What is appetite? I know what an appetite for life feels like.
It feels uncharted, wide open with all possibilities. It’s listening to Bono in your car at full volume, making a complete ass of yourself as you sing along, forgetting that your windows are open while sitting at a red light. The people in the car next to you start to laugh but then join in, making for a memorable and great moment. Or it’s sitting in front of the glorious, overwhelming Canada Day fireworks at Ashbridges Bay while a full orchestra of “Oohs and “Aaahs” takes over every pore in your body, or standing at the edge of Niagara Falls and breathing in that overpowering beauty, or standing on the shores of either the Atlantic or the Pacific or any other ocean as a storm rolls in and the power of the pounding waves takes your breath away. It’s impossible not to be awestruck time and time again by the majesty of nature or the ingenuity and imagination belonging to us humans.
Falling in thrall with another human being and wanting to consume the object of your desire, much the way a Praying Mantis does, is as terrifying as it is overwhelming … and more than a little twisted. It’s potentially dangerous but it is still appetite, probably more in the Hannibal Lechter vein. To feel your heart be cracked open by the power of love is like no other feeling. It’s achingly pure and magical. The want and need to be in that person’s wake 24/7 is wholly consuming - a different kind of hunger.
But appetite in the more traditional sense is confusing for me. When I feel the pangs of hunger, I’m not always sure what it is I am hungering for; is it food? Is it attention? Solace? Companionship? Stress release? Boredom? I know I want something and food is what I reach for first, habitually and blindly staring at the full or empty fridge, not always finding what it is that I need to shut down the feelings of emptiness or hunger. I can’t always tell the difference. I love food - good food. I’m not a junk eater. I have high standards even when I’m in an angst-driven tailspin. (French fries don’t count - they are a super food).
Often my plate is simply too full. I have taken on too much and I have forgotten to exercise the power of “NO!” That’s what it’s like to be a woman attempting to have and to do it all in today’s world. I am like those plate spinners that can’t stop running from one end of the row of fast-twirling plates to the other, keeping them aloft from sheer will. I am wide-awake at 3:00 a.m., unable to quash the brilliant and awful ideas spinning out of my overtired brain that is incapable of relaxing. But I have solved the crisis in the Ukraine, the mess of the Alberta Tar Sands and Jennifer Anniston’s dating woes.
Learning to say no is what we all must learn to do. We serve no one when we are on overload. Frying synapses zapping and popping much like the sound of the electrocution black flies and mosquitos face when flying into that seductive purple light - SNAP! Spreading oneself too thin is a totally false concept seeing as it leads to stress eating, which in my case leads to weight gain - Aaarrrghh! And it has nothing to do with my appetite. There is a hole that is desperate to be filled. Knowing what it really is that I am wanting remains an elusive mystery.