I recently had a conversation with a friend wherein she talked about how, after graduating college, she went through what John Mayer might call a quarter life crisis.
You've gone to school. You've got a place to live, a car to drive. You got a job and now, it seems… well, that's it. What else is there once you enter this stage to… spice things up? What is there to make life interesting, to break up the daily grind or the monotony of life as you go to work day in and day out.
Wake up. Get ready. Spend hours at work. Go home and get ready to do it all over again.
I like to call it my "disenchantment phase." The period (which by the way, I may very well still be in) when, you realize, "Life" isn't going to be or isn't presently what you thought it was going to be like.
The question that comes out of all of this really is, how does one cope on a day-to-day basis with the realization that "this is it." I don't say that in a bleak way but rather, a revelatory one.
As I was thinking about this, the thought occurred to me that maybe this is one of the reasons why food is such a big part of our culture. Possibly for some, probably for each and every one of us at times, it has been perverted into an unhealthy tool used to try to combat the seeming monotony of life.
Think about it. We look forward to meals. It's something different to do. It's pleasurable. It can be social, sensual, secretive, soothing… Maybe it's just me but, it just made sense to me when I thought of food as almost being a self administered anecdote to the routine of life.
Certainly our culture has proven that it can be misused as is possible with any substance that may be intended or may possess some healthful properties but can be perverted and abused to a point where it becomes unhealthy. Maybe that's why we seem to be less and less satisfied with what used to completely satisfy before. Like any other drug, the more and more you use, the more and more you need to achieve the original effect.
Clearly, I enjoy the process of cooking and eating food, as a blog dedicated to the subject would intrinsically attest. I don't know if I really have a point here. But, I suppose if I can wrap this up into some kind of final thought, it would be that, I want to find more than just an edible way to make a daily difference in my everyday life.
There are many other ways. Maybe they are less developed, or, not as readily apparent. Maybe they're more expensive or would require me to step out side of my "comfort zone." Maybe it would just require a little more diligence on my part. For example, instead of surfing the web mindlessly for a little 10 minute "brain break," you might make a point to seek out something enjoyable going on in your city in the evening or on the weekend.
Maybe it's something as simple as subscribing to a magazine that you've always wanted to thumb through at the end of a long day. Maybe you need to just break down and buy something frivolous like bubble bath and treat yourself to a long soak once a week. I mean, I don't know what it is for you but, this is an area worth exploring I think.
Life can be overwhelming and the monotony can be draining, even depressing at times but, there are many things that, if we almost… force ourselves to go and do them, we will be happier, healthier, and more whole than if we just continuously settle for substitutes to make a daily difference in our lives.
That's my (hopefully) tasty little nugget for the day anyway.