# 63 Fried Chicken and Waffles

Quirky is like this cute way to say that you’re weird. I know because I am weird. Not the stabby-stabby kind, but well you know, yolo.

I launched my book yesterday, which felt awesome. There was a pretty decent turn-out, at least 40 people, maybe more. Most were friends and family, and there were a few who came after they saw my article in Eastern Bay Life. When I started writing the book, I didn’t really think about what it would feel like when it was finally published - deep down did I think I wouldn’t finish it? Maybe.

Before I headed to the event I lost my phone, actually just misplaced it because I found it a few hours later. I had friends coming from out of town, so I was more concerned that they needed directions than my actual phone being missing. Want to know where I found it in the end? In the boot of my car (I drove my Mum’s Rav to the event), where I stored blank t-shirts. It was the only other place I had been to that morning and didn’t check there before I left.

Not having my phone on me at the event...was glorious. It really was. No notifications meant I had digital silence. I was truly present in our conversations. How long have I been switched off from people and hadn’t even noticed? Even as I write this, I have checked my phone a few times, even though it hadn’t buzzed.

Do you remember when Alanis Morisette’s album ‘Jagged Little Pill’ came out and it instantly became this anthem for scorned women in the mid-90s? I mean if there was a song to trash your ex-boyfriend’s house to, this is it. By the time her single ‘Thank You’ came out in the late 90s, she was the poster-child for how to be zen. So, Alanis, I get you, I really do. At the end of the day, you do what gets you past it and then you learn to move on. The book was my Jagged Little Pill album of sorts, and now I’m figuring out the details for the next one. I still insist that mine isn’t an angry woman story, well only maybe the first four chapters.

There will be people with signed copies of the book wondering what ‘fried chicken and waffles’ means. Apart from literally being this delicious combination of breakfast and deep-fried heaven? Oooh child! It’s the Asian in me that loves those weird taste combinations - but yeah, high-five to the sisters and brothers of the South. In the spectrum of taste buds - there is plain, not plain, the Gobi Desert, then me. Though when I wrote about fried chicken and waffles it’s about making time to do things that make you happy and being in that moment to truly enjoy it. Enjoying great food and company isn’t just a foodie thing, it’s a human thing. How many of us meet up only to sit at a table and stare at our phones, barely making eye contact?

I’ve been writing about men, relationships and feelings for the last year, and boy that’s been exhausting. And exhaustion is over-rated. This year I’m planning on having more adventures, and breathe new life into my writing. A woman asked me how I motivated myself, and I said things changed when I realised that motivation is a finite fuel. Life flowed when I allowed people to help me, in whatever way they could, not how I thought they should. Releasing the judgement meant less disappointment.

Fried chicken and waffles - winner or not to you, symbolises a time in my life where I’m letting go, re-building and building relationships, all because I’m no longer afraid to do me. It's OK to be single. Courage my love - you are worth it.

Ronna Grace Funtelar

A thirtyish storyteller, hobby hiker, photography and sunrise enthusiast with a passion for mindfully helping others live beyond their comfort zone.