Why I Need These Chocolate Chip Cookies Now More Than Ever

As a girl back in Tucson, chocolate chip cookies were a nearly weekly family event. My mom would break out the bowl and the beaters; I’d find sugars and eggs. She sifted the flour; I beat in the eggs. We each took a beater and licked off the dough while my dad stirred in the chocolate chips. Then we all ate a warm cookie with a glass of milk. It was a routine, and that meant it became comforting.

chocolate chip cookies

And that’s what I need right about now.

I’m almost afraid to admit it, because these aren’t “real” problems. I’m not homeless, hungry or abused. Most people would probably even see my situation and think I have every reason to be happy: I’m living in Paris, gorgeous city that it is, with a husband who I love and takes care of me.

But I’m not. Or at least, not all of the time.

I’ve already written about uncovering the side of myself that wants to stay put and misses stability. We’ve been on the move since March and still are. This week, I’m with Olivier in London as he works from his office. That’s meant I’ve spent most of the past week on my own. I’ve tried to make the most of it, planning to meet up with the three people I know here from college (but haven’t spoken to since almost then). I’ve scheduled a new café in a different neighborhood every day to work, so I can uncover the city.

Yet I can’t shake this feeling, of being lonely and out of control. I can’t even open Facebook or Instagram lately. Every time I do, I have to toss away my phone because I’m overwhelmed me with sadness.

I miss my friends, I miss New York. I miss my stupid Chelsea apartment, despite the mice and shitty landlord–our newsprint bookshelf filled with my books, the coffee machine where I made espresso using beans from Joe’s coffee shop down the street. I miss tag-teaming the line at Trader Joe’s with Olivier. I miss going into work every day, having a routine. I miss talking to people in English. Hell, I miss talking to people period.

So this afternoon I stopped everything. I decided I wasn’t going to work. I went for a run. And when that didn’t clear my mind, I went to the store around the corner from where we’re staying to drool over the pretty end-of-summer fruits.

That’s when it came to me, as I was browsing the canned food aisle: I wanted to bake cookies just like the ones my mom and dad and I used to make. So I bought sugar, and flour, and eggs. I bought the nicest damn fancy French butter I could find, and gourmet dark chocolate chips. I brought it all home, and I made chocolate chip cookies. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have a measuring cup or recipe. I’ve made this recipe so much I know it by heart.

A miraculous thing happened. As I melted the butter and beat in the eggs, I felt better. For at least a second, enough to be inspired to take a pic and open up Instagram and post a photo.

I know consciously that I’ll get through this, that moving is just hard, not to mention going freelance for the first time, leaving all your friends, moving every two weeks, not being able to communicate like I want to in the local language. But I’m not there yet.

In the meantime, I’ll make cookies.


  1. I had a year of instability myself during which I learned to bake all kinds of bread, bagels and even English muffins. Keep baking the blues away!

Talk to Me