“Craving” (Day 11)

When I did the 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat I learned that the point of it was to get rid of all cravings and aversions. The idea is that all human suffering is caused by craving something or averting something.

When you realize this and start to break it down it makes complete sense. I know that I would love to avert all unpleasant things while I just wait for all the good things to come.

I know I feel needy sometimes. I also tend to feel like everybody else gets what they want – or even worse, what I want – but I don’t. I always feel left behind. People brought food in… oh I didn’t get any. People are going on an outing… oh I wasn’t invited, or I have to work, of course I have to work, I always have to work. Co-workers get the schedule I want, it’s just a never ending loop of disappointment and feeling sorry for myself.

There’s a boy. (Of course, there’s always a boy…) And I crave time and attention from him. I don’t get it, then I get upset, feel sad, spend time thinking about what I’m doing wrong. It’s not healthy. It’s not happy.

I wish I could be better at letting go of my need for things, to feel a certain way and feel like I need to have a certain experience go a certain way. Just letting go in itself is a wondrous thing to learn.  My trip to Asia next year is a bit like that when my friends have asked me “so what’s the plan?” and all I can firmly reply with is my arrival date. I have absolutely nothing planned except things I’ve researched and have in the back of my mind.

It’s a completely different experience than when I did Europe for 5 months. Although I went with a one way ticket, I did have the first 2.5 months planned out and all my train tickets bought before even touching European ground.

Thanksgiving is coming up and so naturally I’m not only craving the traditional menu but also the feeling you get around Thanksgiving like fall weather, autumn toned clothing and decorations, football, big sweaters, family, hot cider, comfort, innocence, happiness. I spent some time looking up pumpkin pie recipes today and vegan pumpkin pie recipes.

Unfortunately I looked them up on Pinterest which means I sat there for 2 hours scrolling through AMAZING looking desserts. Guess what happened? I got the craziest sweet tooth that felt like it couldn’t be cured without a ton of gooey chocolateness and a shovel.

So quick thinking – do I have apples? No. Do I have cinnamon? No. Great! I’ll bake apples in cinnamon. Luckily I live and work in a motel with a restaurant because since it’s such a small town all the shops close by 6 on Sundays. So I went down to the kitchen and the boys just looked at me like what could you possibly want now… and I asked for cinnamon and an apple. It was funny. Then I marched back up to staff quarters cut the apple, covered it with the cinnamon and threw it in the oven. (I mean gently placed on a cookie sheet)

Let it bake for a few minutes, until the whole kitchen smelled like cinnamon pulled it out and scooped 2 scoops of peanut butter on it. My bestie here was laughing so I got insecure like “I know, I can’t even beat a sweet tooth.” And she explained that she was laughing because I still made a healthy treat instead of marching to the gas station (only thing open 24 hours) and buying some candy. There are definitely still candy treats that are vegan, I mean, Oreos are vegan after all. Technically.

That made me laugh too, because I hadn’t even thought about that. I wanted something rich like a chocolate cake, but cinnamon apples and peanut butter for some reason sounded like it would hit the spot – and it did. I had a good dinner of grated cauliflower with boiled broccoli and brussels sprouts with vegan sausages (meh) and chopped tomato and avocado on top. Because I’m addicted to avocado and have it with everything.

It was all right. It’s been over 100 degrees here the past few days and I don’t have AC in my room, so I’ve just been uncomfortably warm. Eating and cooking just aren’t appealing. Which is why when I woke up this morning and was a little depressed and didn’t want to get out of bed, I certainly didn’t want a bowl of oatmeal. Plus I was out of soy milk… and most food. So I settled for toast and jam with fresh fruit and… half an avocado. DON’T JUDGE ME, I’m addicted.

I feel a little bit lonely right now. I think challenges do that. It is a roller coaster. You are putting yourself out of your comfort zone and testing yourself to new standards. Plus with Thanksgiving around the corner, which is also my mother’s birthday this year, I do yearn for that idea of home. I haven’t had that sort of home in a very, very long time. Parents separated when I was young so we never had that one house to go to. It’s always been mom or dad or mom’s family or dad’s family. I mean my parents were best friends up until the day my dad died, but it just wasn’t like it is in the movies. (Thanks, John Hughes for ruining holidays for ever) Leaving us 80s babies to eternally dream of holidays in the McCallister’s neighborhood.

I scrolled back through my blog and read day 11 of my bikram challenge out of curiosity to see if my words then resonated now. Sort of, not a much as I hoped (HA! craving and expectation!) but it was interesting as it brought up some similar issues and as a grand theme of my blog and writing : has me trying to figure out me.

bad manners. I started eating before I took the pic.
bad manners. I started eating before I took the pic.

2 thoughts on ““Craving” (Day 11)

  1. Duffy–there are no families like in the movies. All families have their dirty laundry, secrets, irritations with each other. Families are like life, a series of ups and downs. I have read in more than one place that how we see the world is a reflection of our inner selves. If the glass is half full or half empty were are looking at our own reflection in it. No matter where we go that reflection comes with us. People who see the glass half full (as I tend to do) are seen as Pollyannas, naive or unrealistic. But I wouldn’t have my world any other way because I have to live in it.

    I’m loving your writing. when are you going to put it all together into a book?

  2. I swear, you could have written this one about me! Especially the obsession with avocado and the feeling sorry for yourself a lot (meaning, I always think everyone else has a better life than I do, better career, better marriage…and look at me, I have a great life!–yet the feelings! UGH). As for the avocado, well, we feed Eddie avocado every day and it’s so expensive that I feel bad eating it myself…but a piece of me dies inside every day as I watch him gulp it down!

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