I’ve been uncharacteristically happy lately. I saw my therapist last week for the first time in a month, and didn’t know what to talk about. I’m so used to spending my sessions focusing on how to improve things in my life—preventing negative behavior patterns, setting personal goals, etc. Walking in to see my therapist, I was worried that there would be an uncomfortable silence due to my lack of problems to discuss. On the contrary, my therapist assured me that these are important sessions to have because we can look at what is working in my life, why it is working, and how to create more of it in the future. Eureka!
I am definitely someone who feels better in the spring and summer months, but even so, I can’t remember feeling this content in many years. I even have frequent moments of straight up joy and euphoria these days. It feels so goddamned good and foreign at the same time. I want to hold onto these moments, but they are fleeting. And they should be; we wouldn’t want to savor them otherwise. I go about my day feeling grateful I have a life that I absolutely love. I’m working on not reacting to people’s words and behaviors as much as I used to. I am learning to be kinder to myself and not critique every little thing I think or do.
I want to shout my happiness out to the world. I want to dance in the streets. And yet I find myself being shy about sharing my jubilation with others. When friends ask how I’m doing, I have been replying with, “I’m really good. I’m really happy.” I want to go on and on about why so I’m happy and how great it feels, but I think that would be strange. It would feel boastful, and I was raised in the Midwest where excessive pride in one’s achievements or accomplishments—hell, talking about yourself at all—was frowned upon. I did call my 85-year-old grandma last week and share my happiness with her. I think it delighted her.
This carrot salad, adapted from Bon Appétit, was my obsession for the entire 4 days it was in my refrigerator. I love cilantro, especially in the summer, and it compliments the sweetness of carrots beautifully. Cilantro makes everything taste fresh. I find it hard to believe that there are people out there who despise cilantro. Those people are crazy. There, I said it. The lemon juice adds a nice acidity so the vinaigrette does not taste heavy at all. Be sure not to add the pistachios to the salad until right before serving, or they will turn soft. I can’t wait to make this again.
Carrot Salad with Coriander Vinaigrette and Pistachios
- 1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 3/4 tsp. coriander seeds
- 1/2 garlic clove finely grated
- 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- sea salt
- 1 lb. carrots peeled, julienned or coarsely grated
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- Toast coriander in a small dry skillet over medium heat, tossing often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Let cool; coarsely chop.
- Whisk garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and coriander in a large bowl, then whisk in oil; season with salt.
- Add carrots, toss, and let sit at least 30 minutes. Toss with cilantro and pistachios just before serving.