Can a Packet of Hot Sauce Change Your Life?Bridget Carroll

It was a sad night. I had worked late at the office and found myself driving home through empty streets, thinking about my equally empty kitchen. I decided to give in to an all too familiar urge, weaving my way into the Taco Bell drive thru. I’ll be honest, I have a deep love in my heart for Taco Bell that goes back longer than I care to admit and on this particular night, the warm hug of a mediocre bean burrito was exactly what this girl needed.

When I got home, the apartment was empty, my husband out for the night. Even the cats were away. I sat down on the couch and dug right in, not even bothering to turn on the television for company. It was just me and my warm plastic sack of fake Mexican that felt more like it contained a dirty diaper than my dinner. Appetizing, I know. So I ate, making sure to put the requisite amount of hot sauce on my meal to add a little flair.

It wasn’t until I was done with my first burrito (yes, I ordered two) that I noticed it. Nothing unusual at first, just a used orange packet of the standard issue Taco Bell hot sauce. But this one was different. This one spoke to me. See, these nifty little packets of flavor have little sayings on them, typically some funny little quip like “I AM A HOT T, R U2?” or “I’m in good hands now.” But this one said, plain as day, “If you never do, you’ll never know.”

If you never do, you’ll never know. Do what? Know what? The thrill of skydiving? That cooking class I was forever researching? Maybe this was bigger than that. A new friend? A career change?! I tried to look away as I dove into burrito numero dos. I focused on the other packet of hot sauce provided (“Will you marry me?”) but both proved a thin distraction. That first packet had just laid down the law.

How did you do it, Taco Bell? How did you tell me exactly what I needed to hear exactly when I needed to hear it? It was true! I needed to stop waffling about any decision I was weighing, grab life by the balls and really give it a go! And if I made the wrong decision? Well at least I’d know and not be stuck in the land of indecision and regret. That’s a pretty tortured place that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting often. But not anymore. Somehow this innocent little packet, with its words of wisdom, worked its way into my hands and from there – into my soul.

I was so pleased with my newfound inspiration that my appetite came right back and I was thankfully able to finish that second burrito (phew.) So if you, too, find yourself wavering, contemplating, wondering if you should take that risk in life, take it from Taco Bell: If you never do, you’ll never know.

Image courtesy of the author. That is the actual packet of hot sauce.

 

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