We are such unsatisfied beings.
We are so hard to please, and we are always wanting more. We’re always reaching, always craving, always feeling that we don’t have enough. More. More. More. And then in the blink of an eye and more quickly than you could swallow, you’re completely stripped of everything that meant something. And there you are, bare and naked—without anything.
Breathing was a little harder that morning.
I silently lay there numbly, my eyes vacant. I was immobile. Remaining horizontal all day sounded like the most brilliant of ideas. It was so still I could hear the “drip… drip…” resonances of the bathroom faucet down the hall making its regular wake up call.
And then I broke the quiet. I rolled to my side and I told her, “all I want is a donut.”
Here’s the thing about me: I don’t really do donuts. Especially not as my first meal of the day. If anything, donuts qualify as a dessert more than a breakfast item. I ingest donuts roughly about twice a year and even then, I wouldn’t intentionally go out of my way to put one in my body. That is just the love-hate relationship I have always had with the delicious sugary glutinous crack. But that particular morning, all I wanted was a donut.
I did a little heart surgery right then, and there was this sudden realization that my insides looked a lot like a donut. Behind my epidermis, my internal being resembled the shape of a half-eaten disfigured donut—still soft and sweet, lightly glazed with a coating of hope, but crumbly and filled with holes. Holes, everywhere. And honestly? It was not the finest feeling in the world.
I deeply inhaled and said to her wearily, “I honestly don’t know what else more can be taken away. I’m just trying to do what I’m supposed to, be wise and make good decisions, and be responsible. I’ve had to have so many hard conversations, and I’ve written so many ‘breakup’ letters lately. A girl can only pour so much heartbreak onto a page to someone before it begins eating away at her soul. Imagine doing that multiple times. My soul is far past being weary. My soul is so empty. Like, literal holes in my soul. There is nothing left to give.”
She just let me speak. She let me cry. She just let me be. And then she replied, “You need donuts.”
“I do. Lots of donuts.”
Slowly, I hauled away the covers from my body; propped myself up, changed out of my pajamas, and drove myself to the local donut shop. I ordered four donuts, none in the same flavor, with a side of four round holes so I could fill in the empty spaces of the actual whole confection. I didn’t eat them all but I ate some. And I ate them for breakfast. It was something I would not conventionally do.
I am breaking cycles.
I have spent too many years running in circles. The thing about these simple closed curves is that they linger on for an eternity. It never ends. You’re on the same track, living the same way, repeating the same patterns, and making the same mistakes you swore you would never make. But we’re not invincible beings. If you’re still stuck in the same circle, all it takes is some time for history to repeat itself. And in time, your legs will refuse to carry you, your body will ache from exhaustion, and you’ll stand there breathing harder and harder desperately gasping for air again.
It’s up to you to decide if you’re willing to deconstruct that curvature, to unfasten and be set straight.
It might not appear this way, but I promise you. You have the strength.
You and I, we can do this. We can bite into our donuts, together. By no means am I condoning the routine of donuts for breakfast. Now that I think about it, it really isn’t the best metaphor. But it’s a start, at least for me, at preventing the patterns.
It’s a scary thing because everything from here on out looks different.
And it could possibly well be that having nothing, is having everything.