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Last night, as Nathan and I cooked dinner for two of our friends, I was peeling a mango for the dessert. I don’t know how many of you have peeled a mango before, but it is difficult work. The seed is long and flat, but still round in the middle, and it is impossible to get clean cuts while one is cutting it. Nathan gave me advice about the best way to do it, but still I had trouble. I had to pave my own mango cutting path.

While I was peeling this mango, I thought about something that happened a long time ago. When I was younger, I really can’t even remember how old I was, my Aunt Paula and my Uncle Ronnie were cutting up tomatoes. An argument ensued about the proper way to cut anything up. Paula’s constant refrain was not to cut towards you hand. Too this day, I remember that advice most vividly because not long after she said it, Ronnie sliced into his hand. I’m pretty sure I heard her say, “I told you so.”

While I was peeling that mango, this story came to mind because there was no way for me peel this mango without cutting towards my hand. I’m accident prone anyway, so I tried all kinds of ways to avoid cutting towards myself. None of those ways were as effective as cutting towards my hand.

I think that life is a bit like peeling mangos and cutting up tomatoes. Tomatoes are your everyday items, things that are a part of meals often enough. Mangos, on the other hand, are more exotic. They are the decisions in life that are more difficult, that take some risk.

Yesterday, I packed our first box for moving. We are moving to Northwest Arkansas where Nathan and I will both be starting our careers. When I packed that box, I was taking that first step towards a new life and I knew it. I acknowledged it and bathed in the light of doing something new and different, because this new journey is like the mango: exotic, but hard to peel.

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