I'm back in Flagstaff. Having survived the Christmas in Nebraska portion of Winter Break, I turn now to the productive part of break in which I naively try to organize and prepare for the coming semester.
It feels like I'm on auto-pilot today. Going through familiar motions: plugging in the tea kettle, cooking oatmeal, folding clothes...
Despite (of because of?) the auto-pilot, I feel a profound emptiness. Sure, maybe it's because my roommate isn't back. The apartment is silent and the fridge is half empty. Maybe it's because I'm trying not to eat meat or much super-processed food. Since that was the basis for my diet for the last 23 years, that's enough to leave me empty any day. Perhaps it's a lack of exercise. Or intellectual work. Or even oxygen (I am in Flagstaff after all).
This emptiness I feel probably comes mostly from leaving boyfriend and family behind. Life is pretty sweet when you are surrounded by family and others who love you. Worries aren't as worrisome. Or at least someone will tell you to stop worrying. There are kitties and puppies to play with and coo at. There are cookies, cakes and ice cream to devour at will. There is a better chance of a legit meal (not just one item for dinner). There is some fullness about family that cannot be duplicated by any amount of food, stress, or online shopping. But at 24, you can't have it both ways. You can't be an independent adult and live at home. And even if you try, neither will be as good. It was hard to say goodbye to my vacation. I have trouble with goodbyes, and this time I had no major adventure awaiting my arrival. Just held mail, late bills, a car repair, and a semester that is sure to be more intense than the last.
My ability to whine really shines in this blog, doesn't it?
I'm going to go on a happy tangent. I discovered a new store today. New Frontiers, they call it. It's a "natural marketplace" that has the most incredible produce section I've ever seen. They even had those cool multi-colored carrots. Seriously. The bulk grains section was like a candy store for vegans. I helped myself to some organic quinoa. They also had two huge displays of foreign cheese (one of my favorites, and the reason I could never ever strictly follow a plant-based diet). The beauty of this store does come at a price, but it's not that much more than the grocery store, and the gorgeous fresh food will definitely encourage me to try more veggies.
So I'm empty, but I found a new store. I've got a week left to ponder life, and then it's back to the grad school vacuum. Cheers.