|Nothing like a good, long sleep.|
It's been a heavy week.
Actually, scratch that. It's been a heavy month. So much has been weighing on my heart and all the waking hours in a day are not enough for the endless soul-searching and unanswered questions that churn around in my head every single day.
I've barely been back a couple months and so many close to my heart have lost loved ones.
I struggle with questions of living and dying and the meaning of all this.
I struggle with guilt about not giving the ones who really matter enough time.
After a year away I'm struggling to fit back into a culture I barely fit into even before I left.
I struggle to understand how meaning and faith and career and family can mean such completely different things between two worlds.
I struggle with reconciling these two worlds which have very much shaped who I am.
I struggle with how little I understand of other people's struggles.
Every single day I have been waking up to a life I know I am incredibly privileged to live and opportunities I should be incredibly thankful to have...
And I doubt if I have what it takes to live this life.
I struggle with guilt about all the above - not doing enough, not being enough - and yet...
I also struggle with dissatisfaction and frustration and getting what I want.
And I struggle with stuffing all these struggles inside because after all, I have so much to be grateful for - who am I to complain?
But the more I stuff, the more the heaviness threatens to spill over and this week it's just ended up with teary meltdowns at the end of every day. A nonsensical, irrational mess of silly, negative thoughts.
I can't do this. I'm not good enough. I'm not strong enough. I'm not tough enough. Not patient enough. Why do I have to do this? I deserve better. Why can't I just get what I want? What's the point in having success by other people's terms if I can't have the one thing I want? There is no way out. I'm going to feel this way forever. What am I talking about? I am so ungrateful. I am just an ungrateful, selfish bitch. I don't know who I am. I. can't. do. this.
So today I'm done with stuffing. I'm not perfect. But who is, anyway? I sometimes doubt myself. But who doesn't, anyway? I sometimes, despite knowing I'm better than this, knowing I've gotten through bigger battles, act silly and cowardly once in awhile. But who doesn't?
Today, I'm reminding myself that those things aren't what matters. The important thing is not to focus on the negatives, which everyone has to deal with every once in awhile, but the simple. good. things.
A good meal. A good sleep. A small space in my house that is all mine, that I can retreat to from the craziness of life. Good music. Silence. A crazy cat. Wonderful distractions.
And the knowledge that I am not alone.
Food bloggers don't just serve up recipes to nourish the belly. They often serve up food for the soul too.
"I did this thing today. I hate when I do this thing.
I did this thing where I convince myself that I’m not working hard enough, that I’m missing something, that my hair looks dumb, and I’m wholely unsatisfied.
How do I get out of a funk?
I give myself time to make something new.
I make tea. I remind myself to be kind… to myself.
Lemons help. Carbs work wonders. And Tina Fey is always to answer."
-Joy The Baker
Even more profoundly moving is a series of posts by a food blogger who recently lost her husband, suddenly and unexpectedly. Today, she is my hero.
"As I spend Friday reflecting on the love and life that was gone in an instant, I'd like to invite all of you to celebrate his life too. Mikey loved peanut butter cream pie. I haven't made it in a while, and I've had it on my to-do list for a while now.
I kept telling myself I would make it for him tomorrow. Time has suddenly stood still, though, and I'm waiting to wake up and learn to live a new kind of normal. For those asking what they can do to help my healing process, make a peanut butter pie this Friday and share it with someone you love. Then hug them like there's no tomorrow because today is the only guarantee we can count on." -for mikey
"Last Sunday was supposed to be a dark, stormy day. The brightly shining sun was a surprise, and it meant Mikey got to play one last game of paddle ball with a good friend.
It meant he got to help Isabella ride her bike one last time.
It meant we were not home when he died.
I've never been so grateful for a sunny day. Had it been raining, we would've in all likelihood been home when his heart stopped beating, getting ready for dinner." -5:52 pm
"This is what the sunset looks like from our deck on Cape Cod.
It might be more accurate to say this is what it used to look like, since this memory was captured last year when Mikey was still standing by my side watching it with me.
We lived for those sunsets. No matter what we were doing, the world went on pause, as we gazed at it, always in awe of how quickly those last few minutes flew by." -total eclipse of the heart
"...why even post a picture of those pancakes?
They are the first photo of food I've snapped since August 6th, the day before Mikey died.
Those pancakes are a beginning. Baby steps, in a way. Mikey was my muse. Pretty much every recipe I ever created was inspired by or made with him in mind. I'm hoping by easing into taking photographs of food again, it will open the door to new inspiration.
For now, I'm relying on recipes I know from memory. My memories are all I have to keep me going these days." -the road to recovery (and perfect pancakes)