I’ve spent the last couple of days looking for comfort. I can feel a hole inside me, and I’ve been looking for things to fill it. I’m not sure why this space opened recently (it’s not the first time this hunger has been awakened inside me), but I woke up Wednesday morning and could feel it gaping. At that point, I hadn’t yet identified it, or come to understand it’s power, I just knew that something was not right with the way I felt.
I went for a run Wednesday night, thinking that if I moved fast enough, I could put some distance between me and the hole, but it remained, close and hungry (although it did appreciate the exercise). The next night I sat at my computer, browsing online personals and eating the remains of a half gallon of off-brand Dulce de Leche ice cream that had been languishing in my freezer for over two months. The online personals were an attempt to comfort myself with the idea of finding love, of course, they did the opposite. The ice cream indulgence was a reaction to the dating blues that the craigslist and phillymag personals induced.
Friday I sat at work, unexcited and unmotivated about doing my job. Running an errand across campus, I stopped at Starbucks for a chai latte. Maybe something hot and sweet could make me feel better? While waiting in line, I started to think about this craving for comfort. I walked back to work with the overly sweet drink in hand, trying to identify the things that were going on in my life that were causing me to feel this way. The act of asking of presenting that question to the vacuum in my head and heart made me realize in a flash that there nothing external could make me feel better. My continued efforts to offer myself comfort with food or boys or even the ribbon that binds my tattered baby blanket weren’t going to get me anywhere, because they were of a different world and a different reality from this craving for comfort. It was an internal pain and the only way to send it packing was to look at it from inside myself.
Amazingly, that realization was the first thing in days that had the power to make me feel comforted (but I finished my frothy, overpriced drink anyway).