And just like that we have moved to another month in 2020, but weirdly I still feel stuck in the month of March — when I came home in the middle of my college semester for spring break, which, ultimately, extended into the rest of the academic year. I finished my junior year of college from my childhood bedroom on my computer. Soon the summer began, but my life still felt the same. I have been in a state of isolation for the past several months and each day I grow tired of this arrangement. How badly I want to run through the grocery store without fear. How badly I want to book a plane ticket to explore the world. How badly I want to meet up with my friends.
And I will. I will soon, insha’Allah. But right now in order for this pandemic to pass and for my life to progress, I must sit at home and maintain a social distance. If not for myself, I have a social responsibility to do so for my own family. It’s hard truthfully, but I keep telling myself things could be worse. I have a lot to be grateful for — and so I try to spend my time focusing on the good, but I will admit this whole experience has definitely put a mental drain on my mind. Without a real routine or structure, I feel like my life is in disarray at times; however, my summer internship begins on Monday insha’Allah, and I am hopeful that it will provide my life some (virtual) interaction and purpose that I feel like I no longer have.
So, the month of June, what happened?
Well, I did some baking this month — and by some I mean I did a lot of baking. Really any idle moment in my life was dedicated to the kitchen. I mixed, measured, and made desserts almost daily, which is a good and bad thing. Good because preparing desserts brings me so much joy. Bad because with minimal movement sugar isn’t in the best choice of food. Aside from baking, however, I also began real cooking. Cooking is a skill I think everyone should know how to do — and so I have been trying to learn the basics. I cook dinner on Thursday nights for my family, which has been fun, but I have to admit, I prefer baking to cooking. So far, I’ve made different South Asian dishes — and cut a lot of onions!
These Nutella Button Cookies were a 5 p.m. Wednesday baking adventure — and they did not disappoint.
Chocolate muffins also made an appearance. I will be sharing the recipe soon, so stay tuned!
And the most beautiful strawberry cake. I’m still dreaming about this one!
With all of that leftover heavy cream in my fridge, the only logical solution was making some decadent chocolate ice cream — topped with 5-minute hot fudge, of course.
I also went back to Austin to pack up my college apartment. I’m moving into another unit for my final year in the fall, so I had to go back to clear out my current unit before the lease ends. This was a very time consuming and draining process. I have lived in the same unit for three whole years with my brother, but since he graduated in May, I wanted to transition into a studio for my senior year — I’m not sure what living alone will mean, but I’m excited to see what’s to come. Anyway, the whole packing process was a lot. Throughout the past three years, we had acquired a lot of different items. When it came to packing, I didn’t realize how much stuff we actually had.
I also found the process of packing to be very introspective. As you fold a blanket or pack a cup, you remember the memory that lingers on with that item. I found myself getting nostalgic through the process because the three years I lived in that unit have marked the three most transformative years of my life. College has changed me in a lot of ways — for better and worse. I have a lot more direction and stronger values because of my college experience, but I’ve also become a lot more cynical about the world. I used to be very idealistic. I never let people get to my head, but I’ve noticed that I’m no longer so utopian in thought. I have become very practical, and as I said, cynical. And there are a lot of reasons for that. First, the knowledge I have obtained has made me see how heartbreaking the world actually is. I have also experienced different personal challenges, which has made me see people and the world differently.
I’m trying to become less realistic and practical, however, because I am young and I should have wild dreams. If my dreams aren’t bigger than myself, then they aren’t big enough.
This month was also very monumental for the discussion of Black lives in the United States — and, really, globally. Black bodies have been dehumanized for centuries. The innocent death of Black individuals is heartbreaking. I spent the month educating myself and beginning conversations with my own community on racism. I know that I’m late. I should have been more persistent in addressing these problems ways earlier, but I am continuing to learn, and today I will not ever stay silent, I promise. I am hopeful that these conversations will elicit positive change. I am hopeful that this is a new wave for a more accepting and inclusive society. Black Lives Matter. I linked some resources you could donate to in this post. I’ve also found this list of anti-racism resources.
I hope your July is beautiful. I am praying that this time passes soon. Here in Texas things are not looking good. This pandemic has transformed life in profound ways. The new “normal” is very different from what I imagined 2020 would be like, and though this was all so unexpected, I hope you all find some light in the dark.