I remember being in graduate school. I lived in my own apartment. It was very important to my mom that I live alone at least once in my life (as a parent, I now understand that you want to prevent your children from having the same struggles you did… she saw this as one of her regrets).
I studied, I daydreamed. I ATE.
I cooked, some. I learned to cook. Eventually.
My dad’s favorite joke is that I used to burn water… but he and my bonus mom made sure we knew how to cook simple stuff before we left for college. For that I am grateful.
I ordered a LOT of take-out that year in grad school. I ate a lot of processed foods, a lot of sweets. I love sugar and baked goods (no surprise that the one recipe I mastered before I left home was cookies).
I don’t recall a lot of details from that year, other than that, essentially, I was lonely. I was isolated. I ate to comfort myself.
Even though I went outside, I was around people, I went for walks through the parks, I browsed at the bookstores, I went to class. I experienced my isolation. I felt it, my alone-ness. I didn’t like it, it didn’t feel good.
It wasn’t horrible. But now, I realize that I was eating to escape my discomfort, escape my feelings. The ones I created for myself that year. I was soothing myself with food. Not terribly surprising that that year was essentially my unhealthiest nutrition year ever.
I was in my early 20’s. I had a boyfriend who was loving, supportive and lived about 2 hours away. He was great. My family has always been loving. I was “going through life”. I was living how I knew. I hadn’t learned. I didn’t know any better.
Ya know, that time when you THINK you are grown and mature and know everything?
Yeah, that time.
I laugh now. That experience helped to shape who I am today. All of my experiences have. For that reason, I don’t live with regrets. I often don’t look back at all. I live, I learn, I move forward.
Are there times that I cringe thinking about the horrible choices I’ve made and the people that I’ve hurt along the way? Of course.
Is there value in reliving these things in my mind repeatedly? No.
I live, I learn, I keep moving forward. Again. And again. Have I learned the same lessons multiple times? Yup, I am that stubborn. Yet I keep moving forward.
I still crave amazing Greek food, especially moussaka from that little restaurant in Cleveland sometimes.
I smile though now, recalling the dreams I had back then, what I was doing to move myself forward and how much I have learned while living my life.
Live life. Make mistakes. Learn and keep moving forward. It is the human way. Embrace it all and life will become so much more.
Let’s stay in touch.