Enemies no more

Christmas Dinner Dessert

The other Monday night I beat a 25-year long enemy.

We fought for years, and I designed my life around it. Choices were made, foods avoided, meals untried.

Creamy food.

Yup, that’s right. Creamy food was my mortal enemy: I’d have panic attacks, go home from work, gag at the smell of creamy food near me.

My aversion to creamy food was tied to childhood trauma and I wasn’t interested in learning to like creamy food. It was easier to tell people it was an allergy.

And then a few years ago I wanted agency. I wanted choice. I wanted to not react. I had grown up and was ready to reclaim power over what I put in my mouth. It all began with a phone call to a friend (Thanks, Alicia!), while I sat in front of a bowl of Greek yogurt and whispered, “One bite isn’t going to kill me, right?”

Once I started trying things, once I took the fear out of the creamy food, I became more open. I was open to life in a new and different way. Things that would have scared me, I was maybe still scared by, but I knew that like the Greek yogurt, if I could just try that first bite, I could then take another and then another and then before I knew it, I’d be finished.

The picture above is the culmination of this journey. Three food items I wouldn’t have ever, in a million lifetimes, tried. Just a few months ago, I’d have still said to myself, “oh, this is creamy… okay, you can try it…just see what it’s like.”

On that night, what I said to myself was “Oh, those look like cool desserts. Wonder what they taste like?”

Pure joy. Agency. Choice. Gratitude for all those who’ve helped along the way.

Here are some pictures of foods I now savor. thai peanut dressing greek yogurt mushroom soup photo 1 soup

cheesecake

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And I digress … from your normally scheduled reading order.

I’m forgetting stories.  Things people shared with me that I was present to, but did not write down, in an attempt to be fully present in that moment.  I love recording, for it aids in re-membering (literally) an event or an encounter.  When I record though, I do not listen as well or with the same presence. So, this trip, I sacrificed recording for the greater good of presence.

I’m about to do something a bit crazy and tell you a story about someone.  This isn’t chronological, but rather, it’s just a snippet.  When I write about Guatemala, I’m challenged; how do I honor and acknowledge my time there without getting mired in a sense of loss that I am not there now? A month ago, I was in Zona 7, fully in touch with my body, fully in touch with my gifts, with listening.  Today, I’m in the United States, spending way too much time driving, and not fully in touch with some key things. Continue reading