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Some Disgusting Things Might Actually Taste Pretty Amazing

share this post on your wall tweet this post to your followers share this post on LinkedInDigg! this postsubmit post to RedditCarl Thress | Tuesday, August 10, 2010

“We were eating some disgusting things, and they tasted amazing.”

My wife is a survivalist/reality TV junkie. The other night, she was watching Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment, a Discovery Channel series from 2009, where a group of people are dropped in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness and left to fend for themselves, as they navigate their way back to civilization.

During the course of the evening, I walked in from the other room, where I had been working on the computer, and heard the line quoted above, spoken by one of the cast members. He was talking about the various rodents and other small animals the group had had to hunt and eat, just to stay alive.

For some reason, this quote stuck with me. Here was someone, who under normal circumstances would probably never imagine eating squirrel or rat or God knows what, but when faced with either eating such fare or starving, not only ate it but actually enjoyed it and thought it tasted “amazing.”

As I pondered his statement, I started thinking about circumstances and events that have come up in my own life that I had never imagined having to face and how I had reacted to them. Times I had stepped outside my comfort zone and taken chances. And how sometimes, in doing so, I had discovered not only that I liked what I had feared before, but that it actually “tasted amazing.”

Auditioning for my first high school play was one such experience. Here I was, a shy, awkward teenager, stepping on stage in front of my peers. What was I thinking? As it turned out, I not only survived that audition; I came to relish the experience of embodying another character and holding an audience in the palm of my hand. I even earned a lead role in my final high school production and took the acting bug with me to college, where I continued to appear in student productions.

Another example occurred several years later, when a good friend asked me to give a presentation on writing for the web to her high school English students. Again, I had to overcome my natural shyness and low self esteem, but when it was all said and done, I actually had a great time with the class and ended up providing a similar presentation to some of my employer’s clients and to a college marketing class.

My first customer support job started much the same way. I was scared to death when I started out and doubted my own abilities. But I had a family to support and was determined to give it my best effort. Soon enough, I grew to love troubleshooting errors and walking people through fixing the issues they were facing with their back office computer systems. Over time, I earned a reputation for proficiency, problem-solving, and care with many of the vendors and customers I dealt with regularly. That experience helped me land my current job, where I continue to seek new challenges and opportunities.

They say that whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. In some cases, it does far more than that. It reveals parts of yourself you might not have known even existed up until that moment and exposes you to experiences that sometimes prove amazing.

So, what disgusting things have you eaten (literally or figuratively) that ended up tasting amazing to you? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.

Stepping down from my soapbox and depositing two pennies in the jar...

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