Food is sustenance for our bodies and for our souls. At our most basic physical level, we consume food to survive. But beyond that, we eat to commune with others. We eat to experience something new- a new sensation, flavor, smell. We eat for comfort and we eat to share. We eat for pleasure.
Eating and drinking with others is an intimate experience. We learn about ourselves and our friends and family around the dinner table. Sharing a meal with someone can spark new conversation and create a connection. If you cook a meal to share, you're leaving yourself vulnerable to others' opinions- you're sharing a piece of your past, an enthusiasm for something unique, or testing your skills and hoping that the people you have shared with understand the importance of what you choose to feed them. As a cook, you nourish others, and their enjoyment and pleasure nourishes you in return.
Just as feeding others brings you pleasure, so can feeding yourself. When dining alone, you're giving yourself the opportunity for real, selfish joy. In every sense of the word, dining alone is nourishment. Give yourself the opportunity to go visit a restaurant alone. Take the time to choose what you want- no one is there to choose differently. Use your eyes and nose along with your tongue, understand that eating isn't just about keeping our bodies alive. Eating is about community. Eating is connecting with others. Eating is also about learning and sharing. Most of all, eating brings joy.