It’s 1:06 am. I just popped a glass dish of oiled and seasoned organic beet chunks in the oven to roast for about 45 minutes while I wait on my large pot of water to boil so I can lower my organic, free range, Omega-3 eggs into it… then clean my room. It’s been a long day already, and I’m planning to get up at 6 to drive people I don’t know to their work or the airport or wherever they wanna pay me to go. For now, I cook. And write about it in the process.
Tonight, I have the house to myself. My roommate is housesitting somewhere else, and I was supposed to stay with my boyfriend (If this is your first time reading anything like this from me and you’ve known me my whole life – Hi, I’m 30. I stay with my boyfriend sometimes. Take some deep breaths, drink some water, and you’ll be ok.) (I’m from a small town, for those who are like, “WTF was that?”) after having a double date with a friend and her fiancée. In a moment of stress-induced panic, I cancelled everything so I could breathe… and cook. Alone. In my
own rented house. Alone.
I’ve lived here for 4 years. This house has seen more growth in me than any other place apart from my childhood home, and sometimes, I just want to be with that, especially in times of stress and uncertainty. It’s been a tough couple of days in the mental health region, even when a semi-stranger told me in a parking lot yesterday, “Oh! I know you! You’re the girl with ‘the voice!’” I couldn’t bear to listen to recordings of myself from a party the night before. My brain took a major nosedive when I looked at my bank account earlier and realized I was about $300 short for rent due in a few days. (This has changed a little, thanks to some transactions I forgot were going through and the incredible generosity of a fellow choir member/perfect angel.) Our choir concert is this weekend and I’m opening an event immediately following our 2nd and final concert for the season. I don’t know all of the words to all of the choral songs quite yet. Nothing in my closet fits that is appropriate for the concert, and the rest has been seen over and over and over again since I gained the 50 lbs I lost last year plus 10 more, thanks to more stress, so I’ve opted to create something for myself. (I know the face you’re making right now. It’s cool. I’m making it, too.) I owe important people emails and phone calls about my career’s future. It’s a lot to handle right now.
One of my favorite movies is “Bridesmaids,” and I got to see it last week with the same friend I bailed on tonight. There’s a moment when Kristen Wiig’s character goes into the kitchen for what is perceivably the first time in a while and makes one cupcake that looks so perfect and delicious and you just wanna put your mouth on the screen when it comes out all beautiful and flowery-like. She’s alone, at night, in her kitchen, facing something she hasn’t in a while, and in the midst of everything that’s happening around me, that’s exactly what I am doing. It’s not just boiling eggs and roasting beets; it’s self-care, something that has been desperately missing from my life for a very, very long time.
When I watched this movie again for the first time in a while, the scene where Melissa McCarthy’s character goes over to Kristen Wiig’s post-kicked-out-of-the-bridal-party (SPOILER ALERT!), depressed character’s house and teaches her, after slapping her around a bit (If you haven’t seen the film, this part has a purpose, I assure you.), “You are your own problem, Annie. You’re also your solution.” UGH!!!! WHY DOES SHE MAKE ME FEEL THINGS WHEN SHE SAYS THIS EVERY SINGLE TIME?!?!?!
Because it’s exactly what I need to hear. Ever since my epiphany last year that I have a victimhood mentality and, therefore, I have a tendency to blameshift (Truth, y’all.), this has stuck with me like a starfish on my face. I go through periods of time where I try really, really hard to get back on track, and then I make an excuse and go back to destructive patterns that get me into a worse place than where I began. I’m cancelling and clearing that from my past for my right now and my future. Self-care is a daily choice, and I love me enough to recognize and implement whatever it takes moving forward.
Being healthy may never be convenient. It will, however, be worth it, and if I only get 2 hours of sleep tonight because food prep is a much higher need than sleep, so be it. That’s where I am today because I finally told myself I had to break the cycle and get what my body, mind, and soul needs – nourishment. I cannot allow Fear to get in the way anymore, and this isn’t just about “weight loss” or fitting into my clothes again or money. It’s about healing, putting myself first, and getting tired of feeding myself the same bullshit day in, day out.
Something’s gotta give, ya know? Tonight, it’s sleep. And damn, these beets smell soooooo goooooooood.