Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Life and Spaghetti

Life is like a plate of spaghetti.  You spend all this time trying to figure out the twists and turns, all the tangles and knots of the noodles, and every once in a while you find a meatball. And it’s delicious, good times- times when the perfect opportunity presents itself just for you. When the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the noodles are coated with the perfect mixture of butter, garlic, oregano, and basil. When you bite down on the meatball and it’s even more flavorful than you expected. But then it’s gone and you have to tackle the noodles and hard times once again. During those difficult noodle struggles it’s easy to just give up; drop your fork, stick your face in and just slurp. But then, whether or not you find a meatball, you end up in a stickier, messier situation then you were in the first place.
It’s hard to stay positive through those times.  To remind yourself that there is a meatball, a good time, an opportunity, around the next bend. This is the predicament I often find myself in; trying to keep my head up even though I know that it’s going to take me several turns to locate my meatball. Knowing that no matter whether or not I put down my fork, the chances that I’m going to find an opportunity are slim. Sometimes, I forget what it even felt like to taste a good moment.  Sometimes, I feel like the only thing left to do is to set down my fork and throw the entire plate of spaghetti in the trash. Give up completely, abandon the entire meal, and never pick up a fork again. Those are the times when even the delicious flavor of the noodles and spices cannot distract me from the fact that my life has become a hopeless tangle of knots and dead ends.
 But then I tell myself that, yes, even though these times are difficult, and it seems like there’s nothing else I can do, I’ve made it through situations just as tough and tangled as this one, and there’s no reason why I can’t do the same again. That even though my meatball may be countless noodles away, there is no reason why I can’t enjoy a forkful of perfectly coiled up flavorful spaghetti. I can make something good out of these tough times. They are a good opportunity for me to learn how to handle the kinks that are sure to come in the future. Those knots help me to realize that life is not all meatballs and good times (Honestly if it was, it would be really boring).
Through the noodles of life, sometimes it feels like I’m the only one struggling; like I’m the only one who hasn’t found a meatball. But no matter how much I feel that to be true, I know it’s not. That is a very selfish outlook on life, yet unfortunately it’s one I choose to view time and time again. Even looking outside my bedroom door, I see people who have spent years and years searching for their meatball; sometimes even managing to touch it with the tip of their fork before it rolls back into the twists and turns once again leaving nothing but a sense of hopelessness and frustration. These are the people who, if they were like me, would throw down their fork, and never pick it up again. But instead, again and again, they set aside the search for their meatball, in order to help others find theirs. Selflessly, they bear the knots in silence, in order to loosen the tangles in the plates of others. They help me realize that even though it might be tough at times, I love life. Life is beautiful. Life is ugly. Life is happiness. Life is pain. Why should that mean it’s not worth living?  Even though it can be difficult to eat, who doesn’t enjoy a plate of spaghetti?
Life is like a plate of spaghetti. It can be good. It can be bad. There are those instances when you want to dance around singing in a horrible fake Italian accent because you just tasted the perfect combination of sauce, spices, and noodles. Times where you feel things couldn’t get any better, and you’re truly happy. Then there are those times when a snarl you never expected throws itself in your path, and you want to give up and throw the entire dish down the disposal. But that’s the great thing about life. It’s a mystery. It is full of the unexpected.  It’s neither all good, nor all bad. It just is.