If you REALLY know me and my views on life, then you know my low-key obsession with cups.
I mean yes, I love those coffee cups with their ~inspirational~ quotes and I love my $1 cherry blossom cups I recently bought from Dollar Tree…BUT my obsession doesn’t come from a tangible sense, it comes from a metaphorical sense. I believe that “cups” can be used on a daily basis to describe life and how we should live it.
We’ve all heard the classic saying “glass half-full vs. glass half-empty” when describing an optimist vs. pessimist view towards certain situations. Personal opinion here, but I truly believe if you choose to see each moment given to you with a CUP half-full mentality…each and every day is going to reveal all sorts of joys/wonders (I am a self-proclaimed optimist, can you tell?).
Are you overshadowing someone’s bliss by your negative attitude? Would your days be different if you highlighted the good and left the bad in the past? Not only is it important for you to create and maintain this positive outlook, but attitudes are contagious. You never know whose day you’re impacting by your words and actions.
“Every day might not be a good day, but there is good in every day.” I was challenged this past year to write down one positive thing I took away from each day. They varied from “wow today the weather was so AWESOME” to “I ate Taco Bell today…heck yes” to “today I had a really intentional conversation with a friend.”
This daily ritual began to alter how I viewed the entirety of the day. I started noticing all the immense gifts in each day, small or large, that made me smile. Happiness is this really cool thing where everyone has their own take on the question “what fills up your cup?” I challenge you to answer that question and start implementing those things in your daily routine.
Is it going for a long run? Catching up with a friend? Listening to a jammin’ song with the windows rolled down? (If so, let me come with). But it doesn’t matter what floats your boat, as long as you start doing these things in your daily life routine.
Obviously some days feel like they can drag on forever, but I challenge you to find the joy and soak up the days. And if you’re having a bad day, remember my favorite quote, “the days are long, but the years are short.”
One of the best things that life brings us is the opportunity to create relationships with others. In my opinion, interactions with others will FILL up your hypothetical cup the most.
Relationships create a whole new mindset behind the idea of cups. Essentially I’ve learned that everyone has their own unique, individual and beautiful type of cup. Cups differ in many ways; color, shape, size, purpose, etc.
For example, you probably aren’t going to use a wine glass for your morning coffee (but if you do, I respect you big time because you do you, homie.) Taking that in a literal sense, just like cups have purposes, you as an individual too have been placed on this earth with a purpose. And see, no two cups are alike so no two people are meant for the same purpose!
If you’ve found yourself barely staying afloat in the never ending questioning of purpose, you’re not alone. All throughout my life, especially my first two years of college, I struggled with this concept to the extreme. One night in particular I was feeling extra drained and just really down on myself. I wasn’t happy with who I was becoming or the decisions I was making. In my terminology, my personal “cup” was as empty as it could be.
I was walking back to my apartment when I was handed a water bottle from a stranger. Attached to the bottle was a note that said, “Your Life Has Purpose.”
A million thoughts raced through my mind like, “Why does this random person think that I, Darby Miller, have purpose?” or “they don’t even know me or all the mistakes I’ve made…how could they think I have a purpose?” I doubted myself completely. I doubted my worth.
Too much in society, we forget our worth, our value, our purpose to this world. We let insecurities and others tear us down from what we really are in His eyes…perfect. I know there are going to be moments in your life where life doesn’t seem to be going your way or you feel like you’re going down the wrong path BUT…I can promise you this…your life has a purpose…a MAJOR purpose!
Don’t let anyone or anything try to tell you differently because you are a special, unique, beautiful cup that has been created in His image and your capabilities are infinite.
It took a simple gesture of a water bottle to realize my worth. In DJ Khaled terms, the “key to success” isn’t always going to be right in front of you lit up in lights saying, “Hey you! This is how you’re going to do everything and then it’ll all be alright!”
Your purpose is a journey. Your purpose is constantly evolving. Your purpose will surprise you with new ideas and experiences.
Today is the day. Today I challenge you to see that each day and each person is a precious gift. I challenge you to embrace ALL the abilities you were given no matter the circumstances.
And above all else, I challenge you to remember that you have a really cool creator who loves you immensely. So may your cup be filled to the brim and may you have the ability to fill up others’ cups with His love.
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be FILLED to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19
I spent the better part of the day today looking up recipes for various pastas (don’t ask me what I did for the rest of the day; I might be the only person in 2015 still watching The West Wing, and I’m thoroughly ashamed). When I say pasta, I don’t mean pasta dishes. No, I don’t need the Food Network to tell me how to make a bomb pasta primavera or baked lasagna (just my overbearing mother). What I did look up was fresh pasta recipes.
Spaghetti, rigatoni, ravioli, and my personal favorite, tagliatelle (I’m bougie), there are so many different types of noodles, all lovely and carby in their own ways. As I’m sure you know (other people care about this too, right?), pasta making is an art, and there are many mediums on which it can be created. There are endless choices between semolina and white flour, whole eggs or yolks or no eggs at all, hand rolling or pasta machines, the pasta-bilities are endless (will not blame you if you choose to leave now).
As I settled on a recipe (ravioli, white flour, three eggs, hand rolled), I walked into my pantry to get started. The first thing my eyes found, though, was the dried boxed pasta that was already sitting there.
You need to understand something about my family. Actually, two things.
My family has reinvented the idea of carbo-loading, treating it as an every day necessity rather than a once-a-month (okay, once-a-week) treat. We eat bread, rice, potatoes, and yes, pasta, like nobody’s business (seriously, it’s nobody’s business, fuck off). So when I say there’s pasta in my house, I mean it. In the interest of journalistic integrity (for the grand total of 0 people who read this), I will go check to see just how much pasta is in the pantry, so that I may present an accurate report.
Okay. I’m back.
In our pantry right now there are 2 boxes of spaghetti (one from Whole Foods because we are fancy as shit), 2 boxes of fettuccine, 1 box of large lasagna sheets, 1 box of “cut rigate,” 1 box of elbows (elbow pasta, freak), and 6 boxes of Annie’s organic macaroni & cheese (I still do not know if I believe whether mac & cheese constitutes “pasta,” but that’s a whole different issue).
So basically, the point of that heinously long list of carbohydrate-based products (Mr. Atkins is probably rolling over in his low-carb, high protein grave) is that there is more than enough pasta in my house. So much so that it would be not only borderline insane to make my own, but also wholly unnecessary. So naturally, I, being a reasonable and rational human adult (lol) walked away, and decided to pursue something more productive and useful (like The West Wing).
Now that I sit here in my kitchen poring over a slice of banana bread and tea (it’s cheat day), I think back to this afternoon, and wonder if I should have made that pasta after all.
I can feel the dough beneath my palms, doughy and elastic. I can feel the sweet ache of rolling and stretching a fresh sheet over the counter, cutting it with precision until it’s just right. In my head, it seems like a wonderful, fulfilling experience. And I wish now that I had felt these things after all.
Because, honestly, who cares if there’s already spaghetti in the pantry? Life’s way too short not to make fresh pasta.
I’m starting to realize that not everything has to have a reason. Sometimes it’s okay to just do, just live. Sometimes just wanting a feeling in your head, in your heart, in your body is enough. I’m the kind of person that tends to pursue things only as means to an end (I was into Machiavelli).
I rarely just enjoy, just doing something or experience something because I want to. But as I sit here regretting not making my own pasta this afternoon, I’m seeing that not everything needs to serve a purpose. Not everything needs to make perfect, logical sense. It’s okay to want to pursue life around the edges rather than in the shortest straight line from A to B. Sometimes it’s better to go for it just because you wanted to knead your own dough instead of boiling the store-bought stuff for 8 and a half minutes.
Reason belongs to the head, but life belongs to the heart. If you let things like pure logic hold you back, the opportunity to experience, to feel, to explore, might pass you by. Who knows? Had I made my own pasta today, my very own three cheese ravioli, my whole life could have changed. Maybe I would have discovered a hidden talent. Maybe I would have had friends over, watched Christmas movies, shared laughs and smiles over bowls of pasta (doubtful: I have no friends). What today might have been has passed me by because I let something as silly as rational thinking hold me back. But there is always a tomorrow.
Who cares what’s in your pantry? Make it fresh anyways.