let’s put this straight: i talk to myself, a lot… the things you’d catch me tell myself range from commenting the tv show (although no one is listening) to documenting what i’m doing (“a little more lipstick, like, so…”). quite amusing, really (sometimes). and then there are times, when i am really rather tough with myself… my worst critic. like i’m under some kind of spotlight, for everyone to be assessed and valuated – and i’m the judge. yes, i’ve managed to bring myself down. yes, i’ve successfully bashed myself to the extent where my self esteem and confidence were at an absolute zero. not really helpful, if you want to make friends, strive, build a career or even simply get up in the morning. though i’ve learned a long time ago that nothing good ever comes from bashing yourself. i simply wasn’t able to turn off my negative, deconstructive thoughts. often times, i would get tired and annoyed by myself (a bit schizophrenic, i know).
you know how there is this rule for life that you should talk to yourself like you would to someone you really love? i try to live by that rule every single day. sometimes, i succeed. sometimes i don’t. i still catch myself out bashing myself. but now i tell myself off for bashing myself (haha, that makes it so much better, to bash yourself for bashing yourself…). and the self criticism is nowhere near where it used to be when i was in my early twenties. i’ve certainly come a long way from the self-critical person to accepting (or at least trying to put up with) who i am. almost a decade later, i’ve come to terms with what makes me me. i’ve made peace with the way i look (because, really, there is not much you can change about that), with being slightly too tall for a normal girl, with being a bit clumsy (hello, bruises and scars, from everything from baking to riding a bike). i’ve accepted that my skin will never look like the pore less, photo shopped kind (and that first wrinkles and dark spots have started to appear, too). and i’ve learned to deal with my imperfect (in every way) hair. overall, i’m okay with the way i look. as someone very smart once said: you are beautiful enough.
and i’m definitely confident enough to say that i’m okay the way i am, from the inside. friends like me – so why shouldn’t i like myself and the way i am? they tell me it’s okay that i’m still single – and sometimes, i really feel that way, too (you know, when i have the bed all to myself and can lie with my arms and legs flipped to all sides, the blanket rolled around me, looking like a burrito). i’m at ease (mostly) with my flaws (even though i clearly still do not embrace them). i am me, and i won’t get to be anyone else, anytime soon. so i’d better accept myself and make the best of it. share some fun with myself. be there for me. enjoy my own company.
also, the older i get the more i know that it’s true that beauty is maybe not everything. beauty fades. we all grow old, we old get wrinkles and grey hair and soggy skin. and then, we better make sure there’s something else to define us than our looks. what matters most is: are we kind? do we work hard for our dreams? are we good storytellers? do we live your life to the fullest? are we an inspiration to others? would we be missed? did we make someone’s day? do we offer a smile and a helping hand to others? do we take our chances when we get them? do we have no regrets? do we enjoy our ice cream without second thoughts?
sourdough toasts with purè di fagioli & fried onions
1 large can italian white beans
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 lemon, juice
2 tbsp. yoghurt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 knife’s point harissa
2 red onions, finely sliced
sourdough bread, sliced
butter + olive oil for frying the bread
sumac for garnish
put the white beans, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and yoghurt in a food processor (or in a bowl to blend with a hand held blender) and pulse until smooth. add more yoghurt if you want a creamier texture. season with salt, harissa and cumin. cover and refridgerate. prepare the fried onions: heat 2 tbsp butter and olive oil each in a large pan. when hot, add the onion slices. now fry until caramelized, dark and crispy. this may take a while. remove and place onto a kitchen paper to soak up excess fat. to toast the sourdough bread slices, use a pan (with buttter, again) or do it in the oven (and butter later when out of the oven). spread a generous spoonful of the white bean purè on top of each toasted sourdough bread slice, top with some fried onions and sprinkle with sumac. serve while bread is still warm.