A few years ago I met someone through a professional mutual contact and we connected because we had a few things in common. We communicated via email for a few days figuring out each other’s schedule to set up an in-person meet-up and finally found a day and time. Then we exchanged numbers in case we needed to reach each other on the day we planned to meet. I asked to meet at a public place and he agreed.
On the day we met, I left work with the intention of returning to the office after the meeting and I let him know that when I got to our meeting place. We talked for a while and he asked if I wanted to walk a couple blocks to visit a restaurant his friend owned and maybe I could get some food to take back to work. I thought it was an odd request given the time we met, but went along with it.
Our conversation throughout that whole time was…awkward. I remembered asking myself why I was prolonging this suffering and I finally stated that I was heading back to work. He decided to walk me outside and then I waved and thanked him for walking me out and quickly started walking away. He followed to continue the conversation <insert rolling eyes>
To escape this prolonged awkwardness, I went back into the original meeting spot, thinking that he would then hop into his car and drive off. Nope. He follows me into the store still talking about things that didn’t interest me. I was so annoyed and started to feel uncomfortable. So I stopped at a spice store and pretended I needed a spice. I grabbed the first one my hand touched and paid for it. I had no idea what the spice was, I just wanted to distract myself (a whole $11 later I realized I bought pumpkin spice!) I finally escaped the awkward guy and his weird conversations and got back to work.
When I got home, I wondered for a few minutes what I would do with the bottle of pumpkin spice as I had never used it before. So, I looked up some recipes and found fun ways to use the spice. However, every time I looked at the bottle, I was reminded of the guy and our interaction, so I hid the bottle at the back of the cabinet to forget about it (I was not throwing away my $11 bottle of spice!) I think it took me about 2 years to finally start using it!
Out of that bad situation came my love for pumpkin spice and now, it’s a spice I always have in stock. I add it to banana bread, pancake mix, and hot cocoa! Despite the uncomfortable circumstances surrounding my introduction to this spice, I continue to build pleasant memories whenever I use the spice. This reminds me that sometimes when we are in uncomfortable situations, there can be opportunities to grow or learn from the experience, however it may not happen in the time frame that we expect and that’s okay! I was intentional about not seeing the bottle of spice so I reduced the likelihood of me having a reminder every time I opened the cabinet. I needed a long separation from the incident in order to even think about using the spice. I allowed myself permission to not discard something that I wanted to use and yet allowed myself enough time to work through the discomfort of that scenario.
Now, whenever I bake or use pumpkin spice, I smile.
Have you had any life lessons from awkward or uncomfortable situations recently?
~ Karisse C