August 11, 2015

Life Lessons from a Bran Muffin.

bran muffin

I have sat in this very place many times.

Times when I study, wake up, ponder, search for forgiveness and sought to be forgiven. This chair, besides holding a perfect groove of my bottom, also holds much of my recent expended energy of soul searching and self nourishment.

There comes a time in every young woman’s life (or any human being’s life) that she feels she has stepped into not only the here and now, but embraced the side of herself that is nurturing, content and ready to dive head first into the fray.

I have waited for this moment for years. It recently found me, but not in the magnificent glowing way I had imagined. I was recently watching over my family home while they were away on vacation. In an effort to make as little mess as possible, and not spend any money on food, I did what any child does; I raided the pantry.

In the pantry was a partial container of bran muffins, and after a text to make sure they were safe to eat, I ate my first bran muffin in many, many years.

See, I would never set out in a store in search of a bran muffin. In a bakery I would never eye up a bran muffin and negotiate with my will power to negate the trans fat and useless calories of this mature muffin.

Yet, in that moment when I ate the muffin I found it to be one of the most delicious things I could recently recall. Yes, this took me by surprise too. I ate the rest of the pack over the next few days, and have since purchased my own.

Instead of light cascading down upon me, my hair swirling in the sudden wind change while wearing an immaculately put together grown up outfit, I figured out I like bran muffins. In that moment I thought, “Oh, sh*t! This is it!” Happiness, followed by self pity, ensued.

That was it? I like bran? Now I can fulfill my grown up life? Seriously?

It was time to re-examine.

I had had many life lessons up to this point: education, love and love lost, life lessons, career path and many serious self understanding sessions. So, why not then? Why did my moment of “ah ha!” hit me because of a bran muffin?

It did because growing up doesn’t happen in a split second. It happens over many moments and many mistakes. It happens when no notice is being payed, and it happens more when you are counting seconds to find the recourse of an action took in a fleetingly immature moment. It is happening all around, and all at once.

Though, the bran muffin life lesson really is part of all the lessons I have childishly passed judgement on. As a new adult and very recent child can admit, the difference was that an adult knows that they must explore a situation before giving a reaction. They have understood enough times that things are not always what they are labelled as.

Since my bran muffin moment, I have looked at a few other things that I may have passed judgement on too quickly, the first one being responsibility.

Responsibility has been something I have dodged like a grenade. Yet, I look around at what makes me accountable in my life and I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world’s promises. There is my home, my commited relationship, my fur child, career, education, my garden, and many people that depend on me.

Once upon a time there was a young girl, and she believed that anything that could tie her down as a nuisance. She was meant to live ferociously with a wild heart, setting the world aflame.

She wandered, loved, and lived. Then one day she found a passion, and has ever since poured herself into learning and spreading this love. Then a puppy happened. Then a boy happened. Taking a chance on love, she settled down. She loved his family, they created a home, and in this home she surrounded herself with things and activities she loved every day of the week. She sowed a garden. She nurtured and loved it day in and day out. She invested into the suburban home, away from her former downtown apartment.

She fell in love. She fell in love with her life. She felt a gratefulness of all the responsibility set upon her. Of course there are days when she wants to drink wine at noon and watch netflix until the wee hours of the morning with take out galore.

This girl is me. In learning about my bran muffin experience, I now see that there was a grown up inside of me all along. I just had the terminology wrong.

A grown up isn’t someone who puts bills, mundane life, daily cleaning routines first. A grown up is some one who has enough life experience to know that things are unforeseen and judgement is child’s game. As an adult, understanding, acceptance and growth is the new challenge and ultimate goal.

I do not have all my bills paid on time. I forget important things. I love meaningless endeavors. This does not make me less of an adult. It makes me me. The pitfalls and shortcomings of who I am also create the amazing, charismatic wonder that I get to be every day.

That does not mean that on certain days of the month I don’t say, “Oh, Crap!” as I panic about what I forgot to do. It means that, in the same way that I loved that bran muffin, I love these lessons.

It means that in the same way I embrace the new found love of bran, I will love my mistakes. It means that I am not perfect, but I am doing my best. The same way I found I love bran, is the same way I learn to love my responsibility; even if I shirk it.

It means that I am constantly growing into who I will eventually become. And, well.. I never thought I would like bran muffins. So, can I really trust my judgement?

I can’t—and I am so grateful.




Impactful Life Lessons to Learn—Immediately.


Author: Jennifer Quinlan

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Mariam/Flickr

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