Ya know how you feel so completely at ease with some people that you trust them implicitly and you trust yourself enough to let your notsogreat parts show? Like, they’ll love you anyway? It’s so liberating to not have to have your guard up, or to edit your words, or filter your thoughts and just be YOU. I would like to believe that on most days I am just me because I surround myself with those very ‘completely at ease’ people.
BUT. A few nights ago that wasn’t the case at all…
I was having dinner with a new friend. Someone, on whom I was hoping to make a good impression. I’ve recently thought about when people and things make impressions on me. And, quite frankly, sometimes it feels kind of like the effect is on the surface and fleeting. I would like experiences to make lasting, gentle dents in my mind and soul to make me think, to make me grow, to make me expand by what they’ve shared. But I think it is easier to receive those kinds of impressions than to give them.
To make a long story a shorter one – when I met this new friend, I left my editor and filter and guard at home and was unabashedly myself. It was risky to be so vulnerable with a new person and my fear is that seeing all sides of me is not the greatest view. But the truth is, all I have is myself and I’m the only one I can bring to the table and I really have no control over other people’s reactions to me. Our perceived bad parts may sometimes be off-putting, or unappealing, and translate as red flags. You know, the warning signs signaling not to proceed in a relationship. Well, I am self-aware enough to know that not all of my flags are green ones…
As I walked away from my new friend going over the ridiculous things I said and details of my life that I revealed that evening, it was not a good review. My impulse was to be embarrassed and get angry with myself. And THEN I thought about bananas. Really.
Bananas are impressionable. Literally. They bruise easily. We, as humans, bruise easily – emotionally and physically. Bananas with brown spots are red flagged! Often times they are avoided or overlooked, or the ‘bad’ bits are even trimmed away. But did you know that the dark parts are the sweetest parts? Those bruised parts are the most ripe because that is where the starch has turned to sugar, which makes those bits have more banana flavor. So bananas are ripe and true and sweet when they are at their ugliest! And everyone knows that the more brown spots on a banana, the better it is for baking banana bread!
I was pretty hard on myself for my possible ‘bad’ impression on my new friend. But I decided to be grateful for the liberation. I was so at ease and trusting enough to truly be myself even though I might be rejected or judged. My ‘bad’ parts or red flags are maybe more concentrated, a little ripe in those areas. But maybe those are my sweet spots and revealing them makes me more true.
with Cinnamon Cream
- 2 bananas (bruised or unbruised!) peeled and sliced into ½" pieces
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (divided)
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon honey
Method: Combine brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, roll the banana slices in the mixture and coat generously. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the bananas. Cook for 45 seconds each side until they are caramelized. Remove with a slotted spoon and let cool. Combine the sour cream, remaining cinnamon, and honey. Skewer the bananas on toothpicks and serve cream on the side.