On Saturday evening, I took the long, neighborly stroll from my apartment in Mission Hills to Old Town. We set out with the intention of dinning at Sushi Tadokoro — upon arrival we were told they were booked through the evening. Teetering on the verge of hanger, we went straight to Indian Grill.
If you're a San Diegan, I know what you are thinking: who goes to Old Town for sushi or Indian food? We do!
Having finished the Autobiography of a Yogi on Saturday afternoon, the thought of Indian food saturated my thoughts all day. After reading Paramahansa Yogananda’s description of their feasts, I craved Punjabi Tandoor — my absolute favorite place to eat Indian food in San Diego. Since I was unfamiliar with Indian Grill’s menu, I asked my server to select me the “best vegetarian entree”. When it arrived, it could not have been further from what I envisioned myself eating — she brought me the biryani.
I often ask my servers to surprise me and nine times out of ten, it works in my favor — I typically receive something incredible, a dish I may not have personally selected.
On Saturday, it backfired.
In my head, I saw myself eating a creamy curry concoction, full of spice, rice or lentils, and steamed vegetables. I imagined myself dipping our garlicky naan into the overflow of sauce on my plate. Instead, before me was a large heaping of Indian fried rice, no sauce for the naan in sight. The dish was spicy and dry; far from the decadent, juicy meal I had fantasized.
I nonetheless take full responsibility for my dissatisfaction, the waitress adhered to my guidance — it was vegetarian and to her, the biryani may have been the best vegetarian item.
At dinner, I knew what I didn’t want — I did not want a dish with meat. However, I did not take the time to specifically address and/or seek out my desire and I left feeling discontented.
While writing in my journal later that evening, I reflected on the experience and it brought me back to a question that had plagued my week… “What kind of person are you?”
The question was initially asked spitefully a week ago on Wednesday — after I made a decision that misaligned with someone else’s life views.
Then, Jacki Carr more delicately re-presented the same question with different verbiage on a short phone call on Thursday afternoon. Jacki asked me to consider what my values are and what my legacy will be… Questions that required me to not only be cognizant of what I didn’t want but intimately familiar with what I do.
With great clarity, I am now able to answer the question, What kind of person are you?:
I am passionate. Passionate about love, life, and inspired, hard work. I am thinker, a learner — constantly on a quest for new knowledge and insights. I am emotionally, physically, and mentally open and strong. I am a whole person — I refuse to compromise any part of myself for anything or anyone. I am reader, a writer, an adventurer, a yogi, a runner, a teacher, a student, a volunteer, a sister, a daughter, a girlfriend, a friend, a best-friend, a consultant, a coach, a strategist, an artist, a dreamer, a traveler, an eater — I am a believer. I believe the good for me and you is better than the good for just me in each and every single situation and I choose to only surround myself and have relationships with people who believe that, too.
I am Julia Jane Sparkman and I am sure that the person I am today will continue to grow, evolve, and change, so I’m certain you’ll meet a newly developed version of me soon.