Learning to Love Spontaneity: a Vow to Myself

If you asked someone who knows me well to sum up the most defining characteristics of my personality, I’d be shocked to find “spontaneous” on the list. Far from being a risk-taker, I tend to look—and then look some more—before I leap. Even when it comes to the most trivial of decisions, I find myself weighing the pros and cons of every possible outcome.

The result of all this over-analyzing has been to render me the type of person who likes to have a plan. Normally these plans are rooted in familiarity, as I rarely stray from the people, places, and activities I know and love. Not leading a particularly impromptu lifestyle has also driven me to become rather set in my tastes. I like what I like, and don’t normally see the need to change those things by suddenly becoming adventurous.

This is especially true when it comes to my food preferences. I wouldn’t call myself a picky eater, but my mom might. I’d like to think my habit of harboring extreme particularities when it comes to my diet are a mere relic of my childhood, but every time I find myself altering a dish at a restaurant for some obscure reason I’m forced to concede to the possibility that it is not. I just don’t see why anyone should care if I don’t like the entire category of condiments.

When I decided to attend Boston College and at long last had an answer to every high school senior’s favorite question—Where are you going to college next year?—a surprising number of people’s first response was to tell me how much they loved not only Boston, but the food in Boston. I’d never considered “foodie city” to be an item of high-priority on my list of college must-haves, but suddenly the idea of living so near a city packed with every genre of food was appealing.

At the beginning of the year, I vowed to take advantage of Boston’s bustling restaurant scene, promising myself I would fully abandon my picky ways in the process. Although I’ll admit that I haven’t completely transformed into someone who will eat anything and everything at the drop of a hat, I have gained a greater appreciation for and understanding of the diversity of cuisine that Boston has to offer.

One of my favorite aspects of the city is the fact that people of all different nationalities and backgrounds call it home, a trait that is reflected in its culinary realm. I love that my friends and I can leave campus on a Friday or Saturday night with no plan and stumble upon a great restaurant in virtually every area of the city.

Between Chinatown, the North End, the Seaport, and pretty much every other district, the options are endless. When the waits are long at the well-known hotspots, we need to walk a block or two at most before finding a restaurant even better than the one we initially sought out.

A large portion of Boston’s restaurant scene remains yet to be explored, but looking back as I near the halfway point of second semester, I think I’ve at least scratched the surface. I’m proud to say I’ve tried foods I’d never even heard of and actually enjoyed most of them.

So while that list of defining personality traits may still not contain the word “spontaneous” or any of its synonyms, living near Boston has at least made me more willing to try new foods and leave campus without always having a well-developed plan. And who knows, maybe in three years even my mom will stop labeling me a picky eater.

Featured Image by Alex Gaynor / For The Heights