The Lindor Truffle: A Laugh

Sometimes we remember random little events from our past that were seemingly irrelevant to the course of our lives, but upon further reflection we may find that they had a profound effect on us.

For me, that little event involves my favorite high school teacher, a fight with my best friend, and a Lindor truffle:

I had just opened my locker to find a note from my best friend (because that’s how you communicated with your friends in 2007) that left me feeling like I had been kicked in the stomach on a day that already felt like the worst of my life. I was very good at hiding how I really felt and had been carrying on quite an impressive positive face despite the darkness inside. That’s how most of high school passed for me. But I did my best to keep up that face and headed down to my sophomore English class with my all time favorite teacher. I was early and she was the only other person in the room.

My teacher seemed to know something was up, though no words were exchanged. She simply offered me a Lindor truffle- a rare treat, which I immediately accepted with gratitude, unwrapped with excitement, and opened my mouth to plop it in….. only to have it immediately plop right back into my hand after bouncing off the elastics on my braces that prevented me from opening my mouth even remotely wide enough to insert that delicious chocolaty goodness.

Pausing for the slightest moment, I looked up at my teacher apprehensively, afraid that she saw how idiotic I must have looked, and found her suppressing the slightest smile, causing me to let out a stifled giggle that resulted in a snort, followed by a full bellied laugh in reaction to the snort, so that when the first of my peers came in and asked why I was laughing, I was laughing too hard to explain. Every time I’ve eaten a Lindor truffle since that day, I’ve always thought of that moment and still find the corners of my mouth curving ever so slightly into a smile.

After composing myself, my best friend came in and took her usual seat right behind me with a shy smile of acknowledgement. I smiled back, knowing eventually we would be OK (and we are still close to this day). My teacher shot me one last smile before beginning class, but I never thanked her for the truffle and the lesson it taught me, because I didn’t learn it until now:

We cannot let pain prevent us from smiling. We cannot let hard times keep us from laughing. We must laugh in the face of it all- in spite of it all- because one day the memory of the smile will be worth 1000x more than the tears. The smallest moments can save you.

PS. I did eventually eat that truffle and it was heaven to my taste-buds.


If I could go back

If I could go back to my sophomore year of college…

My sophomore year of college was amazing. What made it so amazing is that it was my REAL fresh start. My first year I had an absolutely horrid roommate, barely made any friends, started second guessing everything I was good at, and, although I absolutely fell in love with Burlington, VT, sincerely considered transferring to UMass Amherst. But I gave UVM a second chance, opted for a random roommate and, although no longer speak, she and I became unfathomably close. We forged what seemed at the time like unbreakable bonds with half the people on our floor (one of whom is now the best friend I will ever have in my entire life). We commandeered a small couch to squeeze into our room and thus became the hangout room; we also never shied from lounging on the floor in the hallway… or adding some whipped cream vodka to my orange Fanta from the vending machines so we could drink in the hallway (tastes like a creamsicle, it’s great).

My sophomore year of college was by far the most informative year of my life. I decided that year to double major in English and Art History- a decision I will never regret. I learned that to get the most out of life you need to explore. I began to get to know Vermont so well and visited as many new places as possible. I took as many different classes as possible. I made as many new friends as possible. I learned to be comfortable with who I am. It was the longest period of time I can remember where I was consistently and truly happy.

If I could go back to my sophomore year of college… I wouldn’t.

It kills me to admit it; I wouldn’t go back if you paid me a million dollars. I wouldn’t change a thing about that year, true, but I also acknowledge that the most amazing thing we accomplish is the evolution of our own lives. It’s 5 years later and I am even now a very different person than I was back then and still acknowledge that those experiences shaped who I am today, more than almost any experience in my life thus far, but what would going back accomplish other than turning my current nostalgia into an agonizing ache in my heart to stay there forever?

We cannot go back and we shouldn’t want to torture ourselves by wishing to. Our memories of what we call the best days of our lives are things we need to never let go of. They should serve as reminders that every day we wake up is, in fact, the best day of our lives; it is new and it is a chance for us to take those memories, take what we’ve learned about ourselves, and become even more the person we wish to and have the capability to be . We are ever evolving creatures of amazing potential and we must never forget that!

I believe that there is a reason we experience time the way we do: to be given innumerable chances to grow, to change, to make mistakes, to explore, to meet countless people, to face hardship and learn from it, to make the most of every moment until you don’t look back and say “my sophomore year was the greatest year of my life,” but instead acknowledge that every moment was the greatest, because you squeezed as much as you could into it.

So if you offered me a once in a lifetime opportunity go back and relive my sophomore year of college, I would say “no, but I WILL channel the sensation of it into the entirety of my life going forward.”

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Me Manifesto

Do you guys remember that episode of Boy Meets World where they flash forward to their imaginary college reunion? The show in general was the most hilarious, most awesome show of my childhood. I watch reruns just for the laughs. So much laughs. But this particular episode had this flash forward because in the current year, they were all fighting (over petty things, of course), so the flash forward follows:

Everyone is so unhappy, but Eric walks in, a hermit who married a moose and calls himself Plays With, last name Squirrels. Everyone thinks he’s the most ridiculous, yet he’s the happiest, because this gigantic book he’s holding is what he calls his “Manifesto” (Personally my favorite part is just the way he says it- in a half whisper “me manifestoooo” haha). But anyway… in it is the Secret to Life. Jack takes the book from him and it’s entirely empty- thousands of large pages and they’re all empty, except the first one, which contains only one phrase; it is by far the most powerful piece of advice that I have ever heard.

Lose One Friend

I will never forget the lessons I learned from it, and again… the laughs. Sure, some of it was fairly unrealistic (meeting your soul mate in 6th grade and getting engaged at High School Graduation??), but it actually contained the most valuable experiences and I think I’m a better person because of that show. Family, Friends, Love. What else in life is more important? To Eric, nothing was.

Lose one friend, lose all friends, lose yourself.

-Eric Matthews, Boy Meets World

Be Silly.

Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

As you can tell in my main page photo, which is of me and my best friend, I’m a goof (and so is she) and we love to laugh. So I added this quote to another photo of us, because it’s just too perfect (we are pretending to pick the nose of a statue of Freud- he was not my favorite to study in college, so I couldn’t resist the opportunity). It is of the utmost importance in life to have at least one friendship in which you can be silly. Without laughter, what have we in life?