really didn’t want to disappoint Chris, who was hovering over me like an eager puppy. So… I ATE THE TUNA! I gobbled it down really quickly, quickly rinsing my mouth with soup right after. I told Chris that I liked his cooking, especially the seasoning. I wasn’t totally lying– the semi-raw tuna wasn’t as gag-inducing as I expected it to be. Still wouldn’t eat it if I had the choice, though. When my brother Austin came home shortly later, Chris hustled Austin over to his masterpiece and urged him to try it, as he did with me. I found the whole spectacle adorable, and it warms my heart whenever I think of Chris’s childish grin as he watched our reactions to his cooking.

At around 8:00 p.m., I drove to the gym (with my mom in the passenger’s seat), where I met with my good friend, Linda. The two of us worked out for about an hour and a half and caught up on our winter breaks! Linda also goes to UCLA, so I have four more years to bond with her! After completing our workouts, Linda gave me a ride home.

Upon arriving at the foot of my garage, I decided I wasn’t ready to step foot in the house yet, as I wanted to take a stroll under the stars, and do some thinking. I put my gym bag down and walked around for probably 40 minutes, just reflecting. It was a bit chilly outside, but I was wearing a super thick marshmallow jacket, so I braved the cold with ease. My neighborhood is super safe, so I didn’t worry too much about potential kidnappers, although I was taking a risk by not bringing my pepper spray with me. The night sky was absolutely gorgeous. There was no moon visible tonight, but hundreds of shimmering stars dotted the dark backdrop of night. In that moment, I felt at one with nature.

After the walk, my head was a lot more clear, and I was ready to go back home. The rest of the night has consisted of writing this blog post and helping my mom vacuum the house. Now seems like a good time to end this post, especially since it’s now 12:25 a.m. and I’m nearly 30 minutes past my deadline! Thanks for readying, everyone, and I wish you all a Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah!

3 Gratitudes:

  • close friends
  • living in such a safe neighborhood
  • planet Earth

 

 

-Belicia

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