I’m originally from Monterey, CA…one of the most beautiful places ever. Being stuck up in Bellingham, WA does not make me happy. I have voiced my disdain and my hatred for being stuck in a situation where I feel trapped and unhappy. In late March/early April 2012, we took a short trip down to Monterey for my sister’s wedding and to visit the family. When I left there, I left a piece of my heart behind. I nearly cried when I first got into Monterey and saw all of the familiar sights and smelled the ocean. I had taken for granted this beautiful place I grew up in when I lived there. When I left my heart sunk. Ever since then I have battled a crippling depression that also led to my weight gain, my body aches, and a sense of doom and gloom.
I’ve decided to stay here in Bellingham until my daughter graduates high school, as her father is here and I refuse to take her away from him. It’s a very tough sacrifice I have decided to make as it is best for her. My boyfriend also has made the sacrifice as well, as he is from Wisconsin. He loved Monterey and both of us would love to move there, however, it is a pipe dream, and I must come to terms with the fact that I will never live there again. The cost of living is way too high and unobtainable. Not to mention, my current job will not allow me to relocate there.
My homesickness stemmed from my casual viewing of Yelp and restaurants all over Monterey Bay, from Marina to Seaside to Monterey to Pacific Grove…places I am very familiar with. As I viewed each restaurant that was so familiar to me, it invoked this sense of home, but also this sense of anxiety-inducing panic. It was an odd feeling and I began to psychoanalyze the meaning behind this. I almost couldn’t breathe while looking at these restaurants. Could food be a causation of my anxiety? Could the mere viewing of familiar restaurants I knew of or visited as a child or young adult send me into a panic, one where I feel I will never see home again? I am not sure. Every picture I saw invoked some memory, both good and bad. There is a lot of history there that brings me back to all kinds of different places in my life, from the good to the bad.
Perhaps I am over-analyzing what caused me to panic. Perhaps it’s just that I am missing my family and my home so much that it makes it hard to breathe. I get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, wishing and longing to be with those I miss so dearly, even if they drive me nuts at times.
I think another reason I became a bit panic-induced was from the memories of growing up as a teenager in a low-income, single parent household. Things have changed so much from that time to now. I am not a single parent as my boyfriend lives with me, but I am no longer married to my daughter’s father. I have had my struggles since I left him and filed for divorce, but somehow I made it. We had issues growing up with running out of food quickly and basically believing that we needed to hurry up and eat our food NOW before it disappeared. I think a lot of that lead to this weight gain on top of the comfort eating when I could. I find myself starting to panic on the inside when I notice that food supplies are running low, but I have NEVER encountered what I did as a teenager as a single mother or after that. I never want my daughter to go without, and it is and has always been my goal to make sure we have everything we need. I admit that sometimes we live beyond our means, but in the end, we do better than my mom did alone. There was a point during my senior year of high school where my mom was dead broke and we had barely anything left in the house for a couple of days. It was so bad that while I was working my after-school job, my mom scrounged up what change she had to buy me a then-49 cent hamburger from McDonald’s. To this day, that memory alone makes me want to cry.
Food has played such a huge role in my life…from the time I was young til now. I’m starting to realize that a lot of this emotional burden I have is due to the memories surrounding food and poverty and going without and worrying my family will go without as well. Layoffs and job loss are always on my mind. It’s something I have dealt with before, and it’s something that is always inevitable. It scares me but I can’t allow that fear to take over my life. For now all I can do is make sure we have all we need, and work on not allowing that fear to consume me.