Most of us would avoid a potentially bad experience if we knew there was a high chance of being embarrassed, being miserable or losing money.
We would avoid telling our crush how we feel.
We would avoid standing up against our loved ones despite our values.
We would avoid using a foreign app to deliver our broken laptop to a repair shop, located miles and miles away.
It’s normal. It’s human nature.
We’d rather not take the risk and be worst off than where we are now.
However, setting yourself up for a potentially bad experience doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be all bad. You might think you won’t get much from it or anything at all, but the truth is, every experience you take — both good and bad — gives you more than what you bargained for.
Like the other day, my colleague brought over a special treat for the entire company, to give thanks to everyone’s hard work. She was excited, no thrilled, to share this with us. It was…
Duck blood. FRESHLY coagulated duck blood.
She had ordered it from a Vietnamese restaurant that specialized in serving this particular dish that she claimed was the best.
My other colleagues, while grateful for her generosity, shuddered and nearly vomited by the time the duck blood had been served on the table.
It didn’t smell like anything, but the sight — it was something nobody could ever forget. It was like little stacks of cubed sugar, except a lot more gruesome and befitting of a vampire.
Just as we thought it couldn’t get any worse, she started expertly assembling her bowl.
“Guys, I know this might look gross to you (I swear some of us rolled our eyes at this), but it’s really, really good. One of my childhood favorites! Let me show you how to eat it.”
She slapped a large scoop of fresh duck blood into her bowl as if it were a spoonful of mashed potatoes, sprinkled some fresh herbs on top and doused it generously with fish sauce before slurping it loudly into her mouth.
The whole office was completely silent; you could hear the shock. Everyone’s mouth was gaping wide and probably wondering who would be brave (or stupid) enough to actually volunteer.
“Aren’t you guys going to try? I bought it especially for you.”
Everyone took a step back but I remained standing there. I’d like to say that I was courageous enough to try, but it was more like I was still in a state of shock. By the time she looked at me, it was too already too late. All I could do was to stare back at her, in horror.
So I decided to try it, because what’s the worst that could happen? At least I’ll have the experience and a story to tell afterwards.
A great story that I can tell others, over and over again. A story interesting enough to help others remember me by or relate to whenever they eat something they think is gross or unappetizing. A story that I knew would help me grow. Or something along those lines; the truth was I just needed to make something up quick to convince myself the duck blood was worth trying.
But regardless, there is an ounce of truth to all of that. Opportunities to try something new doesn’t come everyday, which is why taking the chance to experience something that might potentially make you feel bad, is worth it.
So with that, I took a spoonful. As expected, the duck blood was gross, but at the very least, it was still an experience — one that has helped me write this story you’re reading right now.