I am Facebook friends with people from a wide spectrum of philosophies, values, beliefs, habits, preferences, etc. In theory, we all are. On occasion, I narrow in on one of my followers by accident. I like on of their posts, and suddenly there's a flood of their posts that seem as if they're speaking directly to me.
The most recent example of this is a Facebook friend of mine who frequently posts about foraging. I look over the photos and read her words like a ten year old boy with a book on sharks. I envy her for her skills and her life. I sound like a housewife.
In true housewife fashion, I quickly come to wonder what's preventing me from learning the ins and outs of foraging? (Especially considering I live on 80 acres in the countryside of coastal Michigan!) I thought, I should message her and see if she'd be interested in a foraging workshop at the college. That's what I do, I provide myself with ample opportunities to live vicariously. It's really quite satisfying.
That is until I have the realization that I want to be the one giving the foraging workshop to my neighbors and peers. That realization always comes. Today's realization lead me to another realization, as they should. I need to learn how to cook. And cook well. Cooking is, for me, one of the single most scary thing to do.
I once made a faux cheesecake out of a box. Jello brand, methinks. It took me two hours.
Learning to cook healthy, sustainable meals seems to be the skill I have been working toward. I proved to myself several things in the last four years. I can give up alcohol; I did not drink for 13 mos. I can control the amount of meat I eat; I chopped 70% of the meat I used to eat from my diet and learned to like salmon and other meats I'd avoided. I can educate my friends on the benefits of buying local without lecturing them. Clearly, I can prove to myself that I can learn to cook.
But the stakes are higher than they might be for anyone else. I am in this weird place where I am an advocate for smart eating and eating smart. But I still enjoy my bags of Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles. I let my pocket win out almost every time. Before a meeting, do I buy veggies from the farm stand down the street or purchase a pop tarts from the vending machine? Well, those s'mores pop tarts are really freaking good. But didn't I once prove that I can conquer my tastes? I did a few times, as evidenced above.
So where do I go from here? My dream would be to buy a house with some land and a small barn (that I can one day turn into the helm of a writers' workshop and non-profit). I want to learn to grow food as I learn to cook it. I want to write about it. And write about it s'more. I want to have friends over who know more about food than I do; I'd consume their ideas like a bag of Ruffles. I want to have friends over who don't give a shit about food quality; I love converts.
But this all sounds like a lot of work. And I really like to sit on the couch and watch HGTV as I twirl the strings on my hoodie clicking on Pinterest wishing I wasn't living vicariously through my Facebook friends.