No More Sour Cream
I grew up in a family of people who liked sour cream on their baked potatoes. And since children learn by way of example and I was above all else determined to win the grown ups over by imitating everything they said and did, I dutifully put sour cream on my baked potatoes, too. Except I couldn’t seem to get the hang of it.
A pat of butter, a shake or two of salt, a small dollop of sour cream, and…hmmm. The thing just didn’t taste right. I’d watch everyone else snorking down their creamy potatoes with their blissed-out expressions and think maybe I’d messed up the proportions. So I’d add some more sour cream. And a little bit more. But it was to no avail. It didn’t matter how much or how little sour cream I put on the thing, I just never achieved the level of potato nirvana to which I aspired.
I’m embarrassed to tell you that it took me 18 years to figure out what you’ve doubtless deduced in about fifteen seconds: turns out I don’t like sour cream on baked potatoes. And yes, DUH, when you don’t like something, piling more of it on your plate doesn’t make you like it even a little bit better.
It seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? Yet how many of us bail out of a dysfunctional relationship only to sign up for more of the same with the next paramour? Or plug away dutifully at a job that numbs our souls, only to take that promotion, or go after a bigger job just like it, simply because it’s what we think we ought to do and it’s—well—what we’ve always done?
It’s hard to admit that something doesn’t work for us, especially when familial custom or societal values or our inner critic tells us that we should.
How could you leave that gorgeous woman with the trust fund? How could you ditch that tenure-track job? How could you break up the belly-dancing troupe for no better reason than you just aren’t enjoying yourself?
If you don’t like sour cream, you don’t like sour cream. Trust your own palate and the inner workings of your own soul.
Photo by JaBB, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, cropped