Things have not been going well lately. They haven’t been going, as they say, “my way.”
I’ve had some bad luck, made some bad decisions, missed some opportunities, lost some friends.
I hurt. Life hurts. And the problem is, I let it.
I am easily defeated. I try to build a wall against it, but when I feel obstacles mounting on obstacles, my wall crumbles immediately. I shut down.
It’s a flaw. A big one. Of which I am not proud. And that keeps me moving in a circular pattern of which I am not fond.
In my panic about money, my lack of spare time, and the constant threat of life upheaval, the 30×30 ground to a halt. I realized six weeks before my 30th birthday that there was no way I’d come even close to finishing. I thought I would give up and no one would notice or care.
Once again, I’m a failure. I never finish anything I start, I never move forward to the next level, I’m never able to muscle my life in the direction I want it to go.
And then I spontaneously returned to List Mantra Ground Zero: Be Spontaneous.
I saw an opportunity, and without prodding, I recognized and seized it. No analyzing or weighing the “rightness” of the moment.
A friend and I were doing dinner and a movie. Our options were Chipotle or a Chinese restaurant called Chef Yu.
Chipotle. I love thee. I eat thee much too frequently, like a tic.
The Chef Yu menu had all the normal stuff you get at a Chinese restaurant, most of which I enjoy. Then I noticed a few items I’m sure I’ve glossed over on many a Chinese menu: Jellyfish in Scallion Oil. Ox Tongue and Tripe (which is ox stomach, the googlemachine told me) with Red Hot Pepper Sauce.
Ew – but yes! Yes ew! Things I never thought I’d eat, #26! And for under $7!
I debated which to get, I debated getting both, but ultimately I knew that anything super spicy would be unappealing and inedible for the wrong reasons.
I had just seen jellyfish floating lazily in the Atlantic Ocean, bouncing along all gossamer and lovely. Creepy but lovely.
It hadn’t occurred to me they were edible.
Apparently jellyfish, like revenge, is a dish best served cold. And shredded. Scallion sauce is a delicious salty concoction I’ve had, so if ever jellyfish were to be palatable, this was it. (Though I wonder what plain jellyfish tastes like.)
Jellyfish looks gummy. Like a bear. Or the tapioca in bubble tea. These are things I crave. Jellyfish is almost gummy except that it is crunchy. Crunchy gummy. This is not a texture I can get behind. I love gummy. I love crunchy. But…never the two shall meet.
I took a bite, I didn’t think too hard, I chewed, I swallowed. Beyond the texture issue, no big deal. But for some reason, the more bites I took, the more nauseous I got. I don’t understand psychosomatic-ness, but it was definitely getting me.
Although I really didn’t like the texture.
The challenge was to eat something I never thought I’d eat. I didn’t specify how much of it I had to eat.
I tried it. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t decide I wouldn’t like it before I even tasted it. And you know, microcosm of the bigger picture: Be open. Don’t be afraid to be impulsive. Try anything once. Embrace the adventure of life.
I sometimes wonder how many times I’ll need to re-learn these lessons before they stick.
I think a sea change is coming for me. I think it needs to come. And still I fight it. I keep fighting these lessons I know I need to learn. I don’t learn them. My self-awareness is self-aware until the next challenge arises and then I’m Sisyphus back at the bottom of the mountain with the damn boulder in front of me.
Where’s Pavlov and his bell when I need them? I need some positive reinforcement for my positive thinking. I think only I can supply that, I can’t expect the world to reward me. And yet I can’t.
I want to but I don’t.
In any case, the sea change is coming and we’ll see how I handle it, but right now I’m returning to the baby steps of the 30×30: bring it. Game back on, the car has passed and I’m going back in the street to play. I have 36 days. There’s no way it’s all getting done, but we’ll see…
I do my best work under the pressure of a deadline.
As my good friend said as she cheered me through my jellyfish: “If you want to be in the game, you gotta something something.”
Words to live by, LBear. Thanks.