here's what i want you to know

i have completionist syndrome. i must finish something before i move on to the next thing. i can’t tell you how may banal books, boxes of tasteless healthy cereal or rolls of the “wrong” kind of toilet paper i’ve suffered through, refusing to believe that i can just stop doing, reading, eating the awful thing and move on to something better.

“you know you are an adult, right?” jeff says. “you can do whatever you want to do.”

“but then this unfinished thing will be wasted and then it’ll just be there, starting at me, serving as a reminder that i failed.”

“wait, wait, wait.” he put both hands up, palms facing me. “do you really think it’s a failure to not finish that disgusting box of kashi go lean fiber pellets?”

“well,” i thought about it. “it’s wasteful. that’s failure.”

“who did this to you?”

“all signs point to my mother,” I reply. “at least that’s what therapy tells me.”

i sat down in front of my bowl of cereal, fiber pellets and all i can think of is rabbit poop floating in a murky grey sea of almond milk. all i can hear is the voices of the starving children my mother often waived as a weapon against waste. i scooped up a spoonful.

“don’t do it,” jeff shook his head. “ don’t do it. what happens if you don’t do it?”

but i quickly shove the spoon into my mouth before he can say anything else because really, i am my mother’s daughter.