Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Hello again.

I realize this entry is long, long overdue. No more excuses, I promise – my blogging resumes from this point on, hopefully never to be so rudely interrupted by life and all its trappings ever again. I know, I know: how dare I take off without a word and leave you on your own for a whole month or more without explaining why I had gone and if I ever were coming back, right? To properly explain myself, I’m going to have to digress from the culinary topics I usually try to keep myself confined to and be very, very honest. I know this is a food blog, and isn’t a dumping ground for my personal problems, but I think you have a right to know.

Everyone’s life is full of ups and downs. It’s not something we really think to complain about for the most part; we consider it a fact of life and accept the downs that come with the ups and relish the time we spend lingering in that happy medium, normality. For some of us however (well, me, in this case), normality fails to shows up to mediate and offer respite between the constant seesawing of life for stretches at a time.

I’m not trying to play the pity card here, I promise: while the downs (one in particular) have been horrible, the ups have been terrific and have kept me going when all I wanted to do was collapse.

Yes, collapse. Collapse and cry and beat my fists against walls.

You see, I found out this summer that my nanny, the woman who raised me from birth, has been diagnosed with a terminal case of cancer. Her husband who also used to take care of me had passed away the year before. I hadn’t known because my mother and I had fallen out of communication when I had moved here to Canada and she had moved to Hong Kong. We only found all this out when my mother called her on my behalf after a dream I had had about her.

As you can probably guess, there is a lot of guilt I’m dealing with right now for not staying in touch, for not being there to say goodbye to someone I loved so much, for not even being able to be in Singapore to spend what little time is left with someone I’m about to lose. Though the depression I feel doesn’t look like it will dissipate any time soon, I’m making progress just by being able to type out these words – a month ago, A. was worried he’d have to lean how to decipher sobs.

A.’s been a huge, huge Up. He’s not only been a shoulder to cry on, but also has been inhumanly patient with me, accepting that when-I-want-to-talk-about-it-I-will and never pushing me to get-on-with-the-healing-process-already. I don’t know how he does maintains his ever-cheeriness about everything despite living with a person who may as well have a storm cloud over her head, but he does.

Another Up in my life was my mother’s visit about a month ago. I’m going to eventually get around to posting pictures of the culinary excursions we made while she was here, so won’t ruin it today for anyone. My mother, who is just as emotional as I am about my nanny, has been super-practical as always about it all, reminding me daily that there are things that are out of my control – something she says everyone has problems dealing with when tragedy strikes (I told you she was practical).

The other Ups that have kept me hanging on may not seem to be monumental, but as we all know: it’s the little things that count. My friends D and M have provided me with a constant supply of girlie humor, fun and activities that have served as much-welcomed distractions from my wallowing. They’re the reasons I’m forced to get out of bed and go to the gym, or to the dog park, or mall or lunch instead of lying in bed all day (which I’d probably do if I could – at no benefit to myself).

After reading through all this personal information that definitely does not belong on a food blog, you’d be happy to know the last Up I’m going to mention here (there are more, lucky me) is a food-oriented one: I’ve finally begun to sell my baking. Before you crack open the champagne, you should know that this isn’t a huge deal for anyone but me (and of course my parents who are deliriously happy that I’m making steps – however small – towards finally supporting myself). I haven’t started a company, opened a store or signed a contract with Starbucks. I’m just casually selling baked goods at a tiny store manned by a guy who is probably allowing me to do this so he gets tax breaks. The $12 I’ve made so far (hey, I only started yesterday!) is definitely nothing to whoop about, but I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve accomplished something really special.

So there you go: those are some of the main reasons I haven’t been around for a while. I hope you’ll find it in your hearts to forgive me for being so tardy about writing. I can’t promise I’m going to put blogging at the top of my to-do list from now on, but seeing as how good I feel to finally get all of the above off my chest, I’m going to make a point to do it more often.

I hope to see more of you, too.