Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fall Arrives and My Fear of Breakfast

Fall is officially here: over the weekend, I had several large insects find their way into my apartment. You know that the seasons are changing when outdoor things start moving in.

Last night, the temps dropped into the 40's for the first time since summer. I wore long sleeves this afternoon, and when I had both windows open, I was a little chilly.

Curry is truly a difficult smell to eliminate. I had both windows open again, since after a few days, the curry smell came back. I wiped the kitchen counters again, this time with a more concentrated solution of Pine-Sol. That seems to have done the trick. I also discovered that the space between my refrigerator and my bedroom door collects odors. After I cleaned, the area that smelled like Pine-Sol--and the area where I was smelling the lingering curry--was the space near the bedroom door, NOT the countertops. It would be neat to release colored smoke and plot the airflow in my kitchen.

The nice thing about the weather becoming cooler is that I can use the oven again: I have a single window air conditioning unit for my entire apartment, and even with fans blowing, my place is hot in the summer. Additionally, I have a gas stove, so the windows need to be open when I'm cooking for extended periods--and nothing feels as good as crisp fall air coming in as you're cooking!

I've though about different topics to write about for this blog, and one topic that came to mind was things that I fear. I used to be an extremely fearful person, and I say that with a touch of pride. I remember going to school every day with my stomach painfully cramped, I was so afraid of school. In class, I would always sit on the edge of my seat, always fiddle. My teachers always commented on my good posture, but it was just me sitting, ready to bolt. I didn't really get over this until I went to college. I attribute this partly to the several minute walk to get to class, but the greatest part to the realization that school was not the end-all be-all of life. Basic stress is easier to deal with when you're not also terrified at the same time.

I've still got a lot of fear in me, of course. But it's been overshadowed in the last couple years by bitterness and anger and depression. Last week, though, as I was writing about my fears of speaking, I realized how long it had been that I defined my life by fear, and I want to get that back. Bitterness, anger, and depression are new to me. I don't operate well in that emotional framework. But fear? That's the devil I know! I would love to be afraid again, to always be on the edge of a breakdown and an ulcer. That's familiar. I'm tired of new. I want to go back to the old.

So, I've thought I would write about things that I was afraid of, to once again frame my life on raw fear. Today, do you know what I'm afraid of? Breakfast.

I normally skip breakfast, and not because I don't have time, or am dieting. This summer break, for example, I stayed mostly at home, I found myself skipping it on purpose, because it was too anxiety producing to think about eating it. "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day," I hear people say, and since I am such a failure, I cannot bear to make that decision. And those decisions always turn out so badly, anyway. First, there is the thought that if I have breakfast, I'm doing so because it will help me deal with the stresses of the upcoming day. But that sentence assumes that I'll have a stressful day, and I refuse, first thing in the morning, to think that the rest of the day will be stressful.

Second, I find that when I eat breakfast, I'm always starving before lunchtime. It's worse when I eat cereal or instant oatmeal--then I'm not only ravenous, but I get the shakes and generally feel terrible and am unable to concentrate. However, if I DON'T eat breakfast, I'm usually fine until 2 pm or so.

So, if I am going to eat breakfast, it's got to be a big breakfast, a breakfast with protein. But sausage and bacon are full of fat and preservatives, and eggs have cholesterol. So what exactly am I to eat?

Finally, there's the cooking (because I can't eat cereal). If I cook in the morning, then I'll have to clean up in the morning. So, extra time to cook, extra time to eat, and extra time to clean. And what if something goes wrong when I'm making breakfast? What if something burns? I'd have to spend time airing out the apartment, not to mention, if something actually catches on fire, I'd have an emergency on my hands. Breakfast would be ruined. I would have put in the effort, and not have time to eat. I'd have wasted food. And then I'd be in a funk because I burnt breakfast, and wasted food, and was late to work. See? Having breakfast could potentially ruin my entire day. So, instead of potentially ruining my day before it's even started, I just skip breakfast.

In other words: I'm not man enough to handle breakfast. Running away is easier.