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Mom advised me not to cook for New Year’s. She joked, “it won’t taste well, will it”? While I squinted at her, expressing mock outrage, it is kind of true? I’m a horrible cook. I’m tempted to detail that wretched night I made Adobo (a famed dish here in the Philippines), but I’d rather not waste your time or sensibilities. (It turned out too sour and the meat was burnt.)
But I do love cooking. I love how meticulous I had to be because people get to try it. Filipinos love eating; there’s something soothing about sharing meals over heart-warming conversations, the weight of heavy responsibilities forgotten over scoops of rice and scrumptious dishes as people get wrapped up in getting to know each other a little bit more. So for me, contributing to these moments by sharing my cooked meals is a good thing.
But just because I like cooking doesn’t mean I’m good at it. I am obviously not. However, after my mom made that joke, I realized I didn’t have to follow her advice. If cooking makes me happy even if I’m not good at it, I can still improve, right? If you like doing something, you should never be afraid to do it, no matter what people say.
So I slaved away almost seven hours to make three dishes on the 31st of December: one macaroni salad, one set of cream dory fish fillet with mayo-garlic dip, and one set of mozzarella sticks. It’s hilarious that I spent so much time making the three, but because I was so careful in cooking, they turned out not only passable, but absolutely delicious. I received compliments from my brother, my dad, and yes, even my mom.
I’ve never been proud of myself that moment, which is a rare case in itself, as I’m usually hard on myself. But I was happy achieving something I want, and I was able to make it good.
Sometimes the negative voices in our heads (or on other people’s) bring us down before we try doing something, but really, stopping because of fear won’t make us grow. It won’t make us realize new things about life and it definitely won’t make us happy. I’m happy I didn’t take to heart what my mom said, and I’m happy I was able to brush off the negativity of being able to cook and just went ahead with it. With this came my resolution for 2017: to enjoy life as best as I can. This means doing what I want without worrying, being positive and hoping for the best. Life is short; obsessing over bad things won’t help us enjoy it to the fullest.
What about you? What’s your resolution for this year? Is it to be kinder, to save more money, to love more, or others? Share them here; I’d love to hear about them.