Who else lived on Cup Noodles or Ramen at some point in their life? I don’t care if it was Top Ramen or Maruchan, those babies were a total life saver… even if they were sodium bombs slowly increasing our risk of stroke or heart failure… we didn’t care, they kept us fed when we were pour as dirt and that is all that mattered.
When I was little I would make a packet of ramen and add shredded cheese to it… which, I admit, is so gross…but you guys, I swear, it is so delicious (at least it was delicious by my 12 year old selfs standards). By the time I hit college my ramen accoutrement had become a bit more classy? Tasty? Legit? I would top my noodles with a fried or boiled egg, some soy sauce, left over rotisserie chicken, and of course an aggressive amount of sriracha. Basically, I was adding cheap ingredients to make my $0.50 packet of noodles taste better. Also it is worth noting that by ‘collage’ I mean ‘collage age’… I was a working girl… no not that kind of working girl! Rude! I was a hairstylist working in a salon by the age of 18 who went to community collage part time, had another part time job and never lived on a campus anywhere… but still, baby girl was on a B-U-D-G-E-T.
The funny thing is, this ‘doctoring up’ of cheap noodles is a fairly universal thing… unless you are David Chang who would eat the brick of noodles with the seasoning sprinkled directly on top… ya know… raw…without cooking it… total savage. Most people, though they are down to eat the plain noodles swimming in broth (whose salt content rivals the Pacific), would prefer to add a little something-something to their bowl; transforming something humble into something special. And this is where things get interesting…
What if we looked at our everyday lives like a bowl of ramen?
Hear me out on this one. I know it is a bit of a stretch, but I’m really in love with this analogy. Just think about it. We all have a habit of going into auto pilot in the day to day. We allow time to pass and things can feel ‘basic’, ‘repetitive’ or ‘boring’, like a plain bowl of Chicken Top Ramen. The thing is, life is full of opportunities to add flavor, texture, spice, and richness to our ‘every day’ moments, we just need to get creative.
The challenge I would like to put forward is this-
What can you add to your bowl of ramen?
Can you get coffee with someone who inspires you in order to learn more about what they do and how they do it?
Can you (finally) take that dance class you have been thinking about or sign up for a pottery class (like you have been talking about for YEARS)…
Can you listen to a podcast on a subject you have been wanting to learn more about?
Listen more than you speak?
Read a good book?
Take a nap?
Go to yoga?
Get a facial?
Learn to code?
Learn to cook?
Find a mentor?
BE a mentor?
Give back to your community?
The possibilities are endless.
This gets me really excited and heres why- ‘topping your ramen’ opens up your life! It gives you the opportunity to be full of good things, full of flavor, full of what will nourish you… even if your circumstances right now aren’t the best on their own…
So if you are looking at your life, feeling like it is a little plain, bland, or boring, I would challenge you to get out a pen and paper (I know, I’m old school) set a timer for twenty minutes (which seems like a long time, until you get on a roll) and write down all the ways you could ‘top’ your ramen (no… I don’t mean that to sound as sexual as it does). Once you get a good list of options, sleep on it, don’t rush, you want to listen to what your ‘cravings’ actually are… find out what is really speaking to you and then begin to add those things in, one or two at a time, try it out and see how you like it. Are they the right ‘toppings’? Do they add the flavor you are looking for? If not, why? Once you know what works, add a little more.
My hope is that our lives will be transformed into something we look forward to living, rather than something we ‘just do to get by’. And yes, I say we in this because I am right there with you. I am trying out ‘toppings’ as we speak… or as I type and you read?… you know what I mean. This very post is a topping and I must say, I find it rather delicious.
Bon Appetite xx