Chile Rubbed Salmon over Cheddar Grits
I wrote this post as part of the Plugrá Butter Brigade. Thanks, Plugrá, for sponsoring this post and for making my favorite butter!
I dumped several spools of yellow curling ribbon out of my book bag and started cutting off lengths to tie around the willing arms of my classmates. Someone tied mine on. My coursing adrenaline had turned my head into a pressure cooker. I was walking into trouble and I knew it. But I also knew our cause was just.
As we collected our books, I surveyed the group around me one last time. We were a rag-tag bunch of middle school students, some in flip-flops or sneakers and others sporting the latest Timberland boots. Bob, whose real name was Daniel, stood tall and weird over in the corner. Jamie, who had singlehandedly launched the layered-curls trend that many girls subsequently tried to emulate with less success, was being effortlessly cool off to the right. Our yellow armbands probably looked like sad bows ripped off a kindergartener’s present and trampled in a hasty exodus toward a birthday bouncy house. But in my mind, they looked like something a warrior might wear.
The bell rang. Just like that, we marched out into the hallway and began what seemed then like the ultimate act of rebellion: we turned right instead of left.
Cheesy Chipotle Shrimp Sweet Potato Coins
What do you do to self-soothe during times of distress?
As many of you know (and have been so supportive about, thank you!), I’m currently writing a series about my growth as a white person who wants to actively combat racism. There are a lot of thoughts swirling around as I write, but one thing that keeps springing up is how crucial it is for us to be able to manage our own emotions.
That probably sounds obvious, but a lot of times when I’m in a period of distress I find myself wanting to blame someone for my feelings (Brené Brown has an awesome little video about this), withdraw to prove a point ("I’m taking my ball and going home!"), or rely on someone to comfort me. But of course no one is responsible for managing my emotions but me. I’m stronger and safer if I know effective ways to do it on my own. So just like we created a list of reasons to stay alive, let’s create a list of ideas to help each other tolerate distress.
Chile Baked Salmon with Lime Butter
In case you've never experienced social anxiety, here's a handy snapshot of it:
While I place my order for a sandwich at my local coffee shop, I make eye contact with the cashier to be polite. The eye contact flusters me, though, so I immediately look down and pretend my wallet is very interesting. The counter next to me is also intriguing. The floor is simply fascinating.
While the cashier scans my card, I worry about whether or not my face looks weird and whether or not I’m doing the right thing with my hands. What’s the right thing to do with your hands? I don’t know, but probably not whatever I’m doing. I shuffle them every few seconds to try to increase the likelihood that they’ll be doing the right thing whenever someone glances. Or, wait, does that decrease the likelihood? I stop shuffling. I start again.
Once my order is placed, I sit down in a booth with a sigh of relief and wait for them to call my name when my sandwich is ready. But something is bothering me. I’m a little deaf and it’s kind of loud in here. What if I can't hear them call my name? My brain conveniently replays a full technicolor memory of a time I did miss my name being called at a restaurant and was snarked at, which made me want to melt into a storm drain and live out the rest of my life as the inconspicuous layer of sewer scum that I apparently was. So that was pleasant.