For me, one of the biggest perks of having a blog is that it holds me accountable.
Over the past year and a half there have been many, many weekends when I didn't feel like cooking anything new. Or setting up to photograph it. Or photographing it. And especially not writing about it.
But when I set up this blog, I set a goal of posting once a week, every Sunday, and I haven't missed a Sunday post since I started.
So, I've continued to write. Sometimes overly long posts, and sometimes short ones about song lyrics. My photos were terrible at the beginning, but they've slowly gotten better. And though I'm constantly trying to create content that others will enjoy, there is still a large part of this blog that is just for me. To have a creative outlet, a place to remember, and a space to write, albeit often badly.
This has been the first weekend in a while in which I really considered not posting.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this was the kind of post I would be able to look back on later with understanding, and that the writing itself might help me, as it has done before.
Rejections happen all the time to everyone, and I've certainly gotten accustomed to them after my first year of law school.
But this was a rejection for something I deeply wanted and actually thought I was going to get.
Expectation is a dangerous, fickle thing, I have found, and pride is even worse.
Though I had been trying to prepare myself for this outcome, the totality of my failure struck me like a dead weight. I was crying so hard I couldn't see my computer screen, so I left work.
I came home and crawled into bed with some chocolate peanut butter frozen banana bites and my laptop so that I could cry my angry heart out and then waft gently into a chocolate-netflix-induced oblivion.
Adam came home about an hour later. He'd gotten my text and decided to leave work early too. He came home bearing things to cheer me up, (flowers, prosecco, strawberries, crusty whole grain bread, and cheese--he knows me) but these just made me more upset.
"I don't deserve anything. I'm a failure. We don't have anything to celebrate."
He responded by crawling into bed next to me to watch two more episodes of House of Cards, a show he doesn't even like.
Around 4:45 I got a phone call. It was a client calling about a court date for her son the following week, and I had forgotten that I'd promised to call her back with an update.
I'd been trying to reach her all morning and had finally gotten through about an hour before I received the rejection email. When she answered I could tell she was crying. Before asking about her son, I asked her if she was ok.
"I'm in New York visiting family, and I just found out that someone set our apartment on fire and now because of the damage we're being evicted by our landlord. I just can't deal with this right now."
I had said what encouraging words I could, asked about her son, and told her I'd call her back before 5 with an update.
Of course, I'd totally forgotten about it in the midst of my shamefest, but I had checked my email, and there was nothing to update her with. So I told the kind mother of a kid mixed up in the court system, whose belongings had been burned, and who was being evicted from her home, that I didn't have any good news to share, but I would call her back if I did.
After I hung up the phone, I closed my laptop and picked up the dirty tissues and chocolate stained napkins littering the bed. Then I kissed Adam and left for a yoga class.
In the cosmic sea of human suffering, my rejection is nothing. A blip on the radar of an otherwise extravagantly blessed life. That is not to say that it is meaningless, or that my pain and disappointment about it are not real. The next few weeks will require a continual reminder that my worth is not measured by a line on my resume, no matter how much the law school world says that it is.
Mostly, I'm just feeling thankful for a phone call that put things in perspective (and that I was able to call her back the following day with good news), and a partner who loves me always and so well.
Though I wasn't feeling up for cooking, I managed to pull together this easy summer meal, and I think it's going to become a favorite for us. This is another recipe inspired by our trip to Savannah.
Cheerwine is a typically Southern soda, but I think it can be found in most grocery stores. If you can't find it, root beer, Dr. Pepper, or Coke would work too. The recipe I adapted this from suggested using chicken thighs, but when I went to use mine, they had gone bad, so I used frozen chicken breasts instead. I think either would work well, or a combination of the two.
The easy cole slaw is a must. We nixed the buns the next day for lunch and just ate big bowls of the crunchy coleslaw and sweet savory barbecue chicken. It's a happy kind of summer lunch thing.
Have a blessed week, friends.
Crockpot Cheerwine Barbecue Chicken
1 1/2 lbs chicken (You can use 6 chicken thighs or 4 chicken breasts, or a combination of the two)
2/3 cup cheerwine soda
1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
1/3 cup minced onion
pinch of red pepper flakes
a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce
Combine all ingredients in the crockpot.
Cook on low for 7 hours. Shred chicken using 2 forks. Turn crockpot to "keep warm" until ready to serve.
Recipe inspired by The Old Pink House Restaurant. Recipe adapted from Eat Live Run.
1/2 head green cabbage, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and thinly grated
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white wine or apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tsp celery seed
salt and pepper to taste
Combine cabbage and carrots in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, celery seed, and salt and pepper. Pour over cabbage and carrots and stir to combine.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.