Last updated: August 11. 2014 9:45AM - 442 Views
By - eparnell@civitasmedia.com - 803-276-0625

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This past Friday evening I tried my first cheeseburger in 20 years. Yes, I’m really not kidding. I’m sure it has been at least 20 years. And yes, I’m also 24 years old.

I guess I should start from the beginning. I’m not 100 percent sure where/when my picky eating habits began, but based on stories I’m told from my parents and grandparents, I wasn’t always as bad as I am today. I’m told I ate cheeseburgers as a child.

So why am I just having one again after 20 years? That’s a good question.

My mom recalls the story of taking me to my pediatrician who gave her some “tough love” advice — make whatever you want to make for dinner and Elyssa will either eat it or go hungry. My mom, the kind-hearted person that she is, did not heed such advice, but instead catered to my picky eating habits which are still in place today.

Now, this is by no means my mother’s fault. I have her same tender heart and am still not sure after everything I’ve been through that I could take that pediatrician’s advice on my future children. However, in recent weeks I’ve tried my best to fix years of picky eating habits.

As you can guess, it hasn’t been a, well, picnic. My sweetheart of a boyfriend took it upon himself to make a deal that I would try one new food a week. The rules? I told him I would agree to that, but the only way I would try them was if it were just the two of us. I guess you could say I’m self conscious of others watching me try foods for the first time.

So Friday night I looked DJ in the eyes and said: I think I’ll have a cheeseburger for dinner. He said he could think of no better place for me to have my first cheeseburger than Rush’s. So off we went. Although I may have been skeptical of taking that first bite, just from years of making a big deal out of only eating certain foods, I was quite surprised that I’d let 20 years slip by without tasting such food.

Yes — you could say I enjoyed the cheeseburger. DJ also made sure to leave a comment card for the employees of Rush’s to let them know that I had chosen them to share this experience.

As I was taking the last few bites of said burger my mind began to reel. What else have I been missing out on over the years? There is a whole world of food out there to explore! While this is true, I also had to think about other opportunities I may be missing out on just because I’m scared or hesitant to try them — whether it be travelling far outside my comfort zone, walking up to speak to a stranger on the street that may be in need, or simply picking up a fork and tasting something else that I thought I may not like.

These past few weeks have taught me it’s OK to not like or enjoy certain things. However it’s most important that I give them a shot and try them. My goal is that a year from now, when I’m asked how I like a certain food, I’ll no longer able to say “I don’t know,” but rather answer with confidence that I either enjoy it or didn’t care for it.

What opportunities might you be missing out on because you were hesitant to give them a shot?

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