I have been thinking a lot about life.. Mine in particular. About the lives I have led, the lives I have cast aside, the lives I chose thinking they would be better, the lives I got wrong, the lives I did right but did not realize because I could not articulate or perhaps, because of hubris. But, mostly, of how amazingly lucky I have been to have lived and be living!
"They say, if you die without regrets, you have not lived. “
I have regrets. And, I’ll tell you what; it feels like shit. Whoever said that line is a masochist. But he/she is true.. Oh so true! To have lived is to have made mistakes; but even more, to have understood that you made mistakes. I suppose the idea is to learn from them and continue living, just better. But, sometimes, some mistakes, are harder to move from because you don’t get do overs. Professional or personal, sometimes, doors that close stay closed. I have had both; a fair few of them.
Not shut in face but quietly behind my back and many times, I did not even realize it until much later, when I was banging on them, crying hoarse and none responded. These are hard doors to turn away from; if only because I had no goodbye. I did not know I was to say goodbye. I thought it was au revoir but alas! The thing about living many lives, at least in my experience, is that some lives overshadow others and make you forget those bits for the time that they are dominant. Then, one day you wake and you realize that all those lives are part of you; all those yous are actually you as well. It is not oh I was this then, but I am this now. I am this and that, then and now and whatever else comes up tomorrow, that is also I.
I realized none of this is easy or simple and sometimes, it a f’ing pain to untangle what is the self-convinced truth and what is the self-actualized truth. It is a lot of heartache, especially when I remember that some doors were closed because I was un-understanding of the simple truth of life - that growth and experience are not mutually exclusive of the present and the past. That I cannot divorce myself from the former me without consequences; for that is a terrible idea. To do so is a folly that leaves one open to more mistakes. And, more closed doors.
I HATE doors that f’ing close on me. And, that is something I have learnt by now. I cannot walk away from them. I cannot let it go; I have to keep knocking and knocking, looking for the slim chance of a crack. Pah! Who is the masochist now?! Ha.
Sometimes though, things stay with you through all of those lives, despite you; indeed, without conscious thought. Like that thread of connection or perhaps and safe comfort of acceptance and acceptable. For me, through all the changes, ups and downs of my life - one thing has stayed constant - from birth to now - my love of bananas. Recently, my mom told me about how that was one the first and often baby foods. Everything was mixed with banana and consumed with gusto by me. I remember, devoring half a hand of bananas, as soon as my mom brought them home, well into adolescence. My first from scratch bake was banana bread and even today, it will be the first thing I whip up when looking for a quick sweet. My fruit bowl always has bananas in various stages of ripe - perfect for eat or bake; never toss! Scour this blog, and there are a fair few recipes and versions of banana desserts - cakes, cupcakes, quick breads.
Bananas - my Anchor!
My world may spin at dizzying speeds or may be frustratingly still, there is always a banana to sweeten my day! :). And, so, here is another ode to this harbinger of joy and constancy! A rich and very nourishing muffin with ground almonds and some oats and fair share of walnuts. The darlingest things about it that it is no fuss - a one bowl concoction that is literally break, sift, and whisk all in one place and one time. It is indulgent and yet approachable; whimsical yet stoic; joyous yet grounded. It is me :)
Banana Almond Muffins
1 very ripe banana
3/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup quick oats (not old fashioned)
2 T maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
1 T psyllium husk
handful of walnuts, crushed
1 tsp baking powder
Whisk everything together into a batter.
Pour into 4 ramekins or a small loaf pan.
Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
Cool in molds on rack for a few minutes before unmolding them.
Let cool fully or eat warm. Store in a loosely lidded container. They sweat even after cooled fully, and ,it is best to not seal fully to let it breathe.