Banana Bread, Sadness and Solitude


The Quail has been gone for a week, and I am not very good at being alone. I have never really lived alone, and I settle into this sort of depressed funk when faced with days of alone time. A night or two is fine, but knowing he was going to be gone for a full week sort of had me panicked about the pity party that would ensue. I was fine near the beginning of the week–meeting friends for dinner and drinks, embarking on a new craft project to fill up my downtime (more on that later), but by Saturday I was in full-fledged-pity-party-depressed-mode and it was really hard to pull myself out of it. But I did. After almost a full two days in my bed (no judgments) and after Hulu suggested I take a break several times (that message is so depressing!), I dragged myself up on Sunday afternoon and made my Great Grandmother’s banana bread.

After I got a new set of mixing bowls and a loaf pan for my wedding shower I had asked my mom for some family recipes. I was delighted when she included this particular recipe for banana bread. It reminds me of childhood, and the older I get the harder it is for me to be away from my family. I am used to it for the most part, but it is still difficult when my mom tells me things like she is going over to my Grandma’s to make jam, and I just can’t go even though I would absolutely love to. I spent so much of my teenage years being a rebellious jerk to my family (seriously I don’t know where all that angst came from) that I never did certain things. And now I want to make jam with them, I want my mom to teach me how to sew, I’d love to pass a Sunday having my Grandmothers show me how to play Canasta–and it’s really difficult that I can’t. I don’t mean to sound whiny. I love my life in New York, I really do, but the older I get the more my decision to leave Wisconsin–and to stay away–affects me. What I mean is, no matter where I go in the future I will always feel like I am missing out on something, because I am always going to have two places that feel like home.

I have struggled with bouts of sadness and depression since I was a teenager, and I have realized that being alone is always a trigger for me. I know this is a lot more personal that I usually put out there, but life isn’t always cool artists and pretty shoes. In being a 28-year-old woman who is about to be married, I think I need to recognize the faults I do have and work on them. I am really self-conscious lately and I don’t tell people when I am feeling this way because I just don’t want them to worry about me. I somehow turned from an “everything about my life sucks” expressive teenager, into a “put a happy face on it” muted adult. I am too scared to admit when I am feeling low. I was able to pull myself out of it eventually, but maybe if I had expressed it to someone I would have only been in bed one day instead of two. Honestly the banana bread helped. I think bringing one of my homes into the other is a good thing for me when I am feeling down. After I made it I went for a really long walk, and I had dinner alone and I thought about all of that–my homes, my life, how being on the verge of marriage affects both–and then, when I got home, I was a little less sad.

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