Tag Archives: beans

Nothing to Fear, But

4 Jun

As I sat in the dark, air-conditioned movie theatre for the 11:20 matinee showing of Sex and the City 2 (SATC2), I began to think about the things that were causing me anxiety. In reality, I had been writing a blog about that very topic the night previous, and my inability to finish the piece was near the top of the anxiety-inducing list. The dissolution of my weekend plans was somewhere on the list, as well. I guess that’s what started the chain of events in my mind. Sitting there watching Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte act so differently than the four girls I knew and loved in the television series, and even the first movie, was a disappointing feeling. In the film, Samantha gets upset when Charlotte refuses to go to Abu Dhabi with her after she attends all her children’s birthday parties. Imagine the disappointment of someone like me who had been asked to go through six years worth of tribulations with the girls, only to find ghosts of their actual personalities show up to the party that was supposed to be SATC2.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Later that day, while reading One Hundred Years of Solitude, the reason for my many anxieties appeared to me in the pages of the book. The characters (the Buendìa family) and the main town in the book, Macondo, all live a cyclical life, with generations repeating past generations’ mistakes, and it was at the end of one of the later chapters where fear is identified as one of the main causes of the Buendia’s problems. So, too, was my problem one of fear. The things that caused me anxiety—dating, my blog, cooking rice and beans again—were able to invade my psyche because at some base level, I was afraid of them all.

Much like the characters in One Hundred Years of Solitude, I was starting to become afraid of the cyclical nature of things. It wasn’t that I wasn’t learning the lessons that life had to offer me, but rather that the repetition of failure had caused me to have a deep-seated fear of dating. But, unlike my friends in SATC 2, I couldn’t vacation from my problems. I think the cyclical nature of something like dating can be fear-inducing because with while busy dancing delicately through the dating world, we fear any misstep that could land you with one hundred months of solitude. How does one break a cycle? Do we do it by facing our dating fears and just going out there and dating? Or, do we try to work on ourselves separate from the dating world? There is no clear-cut answer, but whether you want to work from the sidelines or on the frontlines, facing your social or inner fears, it is necessary that we always do something, and not just sit around.  Like I said from the beginning, action is character, and I’m beginning to learn that acting on one’s fears may be the only way around them.

When it came to breaking the cycle for my beans, the first step came with research. Last time I had made them, they were kind of gross, and had horrible texture. After researching my mistakes, I realized that I had let my beans boil when they were supposed to simmer. After cooking them for about an hour, I went to the pot and tasted a perfectly cooked pinto, one that mashed as I pressed it with my tongue onto the roof of my mouth. When they were cooking, I added thyme, rosemary, and salt, and the result was fantastic. Those additions were my own idea. The only thing I really needed the whole time for my beans was to adjust the way I confronted them. I didn’t need the fanfare of boiling, just the nurturing of a simmer. Though there are some main ingredients to love and pinto beans, the rest is really up to taste. It’s because of personal tastes and identifying my fear and my mistakes that I was able to stop worrying and cook the beans. Now, as for dating, my fear is still there, but confronting it head on now sounds better than spending a century in solitude.