The summer of 2012 I had moved in to a friend's apartment after the night I left my ex. I was completely devastated, elated, excited, scared and hopeful. While there are many things to write about this specific time in my life I want to share my thoughts particularly around the food I ate.
You know how people sometimes say "I am so excited, I can't eat." and "I totally just lost my appetite, bleeh." especially when you talk about something that was apparently not 'table talk approved' like the time you stepped on a blood filled wood tick and you thought you stepped on strawberry jam?? Apparently this happens to people! Who knew! Before that summer, I had no idea what they were talking about. Not eating? Involuntary? Why would you choose to do that?Just eat it. It tastes good, c'mon! I never 'lost my appetite'.
But I did lose my appetite that summer. I remember, in the beginning, being completely unaware that I sometimes just did not eat anything and then I would come home and eat an apple and almond butter. Or, almond butter by the spoon. I was too busy, too worried, too frightened. I needed money, I needed to finish the semester of school, I needed to figure shit out.
"I was too busy, too worried, too frightened. I needed money, I needed to finish the semester of school, I needed to figure shit out."
I didn't have time for food. Food that was once a family (of two) event; preparing breakfast for the day, eating lunch after church on a Sunday, preparing dinner throughout the week - had become a solo adventure. It was just me. And I didn't have time for that.
A few weeks in I ate, what I will call now, The Summer of 2012 Dinner at least three times a week.
This consists of:
- 1 bag of Old Dutch Ketchup Chips
- 1 package of Brookside Dark Chocolate Pomegranate
- 1 package of Jolly Rancher Bites Sour Chewy Candy
Add in a few apples with almond butter and bags of frozen organic raspberries you will have my diet that I ate that whole summer.
I remember going back to the apartment I had shared with him to collect a few things. I sat on the couch and ate a bag of chips on the couch, contemplating what had become of my life.
"I remember going back to the apartment I had shared with him to collect a few things. I sat on the couch and ate a bag of chips on the couch, contemplating what had become of my life."
Eventually I started preparing more meals myself. As a couple we had consumed 'effin rice at every 'effin meal possible! I chose not to eat it (and I haven't bought a bag of rice yet!). I wanted to buy the expensive chicken breasts - so I did. I bought organic oatmeal and frozen raspberries. I made meals that consisted of only beef steak strips and broccoli. I planned every meal for myself and I relished in every opportunity to try something new. I bought the premixed Clubhouse spices. I ate burritos, Vietnamese noodles and went to the sushi place that "We will go on a date there, someday." but never did.
Eating can be a symbol of your relationship with someone. The food you eat are somehow intertwined with the people you eat them with. At first, I didn't know what to do with my solo eating so I consumed what I knew would satisfy me in the urgency and immediacy of every meal when I knew that the next day, and the next would be filled with the same intense emotions: freedom, panic, anxiety.
When I eventually started taking care of myself, it reflected in my eating habits.
Me and myself and my eating. A solo adventure. While I have now invited someone into my life to share in what I eat - I will always hold a bag of ketchup chips (figuratively) to my heart to remember my Summer of 2012 Dinner.