This is a re-post of my Backstage Take 5 column from December 2008
Edamame goes existential: Now that I have a “crackberry”, I feel the need to take advantage of my new found 24/7 connectivity by updating my Facebook status more regularly than the average person. And most of the time it’s not exceptionally witty or clever, literally just what I’m doing. I posted one such status this past weekend that simply read “Seth just had the weirdest salad.” Surprisingly, I received several comments about this status, which then lead to thoughts way too deep for lunch.
And this is the story of how edamame became existential.
On Sunday, Erica and I met two friends for lunch at BLD in Hollywood. I look through the menu and land on a salad. (from the BLD menu: FRESH VEGETABLE SALAD with edamame, fresh corn, jicama, haricots verts, red bell peppers, avocado, toasted cashews, hemp seeds, daikon sprouts, ginger vinaigrette) We order, and the server brings out our meal. She places in front of me a wonderfully artistic but odd-looking creation. I ordered a salad, right? But this had no lettuce, no bowl, none of the normal things that a salad contains; just the above ingredients piled high on a white porcelain pate. We all exchange confused looks, I tentatively load up my fork and take a bite. Turns out it was fantastic.
But if I’m honest, I have to admit that I was somewhat annoyed and frustrated that out of all the options I could have selected – I got this weird thing. Doesn’t the chef know that a salad comes with lettuce? I’ve eaten my share of salads, and this was certainly unlike any I had ever seen. It did not look like what I thought a salad should, and did not contain any of my expectations of what a salad should be. It was just this combination of weird things slapped on a plate.
The point I’m trying to make is that I have an idea of what my career should be. I set goals and work to accomplish those goals. I know where I’m headed and what I expect it to look like when I get there. But this moment at a restaurant with friends reminded me that the “salad” of my career is so much more than an idea. It’s made up of many different experiences and moments that if thrown together on a plate, one might wonder if it was a salad (read: career) at all.
As I get ready to place my career order for 2009 – I remind myself that life is unfolding just as it should. What comes to the table may not look like what I imagine my order should – but I will put away the filters, prejudices and assumptions and just be in the moment of what is. And who knows, I may find my new favorite lunch.
I have thoroughly enjoyed writing these columns each month and sharing with you my journey through 2008. Best wishes to each of you as you continue on your path of each day “livin’ the dream.” See you on the road.