The 54th Deadline: Tweaking a Recipe

The 54th Deadline: Tweaking a Recipe

Nothing ever changes in a recipe unless you tweak it in some fashion. Recipes serve as guides and outline steps for a promised product that should be the outcome – at least the one you expect. In regards to life itself, I repeated the same tired recipes repeatedly that set up a lot of individual failures.

Simply put, to be a little harsh on myself, I did not learn fast enough. I kept doing things the same way, never deviating and then ended up eating my mistakes over and over. But after a while, I learned to deal with my stupidity. Yes, I am going to call it stupidity. I was just dumb about it when the obvious solution would be to scrutinize what I was doing to make appropriate adjustments.

Same Result
After all, the classic quote from the great Albert Einstein himself always sums it up best.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein.

Rightfully so, I ate my share of humble pie numerous times before I finally got fed up with it. The taste of defeat gets old after a while.

For instance, one of my underlying problems a few years ago stemmed from being long-term unemployed. As a recent college graduate at the time, I just thought things would magically fall into place. I honestly believed the stars would line up correctly for me, allowing me to secure a sweet job right away so I could begin post-college life on a high note.

However, I did not try as hard as I should have to find a job. I applied to A LOT of places, sure, but I was not looking at the correct locations (for me) at the time. Technically, the job market was legitimately awful for my field. Regardless, I do not want to make a stupid excuse about it. I screwed up. As a result, I became super depressed about it. Weeks turned into months. Months turned into half a year. Then a whole year and a half passed with me having no job, no income and a deteriorating sense of worth.

Things got worse and worse, yet how did I choose to cope? I retreated like a pathetic coward.

I hid downstairs playing video games, watching a lot of Netflix and just tried to trap myself in my bubble of self-pity. I did this as part of the “worst years” of my life. This lackluster lifestyle was the recipe I chose to roll with during my crash course in self-destruction. And without a shadow of a doubt, it was an awful, just disgusting recipe. Yuck!

A Different Recipe for a Different Outcome
Therefore, when I faced the brink and nearing a point where I could just die from the sad stuff, I forced myself. I forced myself to alter the recipe for my sake.

I had a crucial choice to make.

I needed a different outlook.

I sought for something to be my salvation as my hope dwindled and my thoughts descended into despair.

To this day, I will always appreciate cooking. The art of cooking – this beautiful and creative craft – has kept me from losing it all. I just love cooking so much. I enjoy being able to put together something yummy onto the plate for others to eat!

Not to mention, I can say now at this point in my (aspiring) culinary ambitions that I am getting better at cooking in general.

And cooking still keeps me intact as I write this. Without this passion I have for food, I would probably be dead by now. Well, without being too melodramatic, on the inside at the very least. I was nearing the end of my rope when my sense of dignity fell apart.

What I wanted at the time, and what I NEEDED at the time, happened to be two very different concepts.

Seeking that Recipe for Success 
In this regard, I am glad I hit rock-bottom back then. Without it, I never would have gotten into cooking like I did to go down an entirely different path. Discovering my love for making good food was the silver lining in life we cannot find unless we have a reason to seek them out.

Yup, life is fascinating if you think about it in this light. Many of us would want things to come out by the books each and every time, but I also believe some of the greatest personal discoveries come from those “accidental mistakes.” Sometimes, if you see it from an optimist’s viewpoint, that batch of sugar falling into the mix does not have to be necessarily negative. Heck, that extra sugar could bring your creation to another tier of awesomeness!

Basically, despite all I have been through, I have learned to have the courage to adjust life’s recipe. Otherwise, I would be stuck eating the same kind of humble pie until I get the message. What I want now is to taste success in all of its entirety. I just have to keep experimenting with my recipe’s ingredients until I get it right.

“Hope is my catalyst.” – Nhan Fiction Pham

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Also published on Medium.

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