I strongly believe in living life by the pepper flakes; this is a philosophy that I adopted while shaking pepper flakes on to my pizza. I think that every moment in life is just one more pepper flake being added to the pile. There are thousands of moments, but each and every flake is different much like how no two moments are the same.
Two flakes or two moments can be similar, but they are always somehow different from one another. I think that a lot of people find themselves expecting the next “flake” to come into their lives a certain way. However, this usually ends in disappointment and is how people get hurt. Individuals usually find themselves thinking something is going to happen a certain way, but when it does not they usually push the blame to others; People blame their suffering on themselves or sometimes even the people and the world around them. Everyone has done this once in their lifetime, including myself. I think that we are chasing that one perfect flake, maybe because we once found it or we know someone that has or had it. One time I did this was when I was expecting to hang out with one of my good friends Libby on a Saturday and I waited all day pumped up and expecting to see her, but at the very last minute I found that she couldn’t and I had to do something different even thought it upset me I still found a way to have a good time. Luckily I saw this other flake and took advantage of it and did have a good time that night rather then worrying about missing that other flake. Sadly, there really is only one perfect flake like that and it has disappeared into the past; people do not realize this and claim the world is keeping it from them or that their faith has failed them, but in actuality neither has happened. I firmly believe that when we let go of our control and pride we will come upon the best flakes—the ones that you could never have imagined—that we usually overlook because we are so focused on finding something better, something that does not even exist.
People often get confused or even upset when they get into my car asking the question “What are we doing tonight?” Usually “I don’t know yet” is not an adequate enough answer for them. They think that knowing exactly what they will be doing will help them infer if it’s going to be a fun night or not. But I prefer to live more spontaneously, and not get my hopes up because no one can ever really know that kind of flake will be coming or added to our “pile” next. This is life; no one knows what is next, so why get your hopes? Life is much better with pure surprise. Some of my favorite nights are ones I would never have seen coming. Those nights had nothing to do with what was going on in my life, so they were a surprise. Consider this: we never know what wonderful pepper flakes we could be missing by looking for a special, possibly non-existent, moment. I believe in taking advantage of all of those moments, because you never know if one may just change your life. So in the end I believe in life one pepper flake, one moment, at a time.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.