A few weeks ago, I completed my CPR re-certification at Rush University Medical Center. As a fitness trainer, I’m required to maintain this cert. It’s a bit of a pain, cost-wise and time-wise, but it’s necessary and aside from the trip out to Rush, only an hour of my Saturday.
At the beginning of class, we did an awkward icebreaker introduction, per usual. A small group of 10 had to share their name, why they were there, and their favorite ice cream flavor. Weeks later, it’s haunting me how over half of the class said their favorite was vanilla.
Sure, the 50 Shades phase has introduced more people to the idea that vanilla means basic, boring, and safe, but how are that many people still going to settle for vanilla?
Don’t get me wrong — I love vanilla. Personally, I’m not a fan of chocolate ice cream, so I would always choose vanilla. Now, I’m lactose intolerant and my teeth are sensitive to cold so I seldom eat ice cream, but I still wouldn’t say vanilla is my favorite.
Of course, maybe they were pissed to be at a CPR class at 9AM on a Saturday and just want to shut people up (same), but saying you prefer vanilla says a lot about you.
It’s like saying you prefer the normal. You stick to the status quo. You don’t like trying new things, and you enjoy staying in your comfort zone. You’re rational and content, but not adventurous.
Vanilla is good, but it’s not that good.
My favorite is birthday cake, and I prefer the type that has frosting ribbons and sprinkles. Served with cake is even better. I still dream about all of the gelato I had in Europe (this blog began with writing about gelato for my class — that’s amore). Stracciatella is a little basic, but you can have multiple flavors and they don’t even have to be cohesive. Pistachio and frutti di bosco, why not? Why settle for vanilla when literally any ice cream is going to be delicious?
If you constantly mistrust trying new things, you’ll stay in your comfort zone forever, not challenging yourself or opening your eyes to new experiences. Life’s too short to live the same day or year over and over again, and life’s way too short to order vanilla every time you #treatyoself to ice cream.
Forrest Gump might claim you never know what you’re gonna get, but you also have the liberty to pick what you get. Order something different and seek adventure in the little things. It will reflect in the rest of your life.
++ Mary K