The Soda Was A Lie

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Months ago I gave up all soda. Went a solid 5 months without it in my life.

Now, a little perspective is required. Because I know you’re thinking

That’s not a big deal, it’s just soda.

Here’s the thing. I drank at a time more soda than anything else. There’s really only about 2 liters of blood in the human body. At any given time there was more Mr. Pibb in me than blood in my veins. My blood volume was eclipsed by cola. 

That was a startling enough wake up call to cut the fizzy death elixir out of my life. 

But this isn’t a blog about why soda is bad. Or how it’s killing you slowly. This is about disappointment. 

I recently started a new job. And it has left me a little tired. I’ve been drinking coffee at a rate that scares me and I found myself today in need of a swift pick me up. 

I weighed the options heavily. A Red Bull would put me into my grave after so many cups of coffee already in my system and tea just wasn’t going to cut it. The vending machine in our break room had a seductive hum to it. It was a song I answered today. 

I gave in. 

I put in my 50 cents and got a Dr. Pepper. A staple beverage in my life pre-soda ban. 

I cracked the can open. The hiss and pop was like a sweet symphony. 

We missed you, Amanda. Return to us. Our bubbles will hear your every concern and wish.

Okay, maybe not that dramatic. But I poured out the syrupy concoction into a glass and braced myself for the first tantalizing sip.

Nothing.

It tasted like nothing.

Again, context is required. In my hay day of soda drinking, I was a Dr. Pepper Sommelier in my own right. I could taste each of the 23 Ingredients. I could distinguish them. I knew all of them. Each one tasted like something new. 

What I drank today was failure and shame mixed into one sugary mixture. I couldn’t taste anything. Just the blanket taste of SWEET. That’s all it tasted like. 

Crestfallen, I drank the contents, if only to prove a point. I finished the drink only because I had to. It was a matter of principal at that point. I felt bad. Disappointed that my streak of going so long without soda was broken. I was upset at the moment of weakness I had and instead of it being a redeeming moment of victory, it all blurred together into a caffeinated haze. 

I don’t think I’ll be going back to soda for a while. 

And for now, I’m okay with that. 

Learning To Live With Bugs

It’s been no shy fact of mine that I have a pretty almost irrational fear of insects. Of the flying variety, the crawling variety. My fear and paranoia knew of no limits.

I recently moved into my first apartment. And living on my own so far has been a wonderful challenge. I keep a clean house because I’m already aware that these things bother me. Creatures of a poorly kept house can be avoided. Or so I thought.

Apparently, to a certain extent, they are just a part of life. And all manners of creatures for that matter. The ones we frown upon and the ones viewed as less of a threat.

Recently I came across a roach. A single one and very small. The whole of me froze in protest. How dare such a thing be in my home? I killed it and sprayed enough pesticide in my tiny apartment to kill off a fleet of the tiny crawling bastards. But I was left feeling scared.I was left ultimately paralyzed emotionally by this encounter.

Logic and the collective poking fun of by friends led me to a startling conclusion that made me question my own fear of these things. “I’m bigger than them, what is there to be afraid of?”

In a moment of soul searching, I came to this conclusion:

The roach somehow was a moral failing. It somehow reflected that, in whatever way, I did not keep a clean enough or presentable house. It was an invader.

Though I fought off the invasion as if to defend against a horde of knights, I will keep this perspective in mind. Sometimes, we just have to live life with things outside of our realm of control.

This encounter did not make me any less a person, nor did it somehow reflect something greater than it was. But what I learned was so much more. I guess in a way, I’m almost grateful.

Almost.