I hated vegetables when I was younger. My mother would force me to eat them, and I wasn’t allowed to get up from the table until I did.
I would pout and gag and grimace when I had to choke them down. I would take a bite and quickly wash it down with some water or juice. Sometimes I would try to swallow entire spoonfuls whole just so I wouldn’t taste them. I really hated vegetables.
All through college, I accepted this fact. Even as I started living on my own and shopping for myself, I would subsist largely on cereal, peanut butter, and microwaveable soups. Gradually, I started coming across vegetables in meals prepared by others, and to my surprise, I didn’t feel sick after I ate them. Eventually, I even started to enjoy eating them.
Another thing I hated as a youth was yard work. I used to dread Sundays because I knew that meant yard work day. The mower would suffocate me and cover me in dust and grass clippings. I could be out riding my bike or at a neighbor’s pool, but instead I was sweeping up the sidewalk, by far the worst part of the yard work ordeal.
I never had to think about yard work as a renter, until this new place. My new place has a front yard and a back yard that I am expected to maintain, so recently, I did just that. I started my task with the same dread I had approached it with as a youth, but I was again surprised to find myself enjoying the manual labor.
There is satisfaction in a clean cut lawn, and a sense of control in trimming the chaos of nature.
While youth may be formative, it isn’t destiny. Physically and emotionally we are worlds away from our younger selves, so it only makes sense that our tastes and desires would change and evolve. It is easy to accept that we are wiser and more knowledgeable than our former selves, but what else might we be carrying that deserve to be challenged? What prejudices or modes of operation have been with us so long, we no longer question their efficacy or value?
I’m not a completely different person now, just more open to the world than I was back then. Peas are still pretty gross though, some things just never change.