Please refer to my notes at the bottom of this article, to understand my context in writing this article.
I am changing
I have awoken every morning, this past month, feeling like there is no going back to “normal”. I feel this way not just in regard to the external world, I feel something inside of me has changed.
Kind of like I moved to a mysterious, exciting city, sight unseen, and I am stuck at a dock waiting for a mystery shipment, along with a container filled with all my old belongings.
There is an excitement to jump into this new place I call home, while also feeling stripped bare, free, longing, uncertain, and grieving. I wait for my mystery shipment with great anticipation, while also somehow obligatorily waiting for the belongings I only feel mildly attached to now. I am settling further into the reality that life has changed forever, and what, whom, and where I thought was relevant in my old home, is now no longer so.
I don’t need much of what I thought I needed, and I am also not the person I thought I was, given that so much of who I was, was just contextual.
White chocolate is now my friend
Right now, I sit here, in the midst of this pandemic, discovering new elements of who I am.
The other day my partner bought white chocolate, because he wanted to bake something with them. I was immediately dismissive, “White chocolate isn’t even chocolate!” I asked him if he liked white chocolate, and he sheepishly said he just wanted to try something new for baking, and make some cookies for his mother. Because this white chocolate was for his mother, I stopped in my tracks. Mexican men get upset if you say anything disrespectful about their mothers. I would spare her from my criticism, at least outwardly.
My enemy has been white chocolate. I have gotten extremely upset, and spit it out in protest, if I have eaten anything that has white chocolate hidden in it. I hate to admit it, that in the past I have chosen not to get close to people who claim white chocolate is the best. I have despised it more than milk chocolate, and I really, really don’t like milk chocolate. But, at least milk chocolate still has most elements of chocolate within it.
Fast forward two days from when my partner bought the white chocolate. I was alone having an afternoon tea time (I am not British, but why not have tea time now?), and I decided I was going to nibble white chocolate, with my tea.
I absolutely loved it. I love white chocolate. Who am I?
White chocolate as a metaphor
I enjoy looking up statistics about random things. I searched for what percentage of the world population likes white chocolate, and I found this article, Charts: Where in the world people actually like white chocolate.
The first chart shows that I come from a country (the US) that doesn’t care for white chocolate that much. But, I am currently living in a country (Mexico) that consumes the fourth highest quantity of it, under Brazil (in first place), The Netherlands, and South Africa, respectively. But, ultimately, according to this graph, there is no country where the people like white chocolate the most, when compared to their love of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or chocolate filled with something.
The second chart, shows some countries have increased their consumption of white chocolate, while others have decreased their consumption. Tastes for white chocolate have changed through the times, and it appears, in the direction of white chocolate being slightly more desirable (21% more consumption of it, overall).
In essence, white chocolate represents what most of us, perhaps don’t really care for, when presented with other options. It is becoming slightly more popular, to some people, but not impressively so, when in comparison to the total chocolate market.
White chocolate is the underdog of chocolate.
But, right now, white chocolate with my tea, is all I can think about. In fact, I am writing this article, while alternating between sticking my left hand into a small bag of white chocolate chunks, and then drinking my tea. The smooth, milky, fatty, sweetness, is then warmed by my tea, and coats my throat on the way down to my stomach. It is simply the perfect combination.
I have expanded my mind and heart for this new allowance, and am playfully going about this new activity. I feel so… sensual! This is a decision that completely goes against my intellect and emotional relationship to chocolate, and is fully based on my body’s sensate enjoyment of it all.
Perhaps white chocolate has been waiting to show me pure enjoyment, through my senses, this whole time? All I needed to do, was slow down enough, so I could learn to love it, on its terms?
I will be slowing down a whole lot more, when we are post COVID-19, and will allow myself to discover magically, sensuous experiences such as this, with more regularity.
I think I am a more sensual, playful person now.
So, I ask you, how is the “white chocolate” in your life, asking you to transform?
I am currently living in southern Mexico. I am partnered with a lower-middle class, part indigenous, part Mestizo, Mexican. I am fairly integrated within his family and community. I live in the poorest state in Mexico, and I see and hear about a whole lot that would horrify most of us in the US.
There are some ways things are starting to feel harder, and more on edge here. As of April 4th, Mexico has 1688 confirmed cases, and my state makes up 19 of them.
My little city that usually gets bursts of tourists this time here, in our “high season”, is empty. People are realizing they may not have enough food to eat next week. The community is coming together in ways that Mexican’s are best at. Already tough times, will get even tougher. I am in the process of helping out in all the ways I can, in the midst of this.
So, I write this article well aware of the gravity of life facing COVID-19, very intimately, for both Mexico and the US. I have also been reading and watching global news, probably more than is healthy for me. I have been on this wave of fear and hope ever since the end of February, and have been trying to find emotional balance in the midst of it all.
This article comes from my attempts at balance.