I'm being quiet again on my blog, and while I'm not sure if you've noticed, I definitely have. It doesn't mean I haven't been writing, of course, but it means I haven't figured out what to say or how to hit publish.
I often feel torn (and I've written about this feeling before) about what I share on this blog. I'm halfway through a post about my wedding day, when a school shooting happens in Ulvade, Texas. I work in schools every day. When I look at the faces of the victims, I see the faces of our own students and our own teachers.
I start to write about my feelings, but I don't know what to say. I wonder if my voice matters in a sea of opinions and feelings and grief. I wonder if I should stick to book reviews and travel posts and wedding stories. I wonder if I have anything to say that will make a difference.
The other day, I tried to make pesto eggs for breakfast. I made homemade kale pesto sauce the night before, and I woke up dreaming of pesto eggs, where essentially you use pesto sauce to cook your eggs in. I cooked the egg, placed it on a fresh piece of sourdough toast, and took a bite and...
It was cold.
Disgusted, I threw out the eggs and ate a frozen waffle instead.
But the next day I woke up again with a craving for pesto eggs, unsatisfied by the previous day's attempt. I realized my own homemade pesto didn't have enough olive oil and it wasn't cooking the egg properly, so I mixed the pesto with a little olive oil and voila --- a beautiful, satisfying breakfast.
I was thinking about the pesto eggs today. For many reasons.
First, I think all of the parts of life matter. Last week, I read a newsletter written by my friend, Abigail. In it, she shared photos of dishes she's cooked and little vignettes of her life. And to be honest, I loved every word.
I sometimes think you have to be profound or interesting or unique to have anything valuable to say (hello, I am an enneagram 4.) But you don't need to have a take on everything to write something worth reading. The simplest parts of life matter, too. The take-free moments of mundane joy are worth writing about, too.
Like pesto eggs.
Here is my kale pesto recipe, because it's amazing, and easy. Toast some pine nuts in olive oil and add them to a blender. Add equal parts basil and kale, more olive oil, garlic (measure with your heart), salt and pepper. I add cayenne because I am addicted to garlic and spicy food, but you don't have to. Add a cup or so of pasta water and blend everything together. When it's nice and blendy, add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and blend again. *Chef's kiss*
Lately I've been thinking about the beauty of a mundane life. Like, when I was in college and dating Erick long-distance, we only saw each other maybe once a month. I would've been so happy to see him every day, and now that's my reality. Sometimes we get so caught up in the routine day-to-day, that we forget that the routine itself is beautiful.
My whole life, I've wanted to do something great. As a former gifted kid™, I spent a lot of my formative years being told that I'm smart and destined for greatness. It's often left me feeling a lot of question marks when I face my future career or consider additional education or planning my life out, because how do I get myself from point A, where I am, to point B, something absolutely, mind-bendingly incredible.
I think what I'm trying to say is, coming home after work and making dinner with someone you truly love is something great. Reading a good book and finishing a puzzle (two things I did this weekend) can be something great. Having a close-knit family and taking weekend trips to the beach are something great. Mundane joy is great.
The other thing about the pesto eggs is this: Sometimes you mess up.
I am always, eternally afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. Of putting myself out there only to face harsh criticism or rejection. Of doing the right thing the wrong way. But I guess that's okay, because trying and failing is better than doing nothing.
As the esteemed paper salesman, Dwight Shrute, once said:
Not everything's a lesson, Ryan. Sometimes you just fail.
Sometimes you just fail. Sometimes you wake up dreaming of pesto eggs, and they don't cook properly and scar you and make you think you might've given yourself food poisoning. I guess there was a lesson in those, because now I'm writing an entire blog post about the experience, but you get my point.
Sometimes you just make mistakes. That shouldn't prevent you from getting up the next morning and trying again.
Anyways, cheers to the mundane joys of life. Here are some of mine:
The Best Books I've Read Recently:
Funny You Should Ask: A perfect romance. I've been a sucker for the celebrity/regular person pairing ever since Starstruck premiered on Disney Channel, so this is right up my alley. A reporter profiles an up-and-coming actor in an article that elevates both of them to new heights. They reconnect a decade later for a follow-up article, and sparks fly.
Living Brave: I've followed this author, Shannon Dingle, on Twitter for years. She wrote this book right after losing her husband in a freak accident on a family vacation. While I have never experienced that kind of tragedy, her lessons on grief, faith, friendship and family are poignant and incredibly moving. Highly recommend this one!
The Secrets We Kept: OMG, a big thank you to my friend, Ally, for this recommendation. Two love stories are intertwined, and one of them is (based on a) TRUE (story). If you're a fan of historical fiction, forbidden-love or Soviet Russia, this is for you.
Look, this should really be called bragging corner, because I finished this incredible difficult puzzle over the weekend and I feel I deserve praise for that.
This puzzle came to me in a bag with no description or image, so I put this together without any guiding visuals. I know we all have different puzzle strategies, but personally, I rely heavily on the picture included in the box (typically). This was a fun challenge and took me hours to finish, but reminded me why I love doing puzzles, and now I'm ready to start another one!
Other Mundane Joys:
My family group chat where we still send each other our Wordle scores every morning around 6 a.m.
Waking up early in the summer when it's not quite hot yet, and it feels like summer camp a little bit
The standing desk I just ordered for my office to get me through my 10-hour summer work days
The podcast Chameleon: Wild Boys which I binged in one day, it tells a fascinating story and is well done from start to finish.
That's it for this episode of All of the Thoughts in Emily's Head, but stay tuned for next week's episode where I undoubtedly become even more chaotic. I have a lot of love for anyone who made it this far, thank you for reading.