Posted by Kelli Joan Bennett
Day 27. I wake up to find a gift in my inbox: an email from my partner telling me Dan the amazing editor man has already completed two of the scenes we sent him. “Yes,” I shout after I read it. “Full steam ahead! It’s a documentary day,” I announce in an Oprah-esque bellow even though I am alone in the house. For good measure I add, “I am getting a bin done!” I talk to myself…a lot. While I clean, cook, drive, write, work, my mind and subsequently my mouth provides continuous audible commentary.
I’m in the grocery store again. This time I need to return a package of Bob’s Red Mill pancake mix. I thought it was the gluten free version. It is not. I’ve gone gluten-free in 2012. I’m convinced it’s what causes, or at least exacerbates, my allergies and hives. I stand in the tiny gluten free section in my Von’s scanning it for the wheat-less kind I got last time that is so tasty. I’m narrating the process as usual. “Where are you? No, I don’t want muffin mix. Not granola. Is that…? It is!” On the bottom shelf is what appears to look like a package of the same brand of cookies I get from Whole Foods. My saliva glands go nuts as I lustily snatch up a box. I carefully examine the ingredient list. “Damn, sugar.” I find it very hard to find gluten free and sugar free. Those who suffer from celiac disease probably figure they deserve a sweet treat. I’m also going sans sugar this year. Hypoglycemic. I went almost three years with pretty much no sugar only agave, stevia or the occasional Splenta packet. The trauma of losing a tooth last October caused me to fall off the wagon right into a vat of chocolate chip cookie dough, Entenmann’s old fashioned doughnuts and Häagen–Dazs.
Disappointed I still have to venture back to temptation island for the cookies, I shake my head in disgust at not only my obsession with these cookies but also at the insane prices at Whole Foods. I continue my search for the gluten free pancake mix—it is technically a cheat because it has evaporated can juice in it and that spikes blood sugar but I allow it and pure maple syrup. I’ll work on being more rigid in 2013. My eyes finally spy the sought after goods. “There you are! And on sale!” I scoop up two for the price of one. I turn to head to the check out counter and am instantly face to face with a wide-eyed, balding, chubby employee staring at me. He’s behind one of those carts that offer samples of sausage or melon or pizza pockets to try. He’s got a look on his face like he’s watching some whacky YouTube video of a schizoid homeless woman turned loose in a grocery store. For a split second, I’m not sure why he’s staring at me then I realize it’s my companionless chatty Kathy routine. He quickly averts his gaze and focuses in on his sample size squares. He’s probably thinking, Don’t look the crazy lady in the eyes! It doesn’t even faze me anymore. I give him my best mommy dearest face and proceed to the nearest open checker.
I come by it honestly. Via genetics, environment or both. A “chicken/egg” scenario. My Dad is the king of holding lengthy and animated conversations all alone. He’s not a schizophrenic, no, he’s just chatting to himself. He’s famous for this trait in our family. I’ve turned out to be just like him. Presumably, I’ll never be lonely. I’ll always have myself to talk to. This reality has me thinking about how important self-talk is. Sure, gabbing with the gluten free section at the local grocery store isn’t going to do any harm but what about when it takes a negative turn? We’ve all done it. Whether you go audible like I do or not, we’ve all given ourselves a tongue lashing for messing up or eating too many cookies or the reflection in the mirror. The other thing I’ve set out to do in 2012 is talk nice, to myself and to others. Since I’m doing so much of it, I’d like to direct it to move me forward, make me feel good about myself and be helpful on my journey not hinder it.
I do indeed have a full documentary day. Even though a technical difficulty rears its ugly head and I don’t end up reaching my goal of finishing a bin, my solo convo stays supportive and I get a lot done. There is one dark moment when I verbally abuse one of the shooters on the film for missing a shot, but I reel that in quickly, and in general, I think outside the box inside the box and create from what I have: a boat load of footage to assemble and the ability to talk nice.
Until tomorrow, create from what you have…the ability to talk nice.