So I once read this really great book by Shauna Niequist called Cold Tangerines. It sheds light on the empty hype surrounding the anticipation of the next “big thing” and instead encourages readers to maximize on life’s simple pleasures, like the succulent sweetness of…oh, let’s just say a cold tangerine, for the sake of example.
Partially out of my desire to spawn a creative twist on Cold Tangerines, and partially out of pure curiosity, my contrarian self decided to try my taste buds at some warm grapefruit. It was, for lack of a better word: DISGUSTING. The pleasantly chilled tartness of the pink, pulpy flesh that I’ve enjoyed since I was a kid, instead assaulted my mouth like 3-year-expired, sun-bathed orange juice tearing up my poor little tongue. So what’s my point?…Other than suffering the light ramifications of a poor choice in fruit?
Well, I think the larger problem here is that sometimes I try so hard to do the new, innovative thing that I miss the advantage of indulging in what works. The status quo has been shamed as taboo and disgustingly subpar by those of us with entrepreneurial and innovative spirits in millennial America. Just the thought of doing something that everyone else is doing sends chills up our spines and alerts our anti-cliché alarms that we are about to succumb to the ways of a robotic, systematic, inside-the-box-thinking, fallen world. As though eating cold grapefruit could mean I have no mind of my own because it’s so close to the concept of cold tangerines that it’s scary—so scary that it could ultimately mean that I’ll end up with a cookie-cutter job, and a cookie-cutter husband, and a cookie-cutter house with white siding, blue shutters, and a picket fence. I call it the slippery slope of conformist phobia. And it’s utterly ridiculous.
If we instead took advantage of the things that the world has already gone through the grunt work of finding the most sensible solution for, we could lessen the strain on our brains, and save our awesomely creative power for finding revolutionary solutions to the things that count—like the cure for cancer, AIDS, bad hair days, and those hipster little skinny jeans that guys think it’s okay to scamper around in these days. Okay, so maybe those last couple are more of a personal problem…but you get the point.
So here comes my “revolutionary” take away from the experience. Are you ready?? Some things are just better cold—like igloos, snowmen, milk, white wine…and grapefruit. Mac & cheese should be hot, so eat it that way. Grass should be green, so grow it that way. The sky should be blue, so paint it that way. Roses should be pink, so buy them that way (Don’t argue on that one. It is a fact.). Ultimately, if it aint broke, don’t fix it. ß Yeah, that was a cliché. And it worked. Ahhh, how easy.
It’s amazing how life already gives us some answers. Capitalize on them. Then, we can reserve our mental energy to perplex ourselves over the real issues…like those skinny jeans.
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