Oysters and a piece of bread taught me a life lesson this week.
Last weekend, I went to one of my favorite shops for oysters. For many hours before lunch I was imagining how sweet, succulent and juicy the oysters will be (yum!!), salivating at the very thought. As it turns out, I was disappointed. No sweet oysters this week. My friend described them as creamy. I couldn't taste it. It just wasn't the sweet ones I was looking forward to, and that was that. I barely tasted the seawater. I was so disappointed I couldn't enjoy what I spent the day before dreaming of.
Fast forward to this morning. I bought my favorite bread from Hong Kong, the pineapple bun, at a local Taiwanese bakery. I woke up with excitement, heated the bun up with anticipation, and took my first bite. ... Nope. Not the pineapple bun that I was used to. Once again, disappointment tried to creep in. But I asked myself, 'Am I going to let this become another oyster incident? Or am I going to enjoy this bun as it is?' (It has custard in it) I removed all my expectations of how this bun was supposed to taste like, and proceeded to appreciate it as it is. What a surprise! I had not realized how long it had been since I last savored a piece of bread in this manner -- the texture and flavor was so vivid, every bite was an experience in itself. It didn't matter that the crust was a bit salty (which would have been weird otherwise), the saltiness complemented the sweetness of the bread.
I was no longer eating pineapple bun to eat pineapple bun; I was enjoying my breakfast.
How often do we pass life and experiences by, dismissing them as insignificant or undesired because we were expecting something else? How often do we fall short of enjoying (or even getting upset over) a meal, an event, an interaction with a friend/colleague/family member/significant other, because we had an impression of what it should be and it turned out to be different? Why do we hold on to the expectations at all? Why don't we simply enjoy how life unfolds in each moment, and appreciate what life has to offer, for what it is?
Isn't it funny how the smallest things can sometimes teach you something big? Life is amazing that way =)