A conversation I had with a dear friend who’s about to take a big leap of faith made me realize a very simple but important truth.
The truth of living more with less. The truth that we actually don’t need very much to live a fulfilled life; a life that brims with color and vibrancy and passion.
I’ve always been someone who holds on tightly to possessions because of sentimental reasons.
In the past five years of living in Buenos Aires, I accumulated so many clothes and shoes and bags, and things in general, that when it was time for Juan and I to pack up and leave for Washington this August, I was at a complete loss.
When I stared at the endless piles of clothes on my bed and the shelves of shoes I had, I struggled to decide what to do with all of that. I folded and re-folded my dresses, tops and pants, each piece a reminder of a certain point of my life.
But then, I eventually realized that I simply wasn’t able to bring all that with me, and neither did it make sense to store it in boxes at Juan’s mum’s place.
So I made the difficult choice to give most of it away.
It was terrifying. It felt like I was giving away a part of me, but I pushed back the feelings of fear and focused on the fact that in order to move on to greater things, I had to learn to leave certain things behind, starting with material possessions.
Strangely enough, when I’d finally come to terms with giving away more than half of the possessions I had in Buenos Aires, there was a huge feeling of relief that I hadn’t expected.
Like I’d drawn a clean slate. As if there were more space to breathe in.
That now there was extra room to grow into.
In the same way, when I’d decided to take a leave of absence from my full-time job to accompany Juan in DC, the original fears of being jobless and not having a fixed income later dissipated into relief, and faith that there were better things to come replaced the worries I had.
When we left Argentina for the US, all I carried with me were my two large brown Echolac suitcases (the same ones I’d brought with me when I’d uprooted from Singapore to re-locate to Buenos Aires in 2010), my laptop, and my camera.
I figured that the things that I was taking with me would be more than enough; and if they weren’t, God would provide. He is and has always been Jehovah Jireh, my provider.
My mum had assured me some time back that if God were to show us a door, He would provide the means to walk through it.
In the past five weeks since we arrived, I’ve started to shed off the initial worries about finances and the fact that working freelance doesn’t bring in a steady pay check.
I’ve decided to take this incredible opportunity I have to be able to do what I love best in the world – writing, photography and cooking – and let life surprise me.
There really are very few things that we need in life to be happy and fulfilled.
Most of us wrongly assume that we always need more and more and more to be able to be satisfied human beings. More money, more bags, more clothes, more shoes. I used to think so too.
But, the truth is, the less we hold onto, the more we are able to receive. And we can then start living more with less.
In the same way that we can do much with the little we have, today’s dish is a simple one, brought together with very few ingredients but which makes for a filling and tasty meal.
These are bowls of baked spaghetti squash tossed with fragrant minced garlic and chopped fresh cilantro. An easy and flavorful dish that doesn’t require much hands-on attention, but is extremely satisfying.
Enjoy, and remember, let’s live more with less.
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ cup of freshly chopped cilantro + more for garnishing
- Salt and peper to taste
- Freshly shredded cheese, for garnishing
- Pre-heat oven to 375 deg Fahrenheit (190 deg Celsius)
- Cut the spaghetti squash into half, remove the seeds and bake in oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until flesh is soft and you can pull out the flesh easily in strings with a fork
- Scrape the spaghetti squash flesh until all the yellow strings are out
- Heat up a 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan, and saute the garlic until fragrant and slightly golden then add in the spaghetti squash and mix well over medium heat
- Mix in the chopped cilantro and mix well to ensure that it is evenly distributed
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Divide the garlic cilantro spaghetti squash evenly between two bowls, garnish with a bit of fresh cilantro and shredded cheese and serve immediately.