The Easy Things (and the rest)
I used to write about how difficult it was to make Robin’s birthday dinner in Rwanda. This year it was ridiculously easy. I didn’t even grocery shop until the day of. All the food just magically came together. My mom helped out (we’re living with them right now) and Robin even felt up to cooking his own chicken fried steak. It was all too easy.
The flip side is that I find myself lacking patience with people in America who complain about cooking. What is that Twitter hashtag, #firstworldproblems? It’s so true. Lacking the time/mental capability to cook is such a first world problem. It is inconceivable to me. But you have meat already in your fridge/freezer! What are all of these cans in your cupboard? Look at those vegetables. I can think of 10 meal ideas right now! I’ve developed some sort of instinctual food-prep capability. I feel like a pioneer from the wagon trains who finds the bounty of the Willamette Valley and can’t stop marveling. How do I choose which apple I want the most?
I was afraid that one of the biggest problems with moving back would be that people wouldn’t be interested in hearing our story. But that hasn’t been the case! I get to share about our life in Rwanda on a regular basis. I’m sure I’ve increased the number of Google searches for “international school teacher” since most people glaze over a bit at that part, but generally the response is positive. It’s so helpful to be able to talk and share and make a foreign country come to life.
On the other hand, far fewer people seem interested in reciprocating the sharing of journeys. It’s as if storytelling and life-sharing are embarrassing or foreign. I realize that I’m the girl who can turn a little parrot show at the fair into 15 minute story, but I firmly believe that everyone has the capacity to share the story that is their life. Telling a friend, “Wow, my toddler was up 5 times last night!” isn’t complaining, it’s sharing the realities of your life. I am wildly interested in what people consider “normal life” in America and yet very few people want to tell me about their normal life. I enjoy bonding with people over our daily lives and I feel like somehow my story overwhelms those around me.
Maybe if I wasn’t so hung up on the cooking issue people would feel more comfortable talking to me…