Adversity: The Egg, the Carrot, and the Coffee BeanBy natashamiller
February 21, 2018
The egg, the carrot, and the coffee bean is a parable of unknown origin. Many people have written about it and discussed it, but given my situation right now, it really resonated with me.
The story goes that when faced with adversity, each of these items behaves differently. In this case, the adversity is hot water. The egg, which is fragile by nature, becomes hard when placed in hot water. The carrot, which is hard and tough, becomes soft and weak. The coffee bean on the other hand, changes the water to form coffee.
It is a lesson on adversity and perspective. When I initially set out to write this post, it was about getting the opportunity to do what I had been putting off for years: essentially whatever I wanted. This was putting extra energy and thought into my creative brain. So far, this is what I have been trying, and somewhat succeeding, in doing. I was forcing myself to embrace the idea of being the coffee bean.
Sitting here now, and in the spirit of honesty, I am really struggling. Probably more than I should be. We have all our basic and above basic needs met; we have a healthy, strong child; a loving, supportive family; etc., etc., etc. There are people that do a lot more with less. Yet I, personally, am still struggling.
I’m trying to learn that that’s okay too. It’s okay to sometimes feel like the carrot or the egg, but it’s also important to not accept that as your fate. Adversity does not last forever, rather it’s what you learn from it and take away from it that’s important.
I am someone who loves routine and schedules and sits comfortably within my comfort zone. You’ve read time and time again that I am working to push myself outside of that zone. Well, this is me saying I may have pushed a little too hard, a little too far, and a little too quickly. I am now learning when to know that I’ve pushed myself too far – the thoughts, emotions, and actions that go with that. I am also focusing on what I need to do so that I don’t lose the progress I have made. So far, my number one coping mechanism has been cuddles with my toddler monster on the couch. That and the new M&M Caramel candies, but that can’t be a long-term thing :).
All joking aside though, I really want to look back at this time and reflect on the positive effect it’s had on my life. I’m realizing that this positive effect would include having the honesty and maturity to admit when I need help. Mental, emotional, physical – all of it. For the time being, I may take a step back from anything causing me undue stress, or if it’s unavoidable, put something else aside to allow for more room to manage. This includes many of the projects I’ve started, but also to accept that it’s okay if the laundry is done tomorrow, or asking my husband to help with a couple of the household chores.
So, the underlying irony is that I am already sitting here squirming with stress and anxiety and the thought of publishing this post doesn’t help that. Again, sharing this is very far outside my comfort zone. But in the spirit of honesty and sharing, I want to put this out there. I also know I can’t be the only one that feels this way. I want other people out there struggling with similar issues to know they are not alone. We are in this together.
If there is anything you would like to share or if you would like to reach out to me, please do so. Either through the comments or email. I would be more than happy to connect, discuss, and commiserate.