Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve hated trying new food. Let me take you back to the first time I ate grapes… I was about four years old getting ready to take a bath, running away from my mum, who was trying to convince me to try just one grape. It was a struggle. Although a seemingly easy task, trying to get a stubborn four-year-old to put an exotic looking “food” in her mouth is a lot harder than it sounds.
When my mum finally convinced me to try one (through her magical mothering powers, of course), I remember popping the grape into my mouth, slowly starting to chew, and realizing that the juicy taste was causing the corners of my mouth to slowly curl upwards. I then timidly asked my mother for another one, trying to hide the fact that she had been right when she said I would like them.
That one experience blew my little four-year-old mind; who knew there might actually be food out there that I may enjoy eating in addition to my standard diet? That’s how I think it is with most things in life. It’s so easy to be content with the way everything is going that you don’t want to alter anything in the fear that everything may fall apart. Add in the stubborn factor if you’re like me, and if you’re not careful you may get stuck in the same little bubble for the rest of your life. One little bubble… sounds suffocating, doesn’t it?
Well, I’ve had to come to the realisation that if I ever want to experience anything worth experiencing in this world, I must expand this little bubble of mine. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to just go ahead and pop it otherwise I’ll end up spiraling toward the ground and end up with another concussion… and we don’t want that to happen again. All I’m talking about is stepping outside of my comfort zone little by little until my comfort bubble encompasses the whole world.
There are many things in life that we could greatly benefit from trying new things and putting ourselves in uncomfortable positions until they become comfortable. But the more we do it, the more comfortable we get. It’s almost like exposure therapy. Trying new things, such as grapes, used to give me anxiety because it was not on my predetermined list of foods I ate, activities I participated in, or skills I knew I had. However in recent reconsideration, I have spread my wings and am now beginning to learn how to fly.
I’ve recently taken up a keen interest in my health and being fit. I’ve been exercising regularly, going on long walks and doing (very) short periods of strength training. I’ve also transitioned into a pescetarian diet and it has made me so much more aware of the food I have been and continue to put in my body. Food is fuel. And if we are filling ourselves up with crap, that’s what we are going to feel like. Along with the help of lots of iPhone apps, such as Fooducate and Yummly, I’ve been choosing and preparing my food with much more awareness about what I’m consuming and its nutritional value, not worrying about if it errs from the familiar diet I have been consuming my whole life (i.e. Weetabix and Marmite sandwiches).
This heightened awareness is what we strive to achieve in all areas of life. Ignorance isn’t bliss, it’s just comfortable. If we push to educate ourselves about new food, cultures, ways of life, activities, and all other aspects of life, we will be able to become more aware of who we are, what drives us, and how we fit into this massive universe of ours. Once you open yourself up to new experiences, you will be amazed at how large your little comfort bubble can grow.