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For better or worse, there has not been a lot of action in my kitchen recently, and I mean for weeks and weeks. This time, it wasn’t because of some culmination of kitchen disasters or even a finger-immersion blender encounter. It was just that every time I would think about eating, I would get nauseous, and I guess there was a part of me that didn’t want to go to all the trouble of preparing a meal for myself if half of it was just going to end up in the trash. It got to the point that it wasn’t even a choice, it was unconscious – there was no way I could motivate myself, no incentive I could devise, because the ability to even plan out something I would want to eat and to go to the store to get the necessary components was beyond my comprehension.
Unfortunately for me, there really isn’t any way around eating, at least not in the long term, and so I was left with my other alternatives. The Whole Foods prepared foods section became my daily destination in addition to my handful of options on the Ave in the U-District. Some of it hit the spot, but most of it was just out of necessity.
Who knows how long this would have gone on for had it not been for some bad eggs. On one of my many meals out, I ordered an omelet, and while I usually don’t go for eggs at restaurants, because they’ll never make them as good as I can, in eating apathy I decided to give them a shot. As can be expected, I was disappointed, but more than that, I was fired up.
That night I decided to reenter the kitchen – egg vindication would be mine. And so I made my scrambled eggs (and I do make a mean scrambled eggs) with cheese and tomato, and my cooking fuel was fired again. And the next day I got made it to the farmer’s market and got enticed by some vegetables, and slowly but surely, I’m coming back to my usual self.
And so the result of all my inability to choose was that I did choose – something that I really didn’t want. Was it that I was afraid? Or overwhelmed? Or did I just not care? Had one too many servings of leftovers made it too difficult to face my own cooking? It’s too hard to say. It’s not even clear that it made my life any easier – it didn’t necessarily save me time, and certainly not money. And it wasn’t until it became blatantly clear to me about how much I was missing out on that could get myself back on the right path.
The conclusion is that not choosing is a choice. It could mean staying with the status quo, or accepting the easy option, or letting someone else decide. And sometimes that’s necessary or preferred. But in the end, if we don’t choose what’s best for us, we certainly will never get it.
Joelle is currently in the dissertation phase of a PhD in economics at the University of Washington. In her free time, she writes for her blog, the Gastronomist Economist, is a site coordinator for the Jharvest CSA, and also likes to bike, cook, bake, and tango.