Dear Cinnamon: Yes, and Adopt a Pet

Dear Cinnamon is our monthly column based on the idea that all of life's questions can be answered by art, because, after all, art is the spice of life. To submit your own anonymous questions, fill out this form

Dear Cinnamon, I thought it was just winter hibernation, but I have found myself stuck in a state of loneliness even as the weather is consistently beautiful and the people outside my window are enjoying it as pairs and groups. How do I break out of my solitary funk?

It’s okay to be alone. Lonely is a different story. After a long stent going it solo, you will need some nudges in a new direction. Read Kyoko Mori’s memoir Cat and Bird (Belt Publishing 2024). A meditation on solitude and animal companions, you will find yourself midway through engaging in step two: get a pet of your own. Not only will you be able to now talk about the weird and wonderful things your pet does with strangers-that-become-friends on the street, but you can also tell them about the great book you read. Every person that ever was will utter the phrase it is hard to make friends as an adult. It’s frightening as a child, but as an adult it takes time, practice and perseverance. And sometimes a cat. 

Illustration by Mat Huftalen.

Dear Cinnamon, I want to try something new, something that will force me out of my comfort zone and into a new way of thinking. What can I do to finally have a moment of awe or insightfulness or simple enthusiastic intrigue forcing me to ask more questions of the world and demand more adventure?

,I would probably never suggest this to anyone but you, but in these dire times I think it’s your season to try improv. Sign up immediately for classes at Annoyance Theatre, don’t worry, there is a bar. It’s going to be as the kids say, cringe, and also, it’s going to make you realize that you can grab life by the tender bits every day and every moment and try something that makes you laugh or cower in shame or leave you believing that you are brilliant and witty and someone brand new.

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Caroline Huftalen

Caroline L. Huftalen is the food editor at Third Coast Review and columnist behind Dear Cinnamon. Her reviews and interviews can also be seen on BuskingAtTheSeams.com. Huftalen is the founder of Survivors Project, Inc. which raises awareness for domestic violence by sharing stories of survival. A graduate of the University at Buffalo and the Savannah College of Art of Design. Huftalen lives in Chicago with her family and is currently writing a novel.