Friday, March 11, 2016

Accept the burden that chance has seen fit to lay upon you and fashion as good a life as you are able

Gnocchi with Red Onion Confit, Red Pepper Sauce, and Herb Goat Cheese

The reason I started this blog is painfully obvious to anyone who knows me. I have obliquely danced around the subject, given subtle nods, innuendo, and insinuated at the depths of my wound.

But I think it's finally time to come out of the closet and scream from the mountaintop, "My name is Hina and I have been heartbroken!"

I am, in fact, in a much better place today. However, the bender that resulted from my relationship fallout was utterly self indulgent. I stayed out as late as humanly possible to avoid dealing with the questions, queries, and conundrums my scumbag brain wanted to discuss. Picked up approximately 3 million different hobbies (I can knit like no one's business!). Now that the dust has settled, and I am FINALLY on the other side, I've realized that the only way out is through.

Up to this point I have only discussed successful love stories. I think it might be important to explore the dark side of the subject. I hope that my honesty will help others who are going through similar situations. I had some of my closest friends send in questions and I will do my best to answer them truthfully. I intend to do this with as much respect to the privacy of the other person as possible. Relationships are always two way streets, and my narrative would certainly be different than his.

Thus, I present, the toughest thing I have had to do in a while, my love profile...

A Profile of Love: Hina

What aspects of a relationship do you think define love?

Friendship has to be the cornerstone of any successful relationship. I think it's why I find dating so difficult at my age. In high school or even college you had time to just hang around as friends with no real eye to the future. There's a strange sense of urgency now that I don't particularly enjoy. I have never been a proponent of hook up culture and cannot wrap my brain around the idea of deciding whether to start dating someone in a matter of days or weeks. You have to be someone's partner in crime, you have to have their back no matter what, and I'm not sure how to develop that without being friends first. Friendship has less strings attached, less pressure, and really allows you to be yourself. Friendship allows things to progress organically. 

Do you think you and the other person in question were fundamentally incompatible?

Depending on who you ask, and what your criteria are, we dated for anywhere between 6 to 8 years. 6 to 8 years is a long time to be fundamentally incompatible, so I don't think that was the case. I believe that you come to a point where you've done absolutely everything you can do to bend to the other persons wishes, and it's still not enough. Love at the end of the day is a choice, and sometimes you have to choose yourself.

Do you have any bad habits that affect your relationships?

I think I'm the opposite of most people. Most people start off cold and become warm and more personable as you get to know them. I start off warm and become more cold if my kindness and sympathy is taken advantage of. I love deeply, and feel the need to help anyone I come across. I have no tolerance for dishonesty; exposing your darkness won't frighten me, hiding it will. I have a tendency to initiate silent door slams if I feel someone has emotionally comprised too much of me. I have a fatal flaw of loyalty, I will grit through anything until I realize the relationship has become DO NOT RESUSCITATE. I am simultaneously the most emotional and least emotional person I know.

How long does it take to get over someone? What did you do?

For me, it took a full year. I tried to rush it but these things tend to follow their own timeline. I ended up finding a therapist and eventually had to consider anti-depressants as an option. I want to be very open about mental illness because somehow there is a huge stigma attached to them in this day and age. I sought out a therapist (side note: I recommend therapy for every single person. It will most likely be a lifelong endeavor for me.) and he eventually realized that I was consistently hitting 7 out of the 9 symptoms on the DSM-IV criteria for Depression.

It was unbelievable how many people could not or would not understand how mental disorders function. There seems to be a belief that because you cannot see mental illnesses, they must not exist.  I ultimately did not get medicated, but it was the toughest mental battle I have ever waged with myself. The war helped me realize that anything is possible as long as you take responsibility for yourself and work at becoming a better person than you were yesterday -- and if you need medication to do that, so be it!

I think Allie Brosh from hyperbole and a half has the best description of what Depression feels like (in case you wanted to understand): CLICK HERE

An excellent depiction of the game I played sometimes

When are you going to put yourself out there?

I'm in no rush to relinquish my single status. I am having a great time loving myself and cultivating my friendships. As I said, friendship is the cornerstone of any successful romantic relationship and I want someone to love the me that I love. Ultimately, anything is possible, anything happens all the time! I am simply keeping a weather eye on the horizon.

This! This is what it's all about. 
Since this was a fairly long post, I made the executive decision to only provide the recipe. A complex recipe, for a complex person like myself! ;)

Gnocchi with Red Pepper Sauce, Goat Cheese, and Red Onion Confit
Serves One

1/2 Package of Gnocchi, prepared according to instructions
1 Small Red Pepper, Roasted and Skinned
2 Small Carrots, Sliced
1/2 Cup Red Wine
1/4 Cup Water 
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/8 Tsp Pepper
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Small Handful Arugula
1 Oz Herbed Goat Cheese

Red Onion Confit

1 Small Red Onion, Sliced
1 Tsp Sugar
2 Tblspn Balsamic Vinegar

1. Sauté red onions with 1 tsp sugar until carmalized 
2. Add balsamic vinegar
3. Simmer until the balsamic vinegar is reduced and syrupy 
4. Set aside red onion confit
5. Boil carrots in red wine for 10-15 minutes 
6. Place red wine, carrots, and roasted red pepper on food processor, pulse until well blended 
7. Return mixture to saucepan and add 1/2 cup water, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper
8. Simmer this sauce for 5 minutes 
9. To assemble: Top gnocchi with red pepper sauce, followed by arugula, red onion confit, and a generous slice of the herbed goat cheese

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