At the end of Thanksgiving, I grabbed a KIND bar from my pantry before heading on the train back to Boston. It was cranberry and almond.
It was meant to be a snack for the train, but I decided to save it for another time.
That Monday, I started a new job. It was hard, a lot harder than I thought it would’ve been. We were in the office from 5 pm until 10:30 pm, and I forgot to have dinner. So I remembered the KIND bar in my backpack. But some stubborn part of me refused to get it. I could wait. I could make it.
Each night was equally late, and still the KIND bar stayed in my backpack. When I was reaching my breaking point, I still refused to eat it.
The next few weeks were really tough, and I was fraught with anxiety. But the KIND bar has become this weird symbol of my strength. As long as I had the KIND bar, the back-up plan, but didn’t eat it, I was strong. I was strong enough to make it through these next few weeks and not completely fuck up.
I tried to explain the KIND bar to my friends, and they didn’t quite get it. And I get that; the idea is insane.
But I’m obsessed with symbolism and hidden meanings. You don’t reread Harry Potter seven-to-twenty times without becoming deeply in love with symbols.
The KIND bar was a symbol; it was a symbol that I had an escape plan, a fallback option, a way out. And the longer I went without pulling the cord on the parachute, the stronger I was.
I know that, realistically, the KIND bar had nothing to do with how I handled the next few weeks. But I can’t shake the feeling that that cranberry-and-almond bar helped me a little.
I think we need reminders that we can be strong. Sometimes, it’s easy to pull the parachute cord early and freak out. But I try to set little goals for myself to make it easier if I’m dealing with anxiety or something else majorly hard. Smile at a stranger, or Tell yourself three nice things about yourself, or Go through the day without overthinking about the next day. Small goals, little steps, that add up to a healthier mind.
After about two weeks of sitting in my bag, I finally ate the KIND bar. I wish I could say that I achieved some higher plane of existence after ingesting the metaphorical parachute cord, but I just got an almond jammed in my molar.