In the end, I always return to beans and rice.
There is no food in the fridge.
Except beans and rice.
I don’t know what to eat.
Eat Beans and rice.
I am too tired to think.
Beans and rice.
I have eaten lots of beans and rice lately. I eat them in tacos, I eat them with omelets, I eat them in fat bowls filled with lettuce and homemade salsa and rich avocado and a grind of pepper. Beans and rice bring me home. Beans and rice are home.
I keep trying to bring myself home. Home to myself. I tell me the stories I’ve accumulated over the past year, the stories of where I’ve been and what I’ve done and how I felt. And people have told me so many stories. I’ve told these stories to myself, and to so many others. I have told these stories too many times, until now, I almost feel like the meaning that they originally had for me has perhaps begun to fade.
This summer has been so strange.
I have had the blues. Too much feeling. Too much thinking.
I am lucky in my friends, lucky in my family, but there are some times and some days where growing up feels so impossibly difficult.
Right now it is raining, a dreary, humid summer rain, and I can hear the dripping though my window, over the hum of the air conditioner.
I eat beans and rice.
I’ve spent this summer writing endless letters I don’t send, to myself and to the people I love. My friend once told me that the “only letters she had ever sent were love letters” and I think that is just excruciatingly beautiful.
Because it is true.
Every letter I have ever written has been a love letter.
So this is a love letter to beans and rice.
This is a love letter to growing up.
This is a love letter to summer, no matter how strange, no matter how blue.
This is a love letter to myself, a fierce reminder that I will always be worthy of love letters, even if I have to send them to myself.
This is a love letter to my mother, who listens, who made the beans and rice.
This is a love letter to the people I work with at the restaurant, from whom I am learning so much.
This is a love letter to the beautiful friends I have, to the friends I have yet to make, to the friends who have disappointed me, whom I will love anyways.
This is a love letter to the kind strangers.
This is a love letter to all the stories I've been told.
This is a love letter to real talk.
To air conditioning.
To the internet.
To Joni Mitchell.
To the future.
To the radio.
To summer rain.
But mostly, it’s a love letter to beans and rice.