If you have read my blog before, you might have noticed that much of the inspiration for my posts come from everyday activities. I thought of today’s blog while I was wrist-deep in a low-country boil.
If you are scratching your head and wondering about the way my mind works; trust me, you wouldn’t be the first! But bare with me here, and I promise I’ll deliver.
The process of learning about yourself can be beautiful. It can also be messy as hell, and there are definitely moments that leave you wondering “What in the world did I sign up for here?” Most people who peer down at a plate of crawfish would likely tell you the same thing. Crawfish look like miniature lobsters, but when presented with a giant bowl of them, you quickly discover that it takes a whole new skill-set to eat them. I remember my first time breaking into one, I was pulling this way and that, trying to figure out how in the world I could get to the delicious meat inside. There was a moment where I thought to myself “What did I get myself in to? How do I even start?” I looked up hopefully to my fiance, who graciously showed me how to pop the top off and dig in. Sometimes when we invest in self-exploration, we need a mentor. Someone to whom you can look to for guidance when you don’t know which to way to go, or even where to start.
Tonight as I was digging into a delicious Maryland blue crab, the buttery sauce got the best of me and my fingers slipped and slid across the prickly ridges of the shell. To say that it was unpleasant is probably obvious, but it took me aback and I held the little guy out to me and started to examine the various ridges on it’s back and it between it’s claws. Protecting all of the sweet, buttery crab meat was some serious armor. When you take on the journey of self-exploration, know that your body has developed it’s own form of protection. There will be moments that feel uncomfortable, and likely some that are truly painful to experience. You may wonder if it’s worth it. But know this: Once you get past that armor, the sweet stuff will be ready and waiting.
As I finally got the top off of the blue crab, I discovered a slew of squishy parts inside. Honestly, I was a little grossed out. I am traditionally a fan of snow crab claws, with it’s clean, crisp flavor. My eyebrows raised right to my hairline and I asked my fiance, “Babe, what the hell is all this stuff?” and he responded with what I felt was an oddly beautiful answer. He said “Just put it in your mouth, and if it tastes funny, spit it out.” Yes, I did think it was beautiful, and here’s why. As you embark upon the process of learning what makes you tic, you try on different roles. You may experiment with what aspects of your personality work for you, and which ones leave you feeling uncomfortable and unsatisfied. Sometimes you take on new experiences and only find out when you are knee-deep in discomfort that you made the wrong move. However, the truly amazing thing is that we have the ability to spit it out. As humans, we can try on new hats to see what works for us. As you discover what makes you feel genuine bliss, you will likely hit a few bumps along the way. This is a good thing! Knowing what you don’t want is just as important as knowing what you do!
This evening, as I looked at the enormous bowl that was piled with shells, organs, crumpled napkins, and a delightfully tacky-looking bib, I realized that this meal had taken a lot of time and work! I still smelled a bit like butter and the sweet, tangy smell of the sea, but I was immensely satisfied. I think at this point you probably see where I am going here. Taking a good, honest look at yourself isn’t necessarily easy, and it isn’t necessarily quick- but If you are willing to put in the time, you will not only find that you know a lot more about your true self, but you will do as I did; take a long, satisfied breath, and smile.