Saturday, March 10, 2012


I've never received as much mail as when I was living in Cambodia. I know that my support system back home felt that it was worth it to send mail half-way around the world because I was struggling. And I greatly appreciated the cards reminding me they hadn't forgotten about me and care packages stocked with familiar foods and relics of home.

One box around Christmastime came with a package of 24 individually wrapped toilettes. These weren't like BBQ-restaurant-wipe-your-fingers-Wet-Ones, oh no. These were the gourmet of toilettes and came in grapefruit, lavender, and mint. I never would've thought to send toilettes to a volunteer overseas, but I was glad to receive them. What a creative idea amidst the heat and grime of living in Cambodia.

I never opened the package.
Not once.
I brought them home.
They're here in my room.
Over four years later.

Having a gluten-intolerance makes me hyper aware of having gluten-free food on-hand. Finding food that I can eat (and afford) is kinda tricky, so when I have gluten-free options, I want to save them. There are a few items that the gluten-free revolution hadn't touched until recently: puff pastry, veggie burgers (or any veggie food), and ravioli. So when I found gluten-free ravioli, I was beyond excited. I haven't eaten ravioli in years! How exciting.

But the package sat in the freezer for three months.

In November, for my birthday, my sister got me a gift certificate for a massage. She wanted me to have a moment of relaxation during the stresses of student teaching. But in my mind, I was thinking Well, who knows when I'll get another massage? I need to save this for a super stressful time.

So instead of using it during student teaching, I booked it for the day after Christmas break.
But then, I got this speaking trip set up and figured it'd be best after that.
But then, we got engaged, so I figured a few days before the wedding would be ideal.
I've rescheduled that massage appointment three times.

When my sister heard this, she said, "Don't you know, I would've happily bought you another massage closer to the wedding, even after you used the first one for your birthday?"

No, I didn't know that.
I didn't even consider that as an option.
That would've required trust.

It seems that I derive more joy and satisfaction from knowing that I have options than from actually partaking in those options. I gain a sense of security from knowing the toilettes are there for later, the massage will come eventually, and maybe someday I'll eat that ravioli.

It's like a sick and twisted version of delayed gratification. I seem to have no problem with it. Not because I'm particularly strong-willed. I'm probably just scared. Scared of not having enough.
Of not being taken care. Of the earth not supporting me and working things out. Of God not coming through. Scared that I may never again have so many good things in my life at one time, so I need to conserve them. To ration them. To store up for the long winter ahead. It's as if I'm perpetually dreading a time of famine, a bad storm, a bad day. I think what I need is trust.

Trust that the earth will hold me.
Trust that it's all going to work out okay.
Trust that I need not stockpile for the worst, I can take a moment and enjoy the best.

When I was home last week, my mom booked me a massage and...I felt like a doofus. Because alas, I couldn't have known back in November that I would get to enjoy a second wonderful massage. But if I just trusted that good things would come to me and I need not stockpile them, I'd be a much happier and peaceful person.

So in light of these recent revelations, I busted out the toilettes, people!
I ate the ravioli.
And...well, actually I left the massage scheduled where it was in May because, frankly, if I tried to change that appointment a fourth time, they might not ever let me in the door.


xfr said...

This is a valuable insight that I don't think has occurred to me before. I'm glad you shared.