I love when I hear people open a bag of potato chips because I know the irreplaceable, over-the-moon excitement they must be feeling. It’s that pop—that moment of opening the thing you’ve been craving.
When I was 22 I lived in Ghana for one summer. It was hot and sweaty and exciting and scary and wonderful and freeing and beautiful. Anyway, it was four days and three nights before I was set to board a plane home to Canada. There wasn’t a single part of me that felt ready to deem this party over and head home, but it was happening, so I began my goodbyes.
I was at a reggae night with a whole bunch of people on a big sandy beach and I just kind of separated myself from the party and walked out onto these rocks in the water and stood there looking at the sky while a giant plane flew overhead.
My friend—someone I had met mere weeks before, who had impacted my heart in the same way a first boyfriend does—came up next to me.
“That’s you in 4 days,” he said.
“I know,” I replied. “I’m honestly so sad.”
We stood there together looking up at the sky, the water. Feeling cold but pretending we weren’t.
In that moment I felt something unexplainable. I felt—in this teeny, tiny moment in time—a mixture of excitement over the fact that I had found myself, a fear that I would lose myself again and an overwhelming feeling of peace that this moment in time even existed.
And then I would leave. And that’s okay, because for 30 seconds, two minutes, 10 minutes—who knows—for that short amount of time I got to feel that moment.
Now, let’s get back to the original point here.
This is how I feel when I open a bag of chips. I feel like I understand life and love and that sometimes things suck and that’s okay because right now this moment exists and I’m here and it’s mine. And maybe I’ll cry over a boy that night and maybe I’ll get a really bad haircut and sunburn on the same day and be embarrassed to go out in public. But that’s okay. Because this moment of pure joy exists. And there will be more. And those will be mine too. And maybe that’s what life is all about. Moments of joy compiled into one giant ride.
Some moments are big and some are small. Some take place in Africa and some take place in the secret stash of chips you keep in your bottom drawer. Some people will feel inspired by your moments and some will think you’re crazy because, let’s be honest, it’s a bag of chips and it’s completely bizarre that a bag of ANYTHING can make you reflect this much on life.
But if one bag of chips can translate into this many words and this many feelings, then I think there’s something to it.
Leah Ruehlicke lives in a tiny apartment in Toronto, with bad water pressure and an amazing book collection. She hates her hair, loves good grammar and strongly believes in the power of a high five.