First of all, please allow me to go all emo on this post, so you probably shouldn’t read it if you are on Prozac. When I was planning to write an uplifting, chirpy post about this scrumptious banana bread, trying to convince you how wonderful my life is travelling all the time and how I have just baked and eaten the best banana bread in my life and you should definitely give this recipe a try. And then I looked at these sad, brown, old mushy bananas that were on the verge of going to the thrash bin, I suddenly had an epiphany and decided to go against the norm. Why?
Because I think I am getting old.
Actually scrap that, ‘Fuck, I am old’. It’s like fuck-fuck-fuckety-fuck-kind-of-old. Believe it or not, I will be 40 in two years, yes shock H-O-R-R-O-R! I’ve been told or keep telling myself that I don’t look as my age (thanks to the forever young Asian genes), but I definitely feeling the old man symptoms within my body. Everything seems so difficult at this age, be it physically or mentally. Everything needs twice the effort to achieve these days comparing to ten years ago. These days I seem to short on everything – short of breath, short of change, short of patience, short of sex, short of tolerance, short of butter; you name it, I am short of it.
I must be old because I am totally sharing Meryl Streep‘s sentiment (or is that a rant?) which only later I found out that the quote is actually not from her mouth but from the pen of Portugese self-help author/life coach Jose Micard Teixeira. But what the heck, I am too old to argue, alright?
“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me.
I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”
B-O-O-M! That’s exactly how I feel lately. I think I am getting tired and lost interest in pretty much everything, especially social media. We all know that bloggers live on comments left on our posts, it is a little booster to keep us going, to tell us that there are actually people reading our blogs. I no longer giving a toss if I don’t get comments anymore. Since I migrated my blog over from another server, I lost pretty much all the old comments for the last six years of blogging. It is sad to see a big chunk of my blogging memories just vanished like that, but do I miss them? Not really.
I am getting old.
I no longer interested in climbing the social media ladder, it has reached the point where it started taking over my life. I am happy and comfortable with my current blog and where it is heading, I don’t need to be in a Top Ranking chart to prove that I am more righteous or important than others, I am not worried that I don’t get picked by PRs to promote the next bag of rice (I talked about that bag of rice a lot in this post). For those who know me, I don’t sugar coat on what I do and usually say it like it is. I am transparent with what I do and what I write about. I will always disclaim if a post is sponsored, if an Instagram photo I upload is client’s work using appropriate hashtags, I recently even put up a real-time Google Analytics Stats on the home page so that everyone can see my blog’s traffic. I have nothing to hide, it is what it is. I no longer getting upset if the blog doesn’t generate revenue (cause it doesn’t), I also no longer getting frustrated that my blog doesn’t get any comments. I just want to be myself again.
I am getting old.
Social Media has also killed friendship. Since moving up here to Central Coast seven years ago, the number of friends that I have started to dwindle. I tried my best to stay in touch, I made the 3-hour return journey on a train (and still do) down to Sydney regularly to hang out and have dinner with friends. I guess that’s what normally friends do? We make an effort and look out for each other, but somehow most of our friends had actually only visited us once for the last seven years. Yep, only once. The effort of keeping the friendship is appalling. Nowadays, most friends prefer to troll through my Facebook or Instagram to see what I am up to rather than making real contact. The “too far” excuse is getting tiresome and I also no longer have the urge to invite friends over anymore, it is embarrassing for me to keep asking and have the door slammed on my face. So I no longer do that – once bitten, twice shy. I no longer has the will and energy to sustain friendship.
I am getting old.
I also wonder sometimes, do I really still want to be a food blogger when I hit 40 and writing about food like a 19yo uni school girl? (No offense to the other 40-50 something food bloggers out there). It somehow reminds me of the movie The-40-year-old Virgin by Steve Carrell – 40, leading a mundane life, missing social life, and still sitting here blogging at 2am. I don’t even know why I am doing this anymore. I know I still enjoying what I am doing, another part of me is telling me perhaps it’s time for the final curtain call. I keep telling myself, stop acting like a spoilt brat, throwing all the emotions out on the inter web, stop trying to be an attention seeker, stop trying to play the victim here and expecting others to sympathise you. Trust me when I say I am an introvert because that’s what introverts do, they express themselves behind the internet wall rather than showing it in real life. “Gurrl, you got some issues! Stop whining, do something about it!” I hear you say. Go outside, enjoy life. I do not need people to judge me, criticise me and mock me. I also do not need to do things that I don’t feel like doing just to please everyone. I know I need to do something about it, but will I ever change? Maybe. But one thing I know for sure…
I am getting old.
And then I got over myself and munched down a slice of banana bread. Life goes on.
Dates and Banana Bread
(Recipe adapted from Donna Hay)
125g butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, compacted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed banana (about 3 bananas)
1/2 cup dates, pitted and roughly chopped, extra dates for decoration
1¾ cups (255g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda
⅓ cup (115g) molasses
butter, extra, to serve
1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Grease a 26cm x 11cm (2.5 litre-capacity) loaf tin and then lined with with baking paper.
2. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer and beat until pale and creamy, about 3 minutes.
3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the speed of mixer to low, gradually add the eggs, one at a time and beat well to combine.
4. Add the banana, dates, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and molasses, stir to combine.
5. Spoon the mixture into the tin and decorate the top with extra dates.
6. Bake in over for 50-60 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
7. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
8. Slice and serve with the extra butter. Serves 6–8.