What is real? Is there any difference between my reality and yours? Is there any such thing as objective reality? Are long-held beliefs handed down from generation to generation reality?
I don’t really know anymore. There was a time when I thought so. When I thought the things my mother taught me were reality, not just for me, but for everyone else too. When I thought everyone’s life was just like mine.
Now I know I was wrong. Well, maybe not wrong, but definitely misinformed. I’m sure there are people out there who live life much like I do, but not exactly like mine.
And that is perfectly, awesomely okay.
I was making dinner the other day – a lot of my epiphanies come while I’m cooking – on my electric stove when I remembered how I once insisted on having a gas stove and oven. The only reason was because my mother and her mother before her both had gas stoves and ovens and swore that cooking a good meal on an electric stove was impossible.
So I insisted on a gas stove when R.J. and I bought our first house. We bought the cheapest one we could find since, well, we were poor. But because it was a gas stove I thought I couldn’t possibly go wrong. Never mind that I didn’t have a clue how to cook. I had the right piece of equipment, that’s all that mattered, right?
I can hear you laughing…
We moved into our current home almost eight years ago and I’ve been cooking on an electric stove from day one. In fact, when we first moved in I was using a stove that was older than I was since it came with the house and worked just fine. It was one of those retro olive-green numbers with the coil burners.
It was the stove I really learned how to cook on.
Now we have a new stove, black with a glass top, and I can honestly say once I learned its quirks it helped me make some pretty awesome meals. Electric, not gas. And that’s when I realized that while maybe my mother and grandmother weren’t full of shit in their belief that you had to have a gas stove and oven to cook and bake well they were still operating under a perceived reality.
But does their perceived reality have to be my reality?
No, I think not. And there’s the epiphany. I don’t have to live by someone else’s perceived reality. I can think for myself. I don’t have to let my past dictate my future.
And on the flip side, it’s perfectly okay for someone not to buy my perceived reality hook, line, and sinker…