First semester of my Freshman year of college I took Psychology 101.
It was in a large lecture hall, and I always sat by a guy friend of mine.
One particular class, he brought some sort of candy.
We were sitting there, listening to the lecture, and he opened a bag of candy and shared it with me.
I took some.

It was candy.
I like candy.
How bad could it be, right?

Oh my word!
I have no idea what kind of candy it was, all I remember is that it made me gag.
Really truly gag…
So bad!
It was awful!

I remember sitting there, staring straight ahead, not listening to the lecture,
Eyes starting to water,
And in a matter of seconds, several thoughts went through my mind.

“I am going to barf right here and now.”
I started plotting the fastest path to the bathroom, calculating how many people I would have to climb over on my way out of the lecture hall, along with the possible risk of climbing over seats as the fastest route there.
“Can I make it there and not look like I was running out of the room like a bat out of hell?”
“Is it possible to save face and remain composed?”
I had to make up my mind.
Time was running out.
The taste was lingering and getting worse…
“I cannot believe people actually choose to eat this stuff. Who actually likes it, anyway?”

I turn to look at my friend, and he is smiling and says,
“You like it? It’s my favorite.”

WHAT?

Seriously?
I honestly thought he was joking.

He wasn’t.

So, guess what I did?
I ate it, smiled, and nodded to him.
“It’s great!”

LIES!

He offered me more, and I wish I could say I told him no.
But I took the nasty candy and gagged on some more on it.

What is it about us that makes us try to please people?
That is fake and will not express our honest opinion?
What is it that makes us do things that we hate to impress people?

I have gotten better at this over the years,
But I must admit, there is still that insecure 18 year-old in there sometimes.
The people-pleasing person who feels like her opinions should not be expressed,
The one who puts far higher value on other people’s voices and thoughts than she does on her own.

And while I am all about putting others first,
We were also all created differently for a reason.
We all have a different perspective to give.

Let’s stop trying to be like someone else.
Let’s start being genuine instead of being fake.

And for Pete’s sake, don’t eat the nasty candy just because someone else likes it…

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