It’s the night before until I leave for school and what time was passing by in painful slow motion is suddenly moving too fast. Way, way too fast. My usual case of jitters are starting to form and anxiety is starting to pump through my blood.
With my sleeping schedule royally screwed (5 a.m. bedtimes, 2 p.m. “mornings”) and my furniture situation for the new apartment room still up in the air, I could not be less prepared for a full school year.
Yet this month has been a time when I’ve finally felt emotionally okay. My fierce uncomfortableness with being alone has subsided and the dissatisfaction I used to feel with my life is gradually transforming into hope, hope for a better year and hope for a happier soul. Ironically, knowing I’m in a good place is making me all the more nervous for the school year. I can feel the expectations I have to live up to closing in on me. Self-created expectations that are just waiting to poison my budding optimism before it gets to set root.
Expectations to enjoy my time. Expectations to be happy. Expectations to be mature, enviable, productive, successful. It’s a tall order.
Trying to live up to self-expectations is unbelievably daunting, and now that I’ve lived through it, I’ve realized, a ridiculous way to go through life.
It’s taken 20 years to absorb this knowledge and finally put it into real practice. And admittedly, it’s still a work in progress. But hey, at least the train is moving.
Caramel Banana French Toast
1 slice of white bread, sliced into fours. You can use any kind of bread, I suggest brioche if you can find some.
1 egg, beaten
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 dash of cinnamon
A pat of butter
1/2 banana sliced
Enough sugar to evenly coat the bottom of a small sturdy pot or heavy-duty pan.
1. Soak bread into the beaten egg (into which you’ve mixed your 3/4 tsp. sugar and cinnamon) in a bowl. Let it soak for a few minutes and make sure each side is evenly coated by egg.
2. Heat a pan to medium-low heat and melt your pat of butter. Place each piece of bread down.
3. While the french toast cooks, pour enough sugar to evenly coat the bottom of your pot. Put the heat to low and do not touch the sugar. It will slowly melt and turn a light amber color. Once the edges start to brown, start dragging the sugar towards the center to make sure there are no burnt spots. (Keep a watch on the french toast and flip when the first side is done). Slowly stir and keep a constant watch until it turns into a medium amber. Toss in the bananas and coat with the caramel.
4. Plate the french toast and pour over the caramel-coated bananas. In a clean, dry pan, quickly toast a few chopped walnuts and sprinkle over the french toast. Enjoy!