Monday, July 25, 2011

No Recipe

I've been away longer than I expected.  Life has gone all sorts of wrong.  I'd like to tell you that I have been a paragon of strength and resilience during "these challenging times," but that wouldn't be true.  I tried to write that post, and learned I'm a lousy liar.  I think the only option left is to set my wounded pride aside, and write about what's real.  
I had big plans for this summer.  After several years on the high-tech roller-coaster I had a stable job.  The people were nice, and the pay was decent.  I began to believe that after all the years being patient, and paying my dues, it was my turn.  After 13+ years of apartment life, the husband and I started looking at houses.  We were beyond excited, and felt sure we'd have a house and be training our first puppy by September.  It was so close.

I'd like to tell you that when I lost my job in May, I found comfort and solace in cooking.  I'd spin a yarn about the days I spent standing over the stove, certain of better times ahead.  I'd tell you about how I spent my mornings searching for jobs, and the afternoons creating new and delicious recipes.  I'd tell you how this blog makes me happy when skies are gray, because that's what bloggers are supposed to say.  Right?

But I can't stand to be in my kitchen.  Every time I see that room I think of the kitchen in the house we lost.  A poorly fried egg brought me to tears a couple weeks ago.  I can't think of anything I want to cook, or anything I want to eat.  I pass through just long enough to heat frozen pizzas.  I will have to climb a mountain of Red Baron boxes to get back to who I was. 

I haven't been resilient.  I took my pathetic scraps of dreams, and wove them into a rope sturdy enough to batten down the lid of the box where I keep what was once "me" contained.  The body moves through daily life on auto-pilot.  It wanders the aisles of the grocery store, not having remembered driving there, or what it needed to buy.  I am here, but not really.  I do not feel strong.

I have escaped into books, the weight of each finished volume a barrier between me and all I don't want to face: the job search, unpredictable bosses, yet another shiny new opportunity I am cynically certain will result in little more than future disappointment.  I read another book, stack it on top of the box, and am walled in.

I don't want for anything in this place I've made for myself.  I don't dream of vacations, or pets, or children, or of a little backyard to sit and pass the time in the evening.  It's nice in here, it's quiet.  At some point I know I will have to break the bonds I've made and lift the lid.  There will be other jobs, other houses, other kitchens.  I will feel like myself again.  I will want to cook.

Just not yet.