As you guys read this, I’m going to be on the road to Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica. This all stems from a long, rough path of my personal growth journey and it is such a major contribution to how ready I am for independence. It was the first time I really listened to my soul. And I mean, REALLY listened. Let me explain to you.
After breakfast Wednesday morning, I looked on my Instagram and discovered that there was going to be a meetup in Santa Monica this afternoon. Of COURSE, the weekend where for once I’d be out of town for San Jose. Don’t get me wrong, this is a trip that I looked forward to for a long time because I had such a blast last summer. But at the same time, I dreaded that I was going to be missing out on such a lovely opportunity to meet new, likeminded people. That morning, I felt a massive blow of distress. I wanted to bury myself in a hole and cry until I’d die from dehydration. My mother saw this and gave me the option to stay home for the weekend, but that also opened up the other stressors of missing out on San Jose and leaving my mother alone. Right there and then, I decided to blow off the meetup and attempted to suck it up for the rest of the week. Sure enough, that didn’t work at all. This voice inside of me began to speak of how much fun this meetup would be and how terrible I’d feel when I’d see the Instagram photos of the smiling people I could have potentially befriended. I knew that for the entire trip in San Jose, I’d be a Debby downer and mope around missing out. No matter how many times I’d shut it off and try to wrap it in a ball, shove it way down deep and ignore it, I couldn’t lose sight of the truth, and I knew that the voice inside of me said absolutely that.
Right after I showered, got dressed and cleaned up my room, I sensed that voice in my head and decided to sit down to listen; no resistance, no talking back. I let this inner voice speak to me and just took everything it said to heart. With this internal conversation, I found that I had such a strong but subconscious problem that I failed to acknowledge: loneliness. As of now, I really need this new form of connection that I never truly experienced. I only scratched the surface through online friends, but that was it. No face-to-face, heart-to-heart communication. I can’t talk about my favorite YouTubers and Instagrammers with my other friends, let alone about health, fitness, food, veganism, fashion, other subjects that burn in my heart so brightly but can never glow because, well, how could I possibly bring them up to people who have no understanding of them? I had these extremely strong passions that I couldn’t communicate with my present social circle at all–they just didn’t know about them and frankly, they’re not interested. Trust me, the last time I brought up veganism to my family, it got ugly. After this internal conversation, I wrote a huge list of pros and cons of each outcome. Just seeing the scenarios in front of me gave me so much relief. I could truly imagine every single possibility. It all boiled down to what my voice and I agreed upon. So I decided to tell my parents that I wanted to stay home, and they supported me.
Now this might sound like a big fat case of FOMO and you’re probably thinking how crazy I am to cancel this trip because it seems so impulsive. But it really wasn’t. I slept on this vision Wednesday night. I spent twenty precious hours last Thursday thinking about every single major and minor detail and possible outcome of my decision. I thought about it on the Spin bike, while I had breakfast (which was actually the Okinawan purple sweet potato, strawberries and pancake batter granola pictured below!), during my shower, while I had to tidy my room, while I had lunch, during my doctor’s appointment, during my blood test, all while I came to visit a friend after her work, during all of dinnertime, and even after the final verdict was made. To leave or not to leave, that was the question. A lot of energy, tears, sweat, indecisiveness, fear, anxiety, anger, depression and confusion were exhausted into this big decision. Something just felt so right about staying here. I can’t even explain it myself. I just felt as if I wasn’t meant to be in San Jose because I wouldn’t feel happy, and that would’ve been so unfair to my family who wanted to have a good time. If I were to allow only negative energy around them, then I’d rather not be there at all.
Until I post about this meetup, I have no idea what to expect. I don’t know if it’s going to exceed my hopes, barely make them by the margins or not even come close. I’ve never even met any of these people in person, let alone I’ve only met a couple of them via social media. They might be total b*tches for all I know. But something about departing for San Jose didn’t feel right. Whatever it was, it wasn’t ready to leave. I felt that something inside of me was missing, and that was a sense of community that nobody else could provide for me. A community that consisted of health and fitness fanatics who are passionate about subjects that I absolutely adore but could not easily express in front of my family, school friends and other acquaintances. In short, I’m on the road to finding that sense of community and it’s not in San Jose. Whether or not I will actually achieve this is unknown, but this voice within me deeply sensed some hope in staying for this meetup, so I trusted it. You’ll see on my other social media platforms how it goes.
That pretty much sums up my ramble about listening to yourself and how I cancelled my San Jose trip so soon, but I hope that it wasn’t too lengthy for you to read! Anyhow, it’s fine if you weren’t interested in that part of the blog post, but let’s just get on with the recipe! Firstly, I’ve never ever been one to make my own granola. Remember my love for Kith & Thyme? Ever since I’ve discovered it, I literally never used any other brand of granola aside from a homemade version prepared by my friend Arman. However, I ran out of both recently, which is quite depressing. The Kith & Thyme booth at my local farmer’s market has also been absentee, meaning that I’ve been at a loss for granola. There are so many amazing granola brands in the market that I would love to try, but my sister and I got bitten by the baking bug and decided that with the leftover rolled oats, toasted almonds and spare time we had before hitting the hay, a new batch of impromptu granola could not have been more perfect.
At first, we weren’t 100% sure what the name of this granola would be. But upon tasting it, I found a striking resemblance between this granola and my mother’s homemade sprouted pancakes that were packed with almonds and coconuts. Talk about childhood transportation! I immediately declared that this be called our pancake batter granola, and my sister thought it was a splendid idea. So you could say that this was a total success! I might never go back to store-bought granola as of now!
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 3 TBSP toasted almonds, slivered
- 5-6 TBSP maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Mix all your dry ingredients evenly in a large bowl.
- Carefully add your wet ingredients and stir until the granola is evenly coated.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silpat sheet.
- Spread out the granola completely on the tray.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes, and stir the granola around halfway through.
- Store leftovers in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks.
Ever had an experience where you really needed to listen to your inner voice? Do you have different types of friend groups as well?