As many of you know, I’ve recently completed a round of the 21 Day Fix.
I also fell off the wagon majorly after my round was over.
I’ve been sitting in a puddle in the dirt beside that wagon ever since.
The truth is, I am someone who self-soothes with food. I am an Emotion Eater. I eat feelings. Feelings turn into carbs, and down the chute they go. Just like that.
And it’s not like realizing this truth has led to any eating habit changes. God, no. I am still sitting in a puddle beside my food-controlled wagon, stuffing my empty insides with Cheerios and chocolate chips.
But, this morning, I had an epiphany. Well, I had a series of epiphanies.
I think I’ve figured out WHY I have been self-soothing with food.
My answer worked its way to the surface this morning.
It all began with my desirous urge to PAINT A DOLLHOUSE.
If you’ve been around for a while, you know that I love to get my hands dirty with clay and paint.
Well, what you don’t know is that I have three or four fully assembled and intricately painted dollhouses sitting in my old closet at my mom’s house.
You also may not have realized that I have an INTENSE affinity for small things, an affinity which manifests itself quite well in my adoration for dollhouses.
Years ago, I spent an entire summer swiping, stroking, dotting, and dousing those houses in colorful, intricate patterns.
I even glued rhinestones to some of them. You know, to the porches and windowsills.
I painted mini toilets and pianos, too.
I even created “art” to hang on the dollhouse walls.
Right on! you shout.
Did you shout that?
You should start shouting it all the time, because I am really trying to bring that saying back.
Anyway, dollhouse painting turned out to be EXACTLY what I needed to self-heal.
You see, I had been going through a very rough breakup. It’s the roughest breakup I’ve ever endured.
I completely lost myself during that heartbreaking ordeal.
And I rediscovered myself through brush strokes.
With each dip of my paint brush, I filled myself with life.
For hours each day, I swam in a world of thought while I painted.
I reflected on who I was, and especially on who I wanted to become.
And through careful, repetitious brushstrokes, I transformed my thoughts and transformed myself.
And I LIKED who I was after that.
Now, I have three (or four) fantastically decorated dollhouses and an incredible sense of self-awareness.
The point is this: During that summer, I craved those dollhouses. I RUSHED to my brushes. I sprawled my paints out, splattering neon greens and eggplant purples on my t-shirts, mixing furiously and painting with a sadness that swelled into swirls on miniature floorboards.
I craved those hours with my houses because I always felt so much better afterward.
I poured myself out through paints, and I designed my houses just like I wanted to design myself.
Those silent hours allowed me to ponder my life, how I love people, how people love me, and what I need to be happy.
Those hours brought me peace, because they brought ME to the fore. I began to understand who I was and how I wanted to live my life.
Hours of self-reflection and painting! I can’t imagine a better afternoon.
Those houses are now perfect representations of my soul. They are colorful, complicated, layered, and sparkly.
I love them like they are my children.
I’ll post dollhouse pictures someday.
The therapeutic power of painting is something my fingers have never forgotten.
In fact, my phalanges have been itching for a paintbrush for over a week, now.
Just this morning, I realized that they are itching for ANOTHER DOLLHOUSE.
Why a dollhouse?
Well, because of the soul-searching-and-finding powers of dollhouses, of course!
And I need one, because I am feeling lost, again!
And there is no better way to find oneself than through a blank dollhouse and a splashing world of acrylic colors.
My wise little itching fingers, they knew this long before my brain could catch up.
…the dollhouse epiphany, though monumental, wasn’t enough.
I was still bothered by not knowing WHAT was pushing me to lose myself in bags of Cheerios.
I mean, WHY have I been doing that? What FEELINGS have I been eating every night?
In fact, my “professional” self has been resurrected through this blog. It has filled all the creative swiss cheese holes left behind by my “regular” job.
I absolutely consider my blog a “job.” I don’t get paid for it, but I take it seriously.
More seriously than my paying job.
Anyway, “life purpose uncertainty” wasn’t the cause of my chocolate-chip-bag-drowning.
I just couldn’t figure out what the heck else it could be.
I mean, I have been keeping SO busy. How can someone stuffing her days with activities possibly feel lost?
Well, lucky for me, this morning’s dollhouse painting excitement dripped a few drops of oil into my self-reflective gears, and I had my FINAL and ULTIMATE personal epiphany.
I realized WHY I’ve been relentlessly eating my feelings at night.
This epiphany sprang from a tidbit of wisdom my Grammy shared with me this past weekend.
That Grammy of mine is very good at helping me realize things. She helped me realize an DIFFERENT epiphany a few weeks ago.
THIS time, we were on our way to Charlevoix (Which I cannot recommend ENOUGH! Seriously, get in your car, throw your female family members in the backseat, and drive up to Charlevoix, MI. The quaint, lovely town will CURE you from the inside out.), and my Grammy explained that, when a woman gets married, her “single” self dies. Goes away, leaves, however you want to word it, she dies.
She dies when a woman takes a new last name.
Grammy argued that the maiden-named woman is still inside the married, new-last-name woman. She’s still around you, within you, a part of you. She sticks with you, but she’s not YOU anymore.
I nearly smacked myself on the forehead when she said this. I seriously would have if I hadn’t been speeding us along the highway.
It’s true, what she said!
Think about it.
Think about the YOU you were when you were FIRST NAME MAIDEN NAME.
She is a different you, isn’t she?
Haven’t you ever wondered where she went?!
Before my beautiful Grammy pointed this out, I certainly hadn’t.
So, this morning, when my painting fingers were itching and I was licking the envelope containing a letter I’ll mail to Husband today, I was punched in the face with ULTIMATE epiphany.
ULTIMATE epiphany went like this:
Wow, I really want to paint a dollhouse.
Last time I felt this way, there was something going on with me that needed FIXING.
And I did find/fix it through painting.
What is it, this time, that’s making me want to paint all the bare wood in my apartment?
And how does this relate to Husband being gone? (You might think this question is random and irrelevant, but I try to ask this question whenever I can, just in case his absence is a factor, because it probably is, because not seeing your husband for months really does factor into EVERYTHING).
*thinking thinking thinking*
It has EVERYTHING TO DO WITH HUSBAND.
Husband leaving for boot camp is like getting married to him, only REVERSED.
When I married him, I had to learn how to be a partner instead of just Brooke, and now that Husband is gone, I am struggling to be just Brooke again.
I thought I could just “wait” for Husband to come back, but that’s not WORKING. I’m not just “waiting” – I’m HIDING from reality. I am hiding in the bottom of Cheerios boxes and chocolate chip bags.
And THE REASON I feel a burning desire to paint a dollhouse is because my conscious brain has finally connected with my subconscious and lent me a HAND in figuring out that I need to do BROOKE THINGS. I need to learn how to be happy, how to be just Brooke in this current weird state of my life.
(Current weird state of my life = being a wife without a husband.)
SO I NEED TO PAINT DOLLHOUSES, BECAUSE THAT IS HOW BROOKE FINDS HERSELF.
Ugh, it feels good to get this off my chest.
Does that even make any sense?
Does ANY of this make any sense?
Honestly, I’m feeling a little maniacal today.
But I am also feeling GREAT.
Because NOW, I know how to move forward.
And now, when I visit Husband for boot camp graduation, I will (hopefully) be fit as a fiddle and emotionally cured.
So is blogging.
And I must tell you that I was relieved to have had a morning so euphoric that I couldn’t help but tell you about it, because I had been struggling to figure out WHAT I was going to blog about this week.
Well, that’s not entirely accurate. I’ve got two posts I’m working on right now, and both were contenders.
But neither felt right. You know? I wasn’t on fire about either of them.
I will be, at some point. Just not this week.
And I am not going to just FORCE a post when I don’t feel it.
You know what I mean, right?
So, you might be wondering, what does all of this have to do with fate?
(I know I sometimes give my blog posts unrelated titles, but assure you this post’s title is relevant.)
The FATE part: I opened my Facebook up when I arrived to work, and guess what I saw?
A “memory” post, compliments of Facebook.
The “memory” was a picture I had posted on May 4th, 2012.
It’s the same picture at the top of this post (minus all the wording, of course).
I took this photo four years ago because LOOK AT IT. The sky was looking so cool, mysterious, and slightly-ominous.
So I shared it with all my Facebook friends. And when I did, guess what I wrote?
I can’t even make this stuff up.
“Skies like this need to be painted.”
Honestly, what are the odds?
If that Facebook memory isn’t serendipity/kismet/this-is-why-I-tattooed-“todo pasa por una razón”-on-my-left-foot/fate, I don’t know what is.
The signs have spoken. I must paint again.
That is how I will find my way back to myself.
Also, today is a very rainy day, which makes the rainy sky picture even more (eerily) relevant.
Also, the word of the week is pluviophile.
What is a pluviophile?
A pluviophile is a lover of rain, someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.
I am a pluviophile. And a painter of dollhouses.
Are you a pluviophile?
A painter of dollhouses?
Tell me in the comments!