Monday, September 16, 2013

On Finding Yourself

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"I starting to feel like me again," I said to him.

"What do you mean by that he says?"

It means that cooking is becoming life giving to me (again). That's it's once again starting to look more like real food than processed stand-in imitation products. That as I listen to the swift sound of the blade chopping and feel the vegetables against my fingers I'm starting to find myself.

I'm remembering that there is joy in serving others, my husband included. There's also joy to be found in homemaking. Those joys I knew existed but I had lost the path back to them.

When you spend most of each week in an environment that sucks you dry you have nothing left to give at the end of a long day. So it's all frozen pizza and "pick up your clothes," for the one millionth time. And you don't know if you'll ever get back to her. The girl who took joy in serving and found life in feeding people around her table.

So when a longing fulfilled becomes a like "get out of jail free" card you should be celebrating, yes? But we see it in criminals released all the time. They don't know how to embrace their new freedom. Many are doomed to return to a life of captivity. And I was wondering, was I too doomed?

But I  started to rediscover myself around a table with friends. The six of us hadn't been together since the beginning of summer. Our regular dinners remind me that fall is coming and being with them makes everything feel right in the world. And it was that night I caught a glimpse of her. The self I though was long gone.

And then I'm standing in a Puerto Rican kitchen with Colombian music, of all things, blaring. And we're nibbling on avocado salted perfectly and bits of guava paste on white cheese while the sofrito comes together in the pan. And as the scents of garlic. cilantro, and peppers fill the air I'm thinking that I'm uncovering more of her.

But then the days come that don't go as planned and all the joys I'm rediscovering are being covered by busyness and to-do lists. And I'm realizing this finding yourself and embracing freedom thing is much more difficult than I would have imagined. That it will take much longer than I would have anticipated.

Because sometimes the person who's lost is you...

Have you ever felt like you've lost yourself? Maybe to work or kids or a relationship? I'd love to hear your story of breaking free in the comments below.


  1. Joy, I love this! I am so glad you're beginning to find yourself again, and I'm so glad I get to experience life alongside you as this happens. :)