Before apps, there was playing outdoors. And as I think back, “go, go, stop” seemed like about grade two for me. But lately, life (wonderfully) has been feeling like an eight year olds’ game again.
So while I am getting on with my life, which has come after two daughters who are very much woven into life now, I feel myself pulling at the threads wondering “where am I in here?”
I started with the most basic question: what colour is my parachute? No, kidding. I indulged in the question, “what do I love to do?” Since moving abroad, I’ve continually come back to baking – whether it be coma-inducing buttery treats or treats laced with veggie purees – because baking makes me feel like me.
Banana chocolate chip muffins remind me of after school snacks made by mom, of course. Cinnamon buns remind me of a joint venture with my cousins at Christmas time. My take on clafouti reminds me of that shop on Queen Street where I would hide away on a rainy weekend. Mint chocolate chip cookies remind me of movie night with my roommates. Pancakes on a lazy Sunday remind me of our first house together with the then-boyfriend, now-husband.
Life has continued on and the recipe book is ever expanding. Each worn page, dusted in cocoa powder or crinkled by egg whites, is a memory created. Some recipes just don’t work – it’s a flavour or texture gone wrong; mistakes are made – burnt pound cake comes to mind. I’m still in the kitchen, baking.
It makes sense that the next phase of life should revolve around baking, but on another level. There is a café idea that is taking shape. But it’s slow – as in go, go, go, stop! I’m having trouble figuring out if it’s the pace of things in Addis or if it’s me.
Am I reluctant? Yes. I don’t want to admit it to my feminist self, but after diving deep into the mothering role, I’m finding it hard to come up for air. I’m coming up slowly and I can see the surface of the water but I’m not there yet. And while being solely focused on the needs of little ones, it truly does become difficult to answer the soulful question, “what do I need?”
The answer is I need my people. And this is another ‘stop!’ in the plan, but I have to go back to Canada for a bit. I need a dose of myself. I want to be around people who have known me since I was eight. It feels like the boost I need to get me closer to the surface. And that much closer to getting on with my life.