It’s 2019! And one of my goals is to improve the quality of my posts. I see that the others I read are so well written, and I honestly believe I can do better than what I’ve been pushing out the last few years. One of the big telltale signs for me was that I was never proud to tell people that I had a blog (granted, it’s lost me a lot of things), just because I knew that the content here wasn’t great. No more to do lists. No more repeating myself. Let’s get this bread.
Speaking of bread, it’s a nice segway into what I really want to talk about: FOOD.
There is nothing that makes me feel as much as food.
People around me definitely notice- when my parents want me to visit them, they tell me what they’re going to cook for dinner. My brothers tell me when they’re planning on eating out since they know I won’t be able to resist going in on takeaways. My friends have given me chips on my birthday, and that hanging out with me will involve FOOD- but I don’t think most people, including myself, realise the extent that I think about food.
One of my favourite every day places and tasks is grocery shopping and the supermarket. I’m so obsessed that I watch hours of grocery hauls on youtube- basically it’s when Americans show how what they got from the grocery store. I like ones where they’ve normally spent hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars and they’ve got 11 children – there is something in my soul that loves seeing someone buy 5 milks, 12 breads and 25 jars of applesauce. I am in walking distance of Lims, an Asian supermarket, and I go about once a week- it makes me even happier to be surrounded by Asian food and produce that’s cheaper than chain supermarkets.
And of course, the actual eating part is also very important. Overordering has become a routine, overindulging is why I struggle with diets and always finding new places and food I want to try. And I don’t just like eating- I like other people eating too. Back in high school I had this weird thing of watching people eat, and now I get to do it privately with the rise of mukbangs on the internet like a real pervert. It makes me feel fulfilled for some reason. Seeing others eating something they like and getting happy like I would be if I was in their situation makes me feel better too.
So I get it. Food makes me happy. I’ve grown up with food as a celebration, something to look forward to and something to value. When I’m sad I comfort eat because I deserve a treat. When I’m happy its a reward. When I’m bored it’s a distraction. I have a list on my phone to plan for my meals that I keep more updated than anything in my life? Why??
Because I Need Control
Apparently reports show that many millenials feel helpless, hopeless, passive, bored, scared, isolated and dehumanised, resulting in a loss of independence and community connection.
Because millennials feel like they can’t control a lot in their lives, and if they can its not simple at the slightest, we cope by making systems for ourselves and its common to do it for food. According to this article from mind body green this is why everyone is a variation of gluten free/carb free/ doesn’t eat dairy / oat milk only/ no refined sugar/ because its the easiest thing we can 100% control and feel secure in it too. I can research for meals and restaurants I can find them in, buy the food i want to eat, when and how I want to eat it.
Since I seem to have an existential crisis every week, I can relate to this. I can’t control how my career is going and who is going to give me my next job or step up. I can’t control when I’m next going to have a boyfriend to my absolute anger and disdain. I can’t control my friends supporting me, the way my parents treat me, I could not control when I got my driving license, or the housing market to go down so I can buy a house (sidenote: I cannot find a house under the price cap in Auckland that fits into the Welcome Home Loan scheme for first time buyers… isn’t that total bullshit?!?!?). Maybe this is feeding (bu dum tss) into my food obsession, and why I keep a little meal plan going on because the thought of not knowing what I’m going to eat makes me a little anxious and why my pantry and drawer at work is STOCKED. I can’t really control anything in my life, but I can eat whenever I want.
Food does offer me a sense of knowledge and control that I didn’t even know I was lacking so severely in my life (cue another existential crisis over how I cannot trust anything…)
Food is not an antidote to my millenial life, as said in The Atlantic. It’s a pacifier. It’s lulling me into a false sense of control and makes me feel slightly better, but it’s not actually fulfilling anything deeper than my stomach.
Because I need attention
The Atlantic also bought up a really good point- maybe I LOVE food because it’s a different way for me to get attention.
This part in particular: “I feel like one reason that young people, or really, people, obsess over food is that it lets people have social currency. It’s a way of showing off. And there’s a weird dimension: You are demonstrating that you have the luxury to be very, very deliberate about something that a lot of people really struggle to have.”
Fuck. What if I like food…Because I like showing it off? Here’s my food instagram by the way just to prove the point even more.
But when I ask myself why I am posting these pics, I don’t know if my answer would be so narcissistic. I just like pretty pictures of food, I take all these pictures of food and they’re all sort of wasted sitting on my phone with noone to look at and like a good millennial I wanted to make my hobby more valuable.. but I guess I want the attention or else I wouldn’t be hashtagging like a maniac… :/
But I don’t want to rub it into people’s faces. I typically go to cheap places anyway, and I don’t even get that much attention from it. My main reason was that I enjoy food pics and content but I didnt want to bombard my friends with pics of my dinner since it’s one of the examples people use when they want to explain the vapidness of social media (… if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard people moan about how “they don’t want to see what they had for dinner” on their newsfeed… i would able to buy a dinner from Momo Tea) and thought that I could create that content too.
Because I’m bored
I can feel, taste, smell, learn about and hold food. Not many things in life can excite so many senses, or at least in my life anyway. I don’t have another hobby that gets me pumping from adrenaline or dopamine or holds my interest as much. Although i do find it a little bit worrying that I obsess about food so much, I honestly think it’s because I’m bored and food is the most stimulating thing I enjoy. I’m going to drop a sizzling pun: food puts the flavour in my daily routine. It’s a mundane task that I can look forward to throughout the day and I have total control in making it exciting or not.
So I might be powerless. I might be attention seeking, lonely and have nothing to do.
But at least I’m not hungry..!