How We Grow
There are things that happen that fundamentally change us. Each morning we wake without knowing what is to come. We plan for it, imagine it, dot our i’s and cross our t’s but in the end the day will come and it will go and things will happen and some of them we are prepared for and some of them we are not, and those are the things that will change us.
Today for the first time in almost six months I went grocery shopping. I know what you are thinking, how does someone go six months without going to the grocery? The truth is I have been to the grocery store. I have picked up chicken breast for my father while on the phone frantically distracted obsessing over an argument with my sister. I have run in and grabbed the strawberries or the onion or the beer from the beer cooler. I have, even, from time to time ran into the local Kroger for a birthday card or juice or I don’t know, Christmas wrapping paper. And I have been in and out in a scurry, with my phone to my ear or my head face down in my Instagram noticing nothing and speaking to really no one.
Both of my sisters have wondered how I live without going to the grocery. To each other, to me, maybe even to other family members they have commented on how they don’t know what I could possibly be eating because I never bring groceries home.
I knew what I was eating. I knew where I was going when I got hungry and I have, like most people would, found routine in the local organic bodega where they serve fresh ground coffee and french loafs. The owner has stopped charging me for little things and occasionally will just throw in free chocolate bars with my lunch order. How can I resist this bodega with it’s coffee and it’s chocolate?
But today, as I looked at the notes on my phone to add a new note titled “grocery list” I found an old one from late July, sometime either right before or after my boyfriend returned from a long trip with his father.
I found it interesting. It even made my chuckle a little. How funny, Almond Milk Espresso, I don’t really drink that, but he does.
So I sped off in my little red convertible in the dead of winter blasting the heat, seat warmers on high, listening to a story on NPR about the evolution of alcohol as a commodity or something. I pulled into the whole foods, I parked my car, locked it and walked inside.
I entered in the produce aisle which is an important detail here because at my old grocery store you also entered into the produce aisle if you took the door on the left.
And I just started crying.
I started crying in the middle of the produce aisle in the Whole Foods on 86th street.
If you would have seen me there today I would have been the crazy 29 year old with her cozy pink winter coat and her ridiculous knee high boots crying in front of the tomatoes and the broccoli.
I was having some sort of flashback. Some sort of ex-boyfriend grocery shopping memory making, dinner cooking flashback.
and I was crying in front of the freaking broccoli.
And I suddenly realized in the Whole Foods on 86th street in my knee high boots and my cozy pink winter coat that I had been avoiding the grocery for 6 months.
Subconsciously avoiding the grocery.
Subconsciously avoiding cooking dinner that had anything to do with bone-in-chicken, broccoli, potatoes, Almond Milk Espresso, red wine, the song Dreamer by The Tallest Man on Earth or really any dinner at all that had anything to do with me and the grocery store and cooking.
I had been changed. He had changed me. When we decided to leave that day in August, to really say I think this has to end, to commit to not committing, it changed us.
We were no longer in love at the grocery store picking out red and purple potatoes and arguing over beer.
I was no longer buying his favorite Almond Milk Espresso.
We were over.
It was over.
I was changed.
and now, so has my grocery list.
And so I wiped the tears from my eyes with my cozy pink winter coat sleeve and I walked over to the broccoli and I picked it up.
And I went aisle by aisle in the grocery store getting everything that was on that list from July 26th at 5:06PM and I went home and I made dinner and I drank the Almond Milk Espresso.
and this, apparently, is how we grow.
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