the grapefruit spoon

My whole life, I never ate grapefruit fresh. I love grapefruit juice, but I had never actually sliced a grapefruit open and eaten out of it. It’s messy and squirty, and I figured any fruit that gives you that much of a hard time probably doesn’t want to be eaten. Plus, I’m lazy. Also, I’ve always preferred tropical fruit because I grew up in the Philippines where fruit is sweet and soft and juicy, not sour and grumpy.

All that changed until a few weeks ago, my co-worker pulled out her grapefruit and a spoon with a sort of serrated edge. It looked at first like a torture weapon. It had been lurking in our utensils drawer at work and I always thought it was something you would use to develop an aversion to desserts, like some violent, masochistic diet tool. She then showed me how to eat a grapefruit with it, and I’ve since purchased several of my own. It turns out I actually love to eat grapefruit given the right tools.

It’s interesting how we get through life, thinking we know ourselves, and all it takes is a funny-looking serrated spoon to blow a door wide open into a whole new room of unknown. It’s not an immediately life-altering thing, realizing I like to eat grapefruit, or learning recently that I’m oddly good at baking, or discovering for the first time today that I actually prefer soymilk caramel macchiatos over the toffee nut soy lattes I’ve been drinking for the past 2 years. However, it makes you wonder – how much about yourself can you really know, when so much of what know about yourself is learned from things that are outside of yourself? I happen to be a talented singer, but I like I said, I grew up in the Philippines where everyone is a singer. But what if I grew up in France? Would I have ended up in culinary school? What if I grew up in New York? Africa?

I wonder. I think it’s exciting. People travel the world and go through extremes to “find themselves”. All I did was pick up a serrated spoon. I guess it doesn’t really matter as much where you go or what you do that helps you figure yourself out. I’ve decided it’s in the going and the doing that self-discovery lies. And whatever I find in the process – whether it’s a fruit preference or some hidden genius – I know it will be a positive change. At the very least, I’ll be able to spend less time picking out fruit at the grocery store, and more time actually eating it.

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