Peanut Butter & Jelly

Standard

I had two different conversations today with the same person.  Nothing special…just idle chit chat mostly.  Two words came up…each one sent me to the dictionary to get the true meaning.

I think I found what I’ve been looking for.

*******

For years I have felt like something was….well, missing.  But what is it?  What am I missing? How do I know something is missing if I don’t even know what it is?  I suppose it’s similar to the feeling you get when standing in front of an open fridge with nothing particular in mind of what it is you want to eat.  You just stand there and stare hoping something will suddenly look appetizing.  Of course there are things sitting on the fridge shelves that you can eat…but blaaaah…Nothing grabs your tummy’s attention.

Have you ever looked through your drawers and closet still not being able to find a thing to wear?  Laaaaaaadies??? Oh you know this pastime is oh so true.  Piles of clothing all over the room, tops and pants thrown over the back of a chair and spilling out of your closet but…gasp! You have nothing to wear???

This is pretty much describes the feeling in my gut when I say I have always felt like something was missing.

I’ve rummaged around in my head for years trying to figure out what it is I want…I mean really desire…..long for…need.

For 29 years I’ve never really been able to come up with a sincere answer.

In the early years of life we hear things like “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  Eventually it turns to “What’s your college major going to be?” or “What are your plans after you graduate? When are you going to settle down and get married?”  Before you know it people are asking “So what are you going to do after the kids leave?” or “….after you retire?”

These days of late, I’m in a position I…the “planner”…have never dreamed of being in.  I’m at a turning point in life {more like a frickin traffic circle that I can’t seem to merge out of if you ask me}.  I was raised in a small town in Central California.  Just over a year ago I left behind that world of white picket fences and minivans to find relief in the eclectic world of Southern California.  Along the way I am finding independence.  There has been an amazing amount of self discovery, and an opportunity for reinvention. Although, some days still feel like I’m on vacation, most are spent juggling multiple jobs and treading the waters of life. I am a part time nanny and part time farmers’ market assistant manager.  I manage to pick up an odd job or two cleaning houses or picking up a shift with friend who is a caterer. At times I feel like I’m on some show like Punked .  I’m actually waiting for some amazingly gorgeous  guy  {oh please please please!} to jump out and say “Just kidding! Life’s really not that hard we’re just kidding!”  But most likely he’d just shout out, “Ha! This really is your life, sucker!

Talk about a reality show.

******

In talk this morning, as I drank coffee and ate quiche, the warm rays of the California sun pouring over my freckled skin, these two words came up.  {One discussion was about my current writing project and the other about someone else’s blog I had just finished reading….two totally unnecessary details.}

 Solace and alchemy. 

Not sure if solace was the appropriate word needed for the sentence I had just written, we went to the trusty dictionary and thesaurus {I cannot begin to describe my fascination with the thesaurus…that and nectarines make me a little giddy.  For another time though…}

so lace

1. to give comfort to in grief or misfortune

2. to make cheerful

3. soothe

Synonyms: assure, cheer, console, reassure, comfort, sooth, peace

Related words: elevate, lift, uplift, calm, quiet, relax, tranquilize

 

I knew this was most definitely the perfect word for the sentence I was constructing for the writing task before me.  This was also a perfect word to describe what I’ve been searching for for so long….Solace.

 

Comfort.

I’ve longed for comfort since I was a child…I have looked for it in stuffed animals and blankets, in music and church, in relationships and in hobbies.  But there it never was for long…

Then this morning something struck me…comfort isn’t in things….it’s not something I can hold or touch or carry.  It’s gotta be something I feel…within me.  I’m not speaking of comfort as in the horrible zone so many of us hang out in for too long…that place of complacency.  Not comfortable.  I mean comfort…in my own skin kinda thing.  Satisfied with who I am and what I am.  No matter what.

Comfort is a frame of mind.

As I read the definition dictionary.com gave me for solace I knew that’s what it was I’ve been craving for oh so long.

….calmness.

…reassurance.

…peacefulness.

…comfort.

                                         Solace.

The other word that surfaced this bright and sunny morn was alchemy.  It actually comes up quite a bit in one of the worlds I live in…but, to be truthful, I have never known its true meaning.

So I looked it up.

al chem y

1.  A medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy aiming to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease, and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life.

2.  A power or process of transforming something common into something special.

3.  An inexplicable or mysterious transmuting.

I’m partial to # 2 up there.  A process of transforming something common into something special.

 

Yeah.  I like that.

The people that know me well…actually, I’d like to think it’s also pretty obvious to people who hardly know me …but the people who know me well know that I like things pretty simple and straight forward.  I’m not into fancy crap that sparkles or flashy things {like cars, houses…material crap and such.}.  I tend to gravitate to effortless and easy things…especially clothing…hell I don’t even own an iron.  I tend to run away from complicated conversations {cough cough politics cough cough} as well as drama {cough cough I have my share of it though damnit cough cough}.  If I was to pick out a bouquet of flowers they are all going to be the same type and color.  Simple.

But don’t get me wrong.  This doesn’t mean boring.  No.  Boring sucks.  I cannot think of much worse than to be boring.

Alchemy. …I want to take something common and kick it up a notch by adding something else ordinary to it with the outcome turning these things into something wonderful.

Chefs do this all of the time…take peanut butter…yum.  Good.  Tasty.  Ordinary, right? Now add jelly to it.  Hells yes that’s good stuff!  Two standard pantry items…but together…better. {Obviously my chef skills are sub par…}

Relationships are like this too.  Take two ordinary normal run of the mill people and get them together…weather it’s a romantic relationship, a friendship, or even on the job….it’s quite amazing what these two humans can be together….fantastic parents, co-conspirators, partners in crime.  They can sing an amazing duet or contrive a business plan that will knock the competitor’s socks off.

                                        Alchemy.

********

As this big damn birthday lingers in the near future and my life takes yet another turn, I’ve been asking myself…like effing {totally my new favorite half-assed bad word} everyone else has…what do I want?  If I could pick anything out in life to be, to have, to accomplish…what would that look like?

I don’t want a life that’s full of constant excitement, pandemonium or chaos.  I don’t thrive that way.  I want to be ordinary and simple and uncomplicated.  I want ordinary and simple and uncomplicated things in my life mixed with me…to make it something special.

Alchemy.

I ache for comfort and peace.  The last few years I feel as if I’ve run a marathon and they kept moving the finish line.  I feel like life is that taunting uncle who holds up a cookie for you to grab and he lifts it just high enough out of your reach so you have to jump…then, when you do jump, he raises it even higher.  And laughs.  I don’t want to suffer with these feelings any longer.  I don’t want to feel frustrated.  I don’t want to be discouraged by things out of my control.  I want comfort.  I want peace.  I want to be able to look to myself, not to things, not to relationships, not to others…but to myself.  Self  soothing.  Self assurance.

Solace.

Little by little I can see bits and pieces of this want getting fulfilled.  Realizing WHAT it is that I want was huge for me.  A huge relief.  This question of want has loitered around me for years.  Lack of something has filled me with unknown hopelessness.  With depression.  With anxiety.

In yoga we begin and end our practice by taking in a deep breath and then letting a huge sigh out…letting all the old air go.  I feel as if I’ve been holding in the deep lungful of air my whole life.  But today out came the musty stale breath that has been suffocating me for as long as I can remember.  I know what I want.  What I need.

One day, I will find it.  Little by little.  Step by step.

But for now…I think I will make myself  a PB & J sandwich…The ultimate of all comfort foods…..

Solace and Alchemy.`

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