Photographs by Meadow Linn

Thursday, March 8, 2012

From "Looking" to "Finding"

Like the hummingbird, sometimes I find myself flapping my wings really hard only to discover I'm standing still

One day when I was about 13, my mom hollered to me, “Come on! Let’s go find a home.” The house we’d been renting was being sold from under us and my parents had unsuccessfully been looking for a place to buy for months.

As if guided by a greater force, my mom drove across town without really knowing where she was going. We ended up in Greenlake, a pretty neighborhood with an urban park and lake. When we parked the car, we immediately noticed two houses side-by-side, both for sale. Although neither was perfect, they both fit our needs.

Our house in Greenlake in the early 1990s
After touring them both, my parents ended up purchasing the one with the smaller lot but larger living space. We lived in that house throughout my high school and college years, and when I think back to my childhood in Seattle, this is the house I remember. As soon as we stopped looking and started finding, the right house appeared.

It’s the same with dating. I haven’t found my Mr. Right because I’ve only been looking, which has suited me quite well. I’m a champion looker. For example, it takes me days, sometimes even weeks, to plan a vacation. I leave no stone unturned while searching for the cheapest airfare and the best hotels. And now that my parents are property hunting again, I’m on Zillow and Craigslist every night looking for their new home. I send them listing after listing, simply because I love the pursuit. Although I’ll be happy when they find something they love, I’ll also probably feel a bit bereft because I won’t be able to look anymore.

For all my moaning about wanting to fall in love, get married, and start a family, I think I’ve actually been in love with the process of looking. I don’t think I was necessarily ready to find. Although I’ve been saying for years that I want to settle down, I’ve enjoyed how being on my own has made it easier to travel, move from city to city, and even test out a few different careers.

Always looking
Plus, I even think blind dates are kind of fun. I revel in adventure, and I love having a good story to tell. My Internet blind date escapades have made for great stories, which I’ve used to regale many a crowd. Additionally, I’ve enjoyed the role of online dating “expert” and helping friends navigate the world of creating a dating profile and connecting with strangers. 

Over the years, I’ve often used my location to explain why my ideal match and I haven’t found each other. For example, I reasoned that the men I met when I lived in Maine were too outdoorsy, the men in Los Angeles were too citified, and the ones here in Paso Robles were too country, but the truth is…you can find the love of your life anywhere, when you’re ready to find.

I like being autonomous, and I enjoy the pleasures of living alone, but also my heart yearns for a family. Change seems to be in the air, and I think part of my transformation this year will include moving from the place of looking to the place of finding. I’m ready!

If, like me, there’s something in your life you’re yearning for, such as a relationship, a home, or a new job, consider giving up the search. Change your mindset. Go on the offensive and find, just as my mom and I did with our house so many years ago. Miracles will abound!

Here's to finding your heart's desire! May miracles abound!

Barbecued Bangkok Chicken with Green Sauce 
Serves 2

I wanted to share a new and exciting recipe with you, but it seemed the more I looked, the less I found. So, I decided to change my approach. I opened my refrigerator and rather than looking, I decided to find just the right ingredients. This is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. lime juice
2 tsp. tamari
1 tsp. sugar

1 pkg. (1-1½ lbs.) boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Green Sauce:
1 cup roughly chopped basil
1 cup roughly chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. fish sauce (use less if you’re sensitive to salt)
3 Tbsp. water

To make the marinade, mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add the chicken and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To make the green sauce, combine all the ingredients together in a blender and process until smooth. For a spicy zing, add green chili pepper, such as jalapeƱo.

Preheat a gas grill on high. Reduce heat to medium and oil the grate. Place the chicken on the grill and cook, covered, about 10 minutes on one side and 5 minutes on the other. The time will vary, however, based on the temperature of your grill and the size of the chicken thighs. Serve over jasmine rice and drizzle with the green sauce and a splash of Sriracha (if you so choose).

Photos ©Meadow Linn