A popular expression for doing something that you don’t like is comparing it to eating a frog – it may not be pleasant, but one should simply do it quickly, and get it over with. Today, I found (inadvertently) a better comparison to describe a large portion of life – eating squid.
For those who don’t know (which was, up until a few hours ago, a group that included myself), squid meat, particularly when uncooked in sushi, can be extremely chewy, and take a good deal of time and effort before it can comfortably be swallowed. Despite this, its taste is not overly unpleasant. I certainly wouldn’t order it again, but I didn’t feel the need to try learn the Korean translation of ‘I need to kindly use your restroom to send this squid back to the sea via your bathroom.’
This is what makes it an apt analogy. Most of the time, the ‘bad’ things in life are not particularly unpleasant – not to the degree of (what I would imagine to be) the taste of live frog meat. However, it does take time and effort to get through, in order to be able to try the rest of the food on the plate of life. Like, in my case, the most delicious salmon sashimi I have ever had the privilege to eat.
Sure, there are a few frog nigiris out there, such as the death of loved ones, or being laid off. And when these come around, every person has their own way to deal with it and (hopefully) move on. But most of the time, it’s just another piece of squid sitting on your plate, requiring your attention: filling in your tax return, doing your daily drudge work, or sitting through load shedding (for those in South Africa).
So, to you all, I say: Eat that squid! And keep eating, and eating, and chewing, and masticating, and every other synonym for moving your mouth up and down until the unpleasantness has passed. Because it may take a while, but you will make it through if you just keep chewing.