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Frosted Flakes v. Choco-berry Connections

Submitted by Veronique Lin on June 9, 2010 – 10:57 amComments

Amidst the transition period of our twenties gestate new obligations, demanding that more of your time be relegated to figuring yourself out. We all suddenly find our extant friendships put to the test. Some from your circle of friends will pick fights over little things. This underlying tension is mostly a red flag that your two lives are, for the time being, no longer compatible. Some bosom buddies will want the best for you regardless of how close you remain. These people are imperative to keep a part of your life: Whatever your pleasure, they are your pen pals, your one phone call, and your future bridesmaids and groomsmen.

We need people who are familiar with our highs and lows. We also need people who are familiar with our current experiences, or we risk losing our way on the road to defining our identities. Whenever I’m stuck in a quarter-life rut, I idle over the most meaningless decisions. I get caught up staring at my options in the cereal aisle, unsure of what to purchase. In the past I have always ended up going with what I know. After a while, I stop enjoying my breakfast with gusto, and I cease to notice the tastiness that first brought me to eat an entire box of Cap’n Crunch in one sitting while pondering the sociological themes in “Lost”.

I am currently traveling in South Africa, and I recognize very few of the brands in the markets here. Yet days ago I had been to new places and met people outside of my previous awareness. This brought me to question: What is the difference between knowing what works for you and knowing what is keeping you, and your tummy, in that rut (or gut)? When is it time to move on? Whatever we choose to do is not mandated by absolute rule. We are accustomed to streamlining our lives, but maybe categorized iPhone contact lists can often cut us off from a comprehensive view, and from a balanced social circle.

As our blood thickens with new encounters, our sense of exclusivity begins to diminish. I myself have recently befriended people with whom I never thought I would have much in common. A few nights ago I had a girls’ night out with a badass stuntwoman, a party-girl/law student hybrid, and a sometimes bisexual mother who dances like she just won the lottery. I had fun, and enjoyed more shocking commentary than I have in an age (21, to be exact.)

Certain experiences and people fundamentally shape who we become. However, it is those familiar with our pasts that keep us grounded. These new dimensions of culture must be sought out simultaneously, for our own growth as well as our future satisfaction levels. My theory? When our lives evade staleness, we will be less inclined to doubt the choices we’ve made, and lose appreciation for the view from where we ultimately settle down.

So I challenge you, avoid disillusionment and spice up your life. Start small, and next time your eyes skim past a new brand on the shelf, don’t be shy brother, pick up those choco-berry balls. Roll with it. You may rediscover the comforts of breakfast anew. If not, at least you’ll know you tried, and chose not to make that particular brand of sugar high tried-and-true.

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