I remember as a teen, one of my favorite snacks was hot Cheetos and nacho cheese. Walking from the bus stop in middle school, I remember at least once or twice a week stopping by the “corner store.” The clerk would spoon the neon orange goo right into the bag of fiery red chips. More often than not, I would get a strawberry soda as well. And each time, I’d happily and contently finish my walk home, red lips, teeth, and all. (Looking back, I probably still have enough red dye in my body to paint a mural -_-).
Fast forward, one of the interns who works with me had come to the office for her shift one day eating—hot Cheetos and nacho cheese. She remembered me mentioning the snack in one our weekly meetings. She offered me a fork and I fished out a scoop of my orange and red youth. I took a bite, cheeks filled with my favorite seventh grade snack. And with a hearty swallow, I thought I was going to pass out. The faux cheese coated the inside of my mouth and throat. The spicy corn chips rang in my nose and on the tip of my tongue. It felt like I was eating a science project. I literally could not eat another bite.
“This is delicious!” the intern gleaned. “I don’t know how I never knew about this!”
“This sure does translate differently in your thirties,” I said, dabbing the corners of my mouth, eyes shifting in near disgust.
“Hmm. Maybe you just outgrew it. More for me.” And she skipped off to her station, crunching away on her bag of Red-67.
Of course, that experience allowed me to have one of my Geraldism moments.
Life doesn’t always loudly alert us when there's been a shift. No timer goes off. Sometimes things are just done. Sometimes even our favorite things, we outgrow. That goes for people too. At one point, certain people, practices, and things might have served us and served us well, so we thought. Yet times change. And no love lost from what was, it's just time for what's next. So often we’ll force ourselves to keep things, keep indulging in things, keep entertaining people, practices, and even mindsets, because that’s what it’s always been; they were your hot Cheetos.
But I encourage you to ask yourself, "What things or people were once great and now might need to be reassessed?" Just like hot Cheetos, so are so many other elements of life-- when they're good, they're good and when they're not, they're not. No love lost, some things just aren't what they used to be.