I’ve finally understood why people say life is a continuous journey, not a destination.
And why we never seem to remain at a constant point in our lives, but instead are always moving, either forwards or backwards, upwards or downwards.
We may sometimes be in equilibrium for some moments, but then, there is a neccessity for us to progress, to grow, to learn and to expand, and we embark on metaphorical journeys which take us from one level to the next.
Then there are also physical geography-changing journeys. Such as walking across a street, rowing a boat in the stream, or taking a flight across the oceans and continents.
Today I will begin a 30-hour plane journey back to the East.
During this journey, I will be flying across the Middle East and landing in Dubai for a short midnight stopover, before arriving in Asian airspace, and stepping on the ground that is my hometown.
Over the past 12 months I have witnessed auburn leaves scattered on the ground in autumn, cold dreary evenings in winter where tree silhouettes line the empty streets, springtime’s cheery blooming flowers greeting us with a bow and finally, now, blistering heat which inevitably comes with summer sunshine days.
Once again, a year has come full circle, and like a growing plant, I feel bright and green and full of life.
It’s the tingling in the air that makes my heart skip a beat. A knowing that I will soon be in the embrace of those whom I love but unfortunately live so far away from.
Over the past few days I had been trying to beat the inertia to organize my luggage (I’ve never been fond of packing, nor am I particularly neat), but finally got down to packing on Wednesday. The knowledge that in a quite many hours I will be home again – reading in my backyard patio with fingers stained from newspaper ink; lazing in my bedroom on the third floor, whose balcony overlooks swaying palm trees in front of the main road; back in the company of my sorely missed family and lifelong friends – thrills me no end, but it makes me a little nervous too.
For the most part, I am nervous because for the first time in my life, I have volunteered to cook a huge dinner for my family – with an extended family count of close to 20 people.
I’m now wondering if I’ve overestimated my cooking skills and ability to multi-task, together with my ability to overcome jet lag, because I have bravely (or stupidly?) set the dinner date to be the day after I arrive, after 30 hours of sitting in a plane or an airport transit lounge, and settling down in a time zone 11 hours ahead of Buenos Aires.
As some of you might already know, my extended family has astonishingly high standards in food – I told you about my Aunty Adeline and Uncle Eric’s influence on my gastronomical world – and I’m getting nervous planning which dishes to whip up, and I haven’t even factored in the fact that I might be jet-lagged, tired and maybe cranky.
But I’ve already proclaimed and offered to cook dinner for my family, a dinner which my mum sneakily converted into the Chinese New Year reunion dinner, which traditionally has always been prepared by my grandmother, Nai Nai.
I will rise up to the challenge – a big one for sure.
And while I contemplate the various possible outcomes of this dinner – my cooking skills may just be condemned to the grave; my family will be happy to continue being my kitchen guinea pigs; or I will rise to Lim-family kitchen stardom – I am also extremely thankful for how the last year has panned out.
In particular, I am thankful for how having a food blog has changed my perspective in so many areas.
How it has torn down walls of prejudice; and how it has surprised me over and over again when I realized, startled but convinced, that people are really similar, all over the world.
There is something about food which unites people across the globe, across different continents, and varying cultures.
I would never have imagined this before starting my food blog, but it seems that a common love for food – not just eating it, but also cooking it, and soaking up the process therein – has unexpectedly formed friendships with other food bloggers, reignited bonds with some friends with whom I have drifted apart, and also helped to maintain fresh conversation with some family and close friends.
It’s the bringing together of people, and suddenly the different skin colors or distinct cultures don’t matter anymore.
There is a merging of interests, a common denominator between food lovers and bloggers, a glue upon which new friendships and bonds are created.
Looking back on the past 8 months of blogging, I’m so grateful that in a random decision to document my culinary adventures; I took a step and started a food blog – something I would have previously considered trivial and superfluous.
There are some friends you meet in your cooking course or painting class, others with whom you grew up with, all within physically-close proximity. But then there are other people whom you meet thanks to the advancement in technology, through the Internet, and suddenly the world doesn’t seem so big anymore.
Since I started writing about food, I’ve cultivated friendships through many mutual exchanges of comments – agreeing with others on how food literature is so enticing; swooning at a particular chocolate muffin with frosting recipe; expressing awe at amazingly taken photographs; or just appreciating the goodness of food in life.
Since my trips to Singapore always mark the starting of a year for me (because of Chinese New Year celebrations and vacations), I wanted to share this special time with my food blogging friends who have made me feel so welcomed in the food blogosphere, and to toast to a wonderful journey in food blogging together.
Here are some of the amazing girls I’ve met through blogging, and thank you dear friends for being you.
Jess, who runs both Feast with Me and On Sugar Mountain – who is currently suffering from New Jersey’s sub-zero temperatures and has to bear with my complaining about the Summer heat; and through whom I’ve been introduced to tons of new food literature, both for the stomach and the soul. We’ve both been through long-distance relationships, live away from our family, and love reading as much as writing – so many similarities despite living in completely different countries!
Min, who shares nutrition tips and yummy Korean recipes on Savor the Rainbow – somehow feels likes a good friend whom I’ve never met but certainly wish to. Maybe one day we can really sit down and have tea together, or better yet, like you said, cook together in the kitchen as we exchange stories, whether in Austin or Buenos Aires.
Irene, whose awe-inspiring photos on A Beautiful Day keep pushing me to better my photography, and whose love for beauty is demonstrated in every single post. Thank you Irene for being such an inspiration, and for sharing your life with us! And thank you of course, for being one of my first blogging friends!
Bella, who spices up our days over at One Sister’s Rant – who writes about her adventures with her dog, Roxy, from some country in Europe (I’m still trying to guess which!) and whose comments and posts always make you feel like she’s right here talking to you.
And of course, there are many others too, who leave comments, emails, messages, a constant encouragement for me to keep on writing, because writing essentially is reaching out to those who read.
Thank you all for being so absolutely wonderful! Let’s enjoy our journey together!
P.S. I’m going to try to blog as much as I can from Singapore, but if not, hang on right there, and I’ll be back soon!