Saturday, July 28, 2007

Onions and Tootsie Roll Pops

I grew up in the golden age of advertising meant to corrupt and influence children – the 70’s. I still remember the jingles, the characters and the products from those Saturday mornings when the networks carried the only cartoons for the week. As an adult, I was one who cheered when Conjunction Junction made it to Broadway.

One which carried the greatest effect was the Tootsie Roll Pop advertisements in which the young child asks the wise owl how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center. The owl started licking. “One.” “Two.” Crunch. “Two licks to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Roll Pop.”

I remember that because as a chocolate lover, I always crunched into the Tootsie Roll center as soon as I could.

Who cared what flavor was on the outside, I wanted that ooey gooey soft chocolate center.

My lovers should be happy that I’m more patient in reaching a cream filling.

As I’ve worked on the new job in the last month and encountered unexpected challenges, one of my supervisors made the comment that “it is just like an onion, peel one layer back and you find another one.” I laughed and thought about that for a while.

Then I realized. Every layer you peel down into an onion is just more pungent and brings more tears than the one before. Indeed, that has been the case with the new challenges I’ve found. Each layer I discover reveals more discord and challenge to overcome and heal.

The counselor in me knows overcoming and healing can be done, but the discovery of each issue sparks a little knot in my stomach (tear in my eye – if we’re sticking to onions). I mentioned in the past that I thrive on stress and that is remarkably true. For some reason, when I’m most stressed, I’m most healthy and that little knot in my stomach quickly changes to an adrenaline rush that I manipulate into a slow burn rather than an acceleration that leads to a crash.

And still I wonder – why can’t I get into a situation that turns to a Tootsie Roll Pop instead of an Onion? It’s probably for the best – a situation like that could kill me since I don’t do so well without stress.

But if you look in my goodie drawer…you’ll find more Tootsie Roll Pops than onions.

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