This morning as I made breakfast and began to bury little bits of banana down into my oatmeal, I had a flashback of my childhood. I remembered how when I was a young I would deny all my siblings attempts at help and demand that my mother be the one to stir the banana into my Cream’O’Wheat. I smiled and enjoyed amusement at the memory of my strong willed particularity–which has no doubt survived to the present.
Instead of dismissing this memory as me being silly, demanding or childish, I saw that even as a kid I understood some key things about life. Not that I think someone should stir banana into my cereal every morning–although let’s be honest who wouldn’t want that–but I understood the value of my preferences. I was a tenacious little bugger and I was not about to have less than the practiced hand of my mother touch my breakfast. There was a special detail in the way she gently pressed each banana piece under the surface and lovingly smoothed over the top that just couldn’t compare with anyone else. There was something in that small act of her stirring banana into my breakfast cereal that made it taste like love.
I think I understood so much then as a little nugget about life that now, several years later I’ve had to rediscover. Over time I let my particularity and preference start to be dismissed as “picky,” “high maintenance” or “bitchy.” Fortunately it was a relatively short time before I realized that no one, even that man whose gorgeously chiseled tri-ceps you could slice a tomato on, had a right to tell me who I am, what I should want or what I can do. If I want a creamy white Mercedes SLS, by god I will have it. I don’t want a pink one, or a black one or a cherry freaking red one, I want creamy white and that’s the one I will have. This doesn’t make me any of the aforementioned slurs, it makes me awesome.
Our different preferences and desires are what make the world fantastic, in the words of a good friend “Do we need thousands of different types of flowers for our ‘survival’? Hell no! But diversity is king.” I think we need to embrace and rediscover our childish preferences and what makes us excited. I don’t mean like “oh it’s my birthday and so I’m taking 10 shots and getting blitzed and that makes me happy because I’m not at work and can’t remember my crummy life.” Nah son. I mean like truly ecstatic, smile until your face hurts, deep, core, electrified, enlivened, charged happiness
Too many people resolve themselves to unhappy lives because they look around and see other unhappy people and think “this is it.” Well this is not it! It’s not over until a woman slightly above the average weight sings a very high note, or something politically correct like that. I now regard my preferences with the highest reverence and although they may change from moment to moment, I thoroughly enjoy exploring the possibilities. I know I want to work at something I find fulfilling. I want to enjoy my life and bring joy to others in the process. I want a lot of money–yeah I said it. I want a lot of really smart and interesting friends, a jungle cat, to travel and see the world, to inspire and be inspired and someday I want a man who every once in a while, stirs the banana into my breakfast cereal.