Sunday, July 8, 2012

Looking For Food On An Empty Plate

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Every now and then, I stumble across something on tumblr that sends me spiraling down the dark, cloggy, drain of harsh self-assessment. I don't generally read text-images, because to be honest, the main reason I go on that website is so I can look at pretty things for a little while and stop thinking so much about things. As I was scrolling through the other day, I saw one and almost kept on right past it, except that my eye caught sight of the word "plate," and I thought it might be about food (you know how I do). It was not about food. I don't remember all of it, but the last sentence was something like "It is hard to admit you have been looking for food on an empty plate." That phrase has been wedged in my brain for days. It's the kind of perfect analogy for my life at the moment that I wish I could say I came up with myself. I guess I could say it, but I would be lying, and lying is unfortunate.

I have been searching for food on an empty plate. This phrase can mean a lot of things, apply to a lot of things. For me, it's been prodding at my heart with a judgmental pointer finger. I have been smitten with a boy who has a girlfriend for an embarrassingly long time. It's so embarrassing that I won't even admit it (almost a year). I haven't been pursuing him, and wanting to date him something fierce has not kept me from pursuing or allowing myself to be pursued by (hypothetical) other folks. But the desire for him has been lingering, growing louder and louder at times, then shrinking again, settling into that spot just at the top of my back, the spot you can never scratch when it itches. On the many nights I found myself unable to fall right asleep, I reviewed our interactions, scouring every exchange, every touch, every awkward silence, looking for something to cling to. Maybe THIS means he secretly wants to bang me? Maybe? I was looking for something that wasn't there. I was, to drive the point home, looking for food on an empty place.

The thing about "looking for food on an empty plate" is that food could, hypothetically be on that plate.  There could be crumbs, traces of something, something like infatuation, but crumbs are nothing to cling to, nothing to build a big, dreamy hope on, nothing to get enveloped in. The thing about the empty plate is that we tell ourselves that maybe, someday, someone will in fact put food on that plate. Someday he will leave her for me. Someday I will like my job. Someday pie will rain down from the clouds in what will truly be "the perfect storm."It is a good thing to hope, and to have hope. It is a good thing to wonder and dream. But it is not a good thing to put your life on hold for that hope, to mope for that hope, to obsess over that hope. To stop exploring for an empty plate is a terrible thing.  Maybe someday we will end up together. Maybe someday you will like your job. Maybe someday pie will rain down from the clouds in what will truly be "the perfect storm." I want to have a little hope, tucked away where I barely know its presence, in a place where I can forget about it, but think of it rarely and smile to myself. I want that hope in a place where it doesn't determine what I do, or how I act or how I run my life. I want to work hard and explore and put food on my own plate to provide for myself, instead of looking for food on an empty plate.

Shirt: Cotton on, Jeans: H&M, Sandals: Korks by Kork-Ease, Cat tote: DIY

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Until tomorrow,


  1. You look so good. I love that top with those jeans.
    Looking for food on an empty plate. . . That's pretty deep and kind of makes my heart hurt.

  2. love the lace top!kisses from Italy

  3. Bah, men with girlfriends. Been there, done that, would NOT repeat it. Isn't there anyway you can avoid seeing him altogether?
    Having said that, I think we all spend time looking for food on empty plates. That's the nature of hope vs. reality, don't you think?

  4. This post makes me wish you were back in NH so we could stay up late talking about how we look for food on empty plates and spend too much time over-thinking every little thing and how we are too critical of ourselves and simultaneously not passionate enough about the things we really love.. I've been in your situation before, and it's so hard to get over being interested in someone (girlfriend or not) when you're forced to see them on a regular basis. IT'S REALLY HARD. But kudos to you for trying! xx

  5. Let us stop looking for things that are not there and start creating instead!
    Love the outfit, you look super cute.

  6. Humm, maybe you have to put your own food on the plate instead of just searching for it! Which seems a bit more of a difficult task to do, but it's always an option. :) You're such a lovely person and I always enjoy reading your posts because they're always so dreamy and hopeful and honest. You're so honest and I love it. <3

    This top is stunning on you! Seriously so pretty. That is just the prettiest lace I've seen! May I steal it? :D

  7. I could try and write something coherent, but for now all I've got for you is this: <3

  8. I just wrote about running into a boy like that...I liked him for an embarrassingly long time as well (7 years). He too had a girlfriend. 6 years later I drunkenly told him. Ha! What a night. I hope you do okay with least you look super cute :) haha

  9. Jasmine, Transient WithdrawalJuly 9, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    First off, can I just tell you how much I adore this outfit? I adore it so much! I always love it when you wear those jeans and that top is just so wonderful! That bag is so you and so cute!!

    I love that quote! It made me think for a bit and I absolutely loved reading what you got from it! I've been feeling the same way about my situation with Robert. He's leaving for a new life in Hawaii in a couple weeks. Most days I know I made the right choice to be single, especially right now, but some days I do wonder if there's food left on our empty plate. You are absolutely right about hope not hindering our lives. If anything it should give us something to reach for. Have I told you lately that I love your writing? :)


  10. you look adorable. i love your casual looks with jeans.

    and it is probably best to jump ship and move onto to something else. you're a smart girl.
    something with pie.

  11. Oh my - I over-think everything - now I am going to over - think this, ha! Oh well - I suppose it could mean so many different things, but mostly like you said, wasting time just looking and not producing. Such a good mantra to live by nonetheless. You look darling as ever. I'm always loving how you style up jeans with such dainty pieces then add a quirky accessory to top it off. If I could only learn the art of doing this!

  12. Oh my gosh, you look absolutely divine!! I love everything about this combination... and need to re-create it. Really beautiful!! And I absolutely love that quote... and yup, I've been there! Best of luck with everything, I know how hard it can be. Hugs! V


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