Sunday, July 26, 2015

Silence among noise.

I don't really post anymore. Partially because I usually can't think of anything too terribly important to say, partially because I simply don't have the time and partially because it seems like everyone is voicing so many things now that it's too noisy. When someone has an opinion about something, it has to be shared. Better yet, debated.

I wish I could calmly clasp so many people's shoulders and quietly say,
"Not every thing is an issue. 
Not every issue needs a side. 
Not every side needs to be voiced."

For example, anyone reading this likely heard about the story of the restaurant owner yelling at a screaming child. To be honest, I didn't even read the story. I saw it shared along with opinions about the actions of each party but really, in the end, what does it matter.
The restaurant owner and the parents have some responsibility to take for whatever happened and we should probably just leave it at that. What will my opinion about how the owner handled it change? What will my feelings about how the parents handled their child change? Not a damn thing.

I say this because some things DO need a voice. And they're getting so desperately lost among the noise. I don't want to contribute to the noise.

The voices matter for the actual voiceless. 

I started this blog to share my very difficult, honest, and humiliating story of postpartum depression because no one around me was talking about it. (You can read it here.) It wasn't until my baby was 2 years old and in the car I heard an NPR story about a hospital focusing solely on treating postpartum depression that it even crossed my mind that that sickening darkness had a name. I listened to the segment. I turned my car off. I pulled out my phone and Googled it and there it was. A year of darkness, suicide and sickening thoughts inflicted guilt that never ceased. I sat for a while. And then I called my husband to tell him. For once, it wasn't my own depression to blame. It was something else, something common,  something I could have sought help for.

And why did it never come up before? Why wasn't that ever talked about? Why was that awful, horrible thing never once given a voice? I truly barely survived.

I remember talking to my husband about it more, telling him how awful the timing of it was with the affair we went through during that time and his dark struggles and addictions I couldn't see through my own. And I decided my voice was worth something here. And I started a blog.

So here I break my silence.
This isn't to make anyone feel bad for opinions they've shared on social media. I'm not trying to shame anyone or point out anyone in particular at all.  It's just becoming a trend I'm not a fan of. I've even had to unfollow many pages that I feel like used to post newsworthy, human interest pieces who have now fallen into the same publish happy, controversy inciting, noisy negative drones that litter my feed.

I break my own silence into the noise to remind you that you have a voice and you should use it. But let's, as a whole, take more time to stop and evaluate where we're lending our voices.
 There are so many who need help. So many who are barely surviving. Those who haven't. And they deserve our voice. 

Thai Chicken Enchiladas

Recipe credit to How Sweet It Is...also her pictures look way more appetizing than mine.

Thai Chicken Enchiladas

8 flour tortillas
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbs canola oil
1/2 sweet onion, chopped 
1/3 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped/shredded cabbage
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup crushed peanuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/3 cup + 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce

*I made enough substitutions and changed to this that I don't know that I can say I made the same thing. I added more chicken because that's what I always do. I omitted the shredded carrots and added a bag of frozen peas and carrots, which went over well with the family. I also left out the peanuts due to an allergy and used almond milk instead of coconut milk. Even with those changes this was delicious! 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add canola oil. Throw in onions, cabbage, carrots, garlic and 1/4 tsp salt, stirring to mix. Let cook until vegetables are soft, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in chicken, green onions, peanuts, cilantro, remaining salt and pepper, tossing to coat, and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Add in 3/4 cup coconut milk and 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce, mixing thoroughly to combine. Turn off heat. 

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Whisk together remaining coconut milk and sweet chili sauce. Pour about 1/2 a cup or so on the bottom of the dish. Slightly warm tortillas if desired to make them more pliable, then place a few spoonfuls of the chicken mixture in each, rolling up tightly and placing in the dish. Cover with remaining coconut milk and chili sauce mix. 

Bake for 20 minutes, then remove and top with additional peanuts and cilantro. Since the sauce is not as thick as traditional enchilada sauce, when you remove them from the oven, spoon the sauce from the bottom of the dish all over the tortillas. This can be done halfway through cooking, too.