Carb crying is my 2016 aesthetic. In March I built a makeshift fort of oatmeal boxes and biscuits and cereal; I cried sad tears over wheat, rye and barley while I listened to JoJo’s 2006 hit “Too Little Too Late.”
Last week I carb-cried again. I got teary eyed over a bowl of gluten-free fusilli at Noodles & Company — super glamorous. This time, though, I cried happy tears — like, “She got off the plane!” from “Friends” tears. The kind that inevitably slip to the table below right as the cute server arrives to inquire if there’s anything else you need, and with mouth full, you mumble-weep, “Nooooo.”
For the first time in six months, I felt well. Not “better” but “well.” The kind of “well” you say when you’re trying to be grammatically correct and impress someone rather than defaulting to the trusty, “Good, and you?”
I went to work, took my refugee students on a field trip to Hy-Vee, then got drinks with a friend; I didn’t worry about when I would fit in my two-hour nap or pound another mug of tea. I ate and drank and lived and existed, reveling in the physical experience of having energy.
Then I emailed several of my volunteer coordinators to give myself an official summer break from some regular obligations, obligations I love. This year I want a break from doctor’s appointments, needle pricks and Benadrylled-up IV Mondays. I’m taking the breaks I can choose — finally.
This summer I’m going to learn to be a better gluten-free cook. I’m going to play tennis. I’m going to write and read and study and decorate my apartment (I can’t stop buying plants, I admit it).
I’m going to say, “I feel well,” instead of, “I feel better.” I’m starting to believe it.