Whenever life gets me down, I think of a theory I created, inspired by an altercation between myself, my dog, and a bagel. One morning in my kitchen, I slathered peanut butter on top of a toasted chocolate chip bagel. Moments after I sat down to enjoy the delicacy, I was greeted by the company of my dog, Suzy. Suzy (pictured right) is a 90-pound golden doodle who sees the world through rose-colored glasses (despite being colorblind). She kindly sits in front of me, prim and proper, envious of the treat I hold in my hand. Suzy is wise. She is familiar with the delectable aroma of peanut butter surrounding her, for she is often rewarded with it whenever it is in sight. Suzy believes in this scent, wide-eyed and tail wagging with the knowledge that this treat is meant for her.
However, I know something she does not: beneath the peanut butter surface is a minefield of chocolate chips, which could potentially poison her. I love my dog, and the last thing I would want is for her to be harmed. But she doesn’t understand that. She begrudgingly watches as I enjoy my bagel at the kitchen counter. She remains persistent and begs in front of me until I finish every bite. Once her hope is crushed, she pouts and leaves the room. She asks, “How could she betray me like this?”
Suddenly, I realize that I often find myself in Suzy’s position. Whenever I have been let down by the lost bagels in life; a missed job opportunity, canceled plans or even a lost friendship, I remind myself: It is just not meant for me. Sometimes there are poisonous morsels hidden in the things we want, but we want them so badly that we just cannot see them. It is difficult to accept when things do not go the way we had planned, and sometimes even more difficult to have faith that a better opportunity will come along (especially when it feels like everyone around you is being fed their bagels left and right).
Take “Friends” actress Lisa Kudrow, for example. Kudrow was fired from Frasier after the pilot episode when the director decided she wasn’t a good fit for the role. She expressed that she was broken after she lost the role, as “Frasier” was the up-and-coming sitcom that would be her big break. Little did she know, she would later be given the role of Phoebe Buffay, changing the landscape of ’90’s television forever.
When we feel upset over a missed opportunity, we forget to trust what the future has in store for us. Give it time. A day will come when what’s meant for you will arrive. We will get our bagels one day. I find it comforting to remember how many times I have shaken my fist at the universe, thinking I belonged somewhere else in life before I understood I was exactly where I needed to be. Whenever I feel discouraged, I remember to wait patiently, secure in the knowledge that there are plenty of metaphorical spoonfuls of peanut butter waiting for me in the future.
(Disclaimer: in the evening of the aforementioned events, Suzy was later rewarded for her patience with a heaping spoonful of peanut butter, sans chocolate.)