It’s about that time when new year resolutions start to fade. Two weeks into going to the gym and eating vegan locally-grown organic salads every day, and we’re done – we lost a couple of pounds, we feel “the glow”, and the weather sucks, work is stressful, plus who are we kidding? Didn’t we say we were gonna stop spending money this year? Have you seen those organic grocery bills?
And there you have it ladies and gentlemen – slowly but surely we go back to our routine and arguably bad habits. Regrets ensue. Let’s pop that cork, shall we?
Don’t get me wrong, resolutions to change ourselves for the better are an excellent expression of a vision to improve and grow. A belief that change can be a beautiful thing. A hope to boost our self-esteem by becoming skinnier, richer, healthier, whatever-er.
Yet, thinking about the life-altering cannoli I had in Florence last week, I can’t help but ask myself: why? Do I truly desire to change or have I been roped into yet another marketing scheme? Because if I authentically wanted to change, I would easily find the motivation to do so. Yet, I honestly don’t feel guilty for those extra calories. And why should I? It was a religiously transcendental moment. I paused and savored every bit of that crunchy cannoli shell. Every cubic centimeter of its luscious ricotta filling. Every decadent little chunk of dark chocolate truffled inside it. And the fragrant yet subtle aroma of the candied orange peel that adorned it and brought all those flavors and textures together. In that simple moment, I was absolutely and perfectly happy.
Transgression, temptation, and sin have always been life’s greatest pleasures. Stealing a bite of chocolate while on a diet and melting it on your tongue ever so slowly. Driving those few miles over the speed limit even though you have absolutely nowhere to get to. Taking an extra vacation day because you’re not ready to go back to reality. Savoring a long drag of nicotine on an early, cold morning lost on a mountain somewhere. The intrinsic appeal of our transgressions relies on their subjectively forbidden nature.
Even so, health, nutrition, and longevity are becoming the focus and priorities in our never ending search for the fountain of eternal life that will get rid of our mortality. Yet, if we embraced it we’d see what’s truly important.
Having a ticking clock ups the pressure for results, answers, solutions. I don’t remember any great vampires who changed history. Deadlines are Xanax-inducing stress factors, but without them we’d never know the satisfaction of an extension, or the thrill of late-night submissions. We live on borrowed time. And let’s face it, we spend so much of it worrying about bullshit and listening to fake gurus trying to turn us all into automatons with the same needs, preferences, and shopping habits.
I refuse to live like that, endlessly circumnavigating the neat little box that I’m supposed to fit in. Not that I believe those boxes can be broken or undone anytime soon. But change has got to happen one person at a time, right?
The cuteness overload of instagrammers will fade. The overly indulgent snapchatters will soon be forgotten. Because authenticity is the only thing that lasts and none of it is to be found across social networks.
Sure, melting cheese looks neat, and rainbow soft-serve is the cutest – but as biotech visionaries invent more wearable sensors for diabetes, cholesterol, and everything else no-one will dare to eat a cannoli ever again. How sad that perfectly healthy world will be.
My point in all of this is: if you’re gonna try and change, please do so respecting your own unique nature. Be honest with yourself. What do you truly desire?
Whether that’s taking on a new challenge or watching a new movie or starting a new life or trying a new recipe – it’s all good. Just do yourself a favor: embrace who you truly are, love yourself without limits, and don’t try to fit in the box that someone else has built for you.