No one confuses watermelons for other fruits. They stand (or sit) alone. Let’s look at some watermelon facts:
• The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred nearly 5,000 years ago in Egypt.
• Watermelon is 92% water.
• Watermelon’s official name is Citrullus Lanatus of the botanical family Curcurbitaceae. It is cousins to cucumbers, pumpkins and squash.
• By weight, watermelon is the most-consumed melon in the U.S., followed by cantaloupe and honeydew.
• Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.
• The first cookbook published in the U.S. in 1776 contained a recipe for watermelon rind pickles.
• The United States currently ranks 5th in worldwide production of watermelon. Forty-four states grow watermelons with Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and Arizona consistently leading the country in production.
🍉 And maybe most importantly, there are festivals dedicated to celebrating all things watermelon (Festivals)🍉
Are you curious to know what I think makes watermelon a great example of confidence? Read on…
So, first we need to address the elephant in the room. Watermelons are huge. No other fruit takes up space on the picnic table like a watermelon. And that is what makes the watermelon so wonderful.
Watermelon makes no apology for its shape, look, texture, or general existence. It doesn’t care that you crave it’s sweetness in December but you only eat locally grown foods. Watermelon is what it is: a big, delicious icon for summer.
I remember attending a summer party where the host neglected to provide a watermelon for the guests. The shock and horror of the attendants was audible and visible. It was so bad, the host sent another guest to a local supermarket to buy one mid festivities. As I sat at that party I witnessed the popularity of this unique melon, and today that popularity has me thinking:
How does the watermelon relate to living a life of purpose and greatness?
Firstly, watermelons are celebrated for the very things we shame ourselves for.
• They are the biggest fruit on the block. Put one next to a kiwi and regard the magnitude of the watermelon. No one (to my knowledge) has created a program to grow smaller watermelons. In fact, thousands of people attempt to grow the biggest one each and every year.
• They are celebrated for their sweetness. No one says they need to toughen up in order to be taken seriously or change their flavor so more people will like them. Nope, everyone just raves.
• They are messy. Really messy. No one makes it through a watermelon without a substantial amount of juice smattered about their chin. And yet, no one rolls their eyes at the watermelon and demands they clean their act up. Instead, we just grab the napkins and continue to enjoy the delectable goodness of the watermelon
• They are hard to handle. Two hands, steady feet, and a sturdy surface are required when transporting this juicy wonder, and none of us complain. We just know it’s worth it.
So what can we learn from this confident summer fruit? We can learn how to accept ourselves, wholly and completely, just as we are.
No, really…it’s not.
The body I have right now has served me amazing well over the past 39 years, and I love it. Does that mean we shouldn’t try to be healthy and go after our fitness goals? Absolutely not. A healthy body is one of the best assets you will ever have. Your size, however, is not the only indicator of your body’s health. Whatever amount of space you take up is merely a representation that you are here, and I am personally glad you are. If and when your body does change, the body’s representation is still the same – you are here. What you are here to do is the exciting part. You are not here to wear smaller clothes. You are not here to fill out your jeans in a particular way. You are here to contribute, so be big, be small, be mid-sized; just be sure you are active in your own life.
🍉 What if we stopped trying to be a different version of ourselves than is possible?
I am, by nature, an easy going, slightly sarcastic girl who loves a good mystery book. So why, oh why, would I try to be an aggressive, overachieving, football coach? That’s not me. Acting, even slightly, in that capacity would be unauthentic. No one would believe me anyways. I am the way I am, and that alone will both attract and repel certain people. I can spend my time trying to attract the ones that need a different version, or I can celebrate the ones who like me just the way I am, and coexist with everyone else here on planet earth.
🍉What if we allowed ourselves to be messy?
I mean fall apart on the therapist’s couch messy. Would that be the end of the world? Obviously this wouldn’t work long term. I mean, no one wants to be sobbing on the subway every day with no resolution. But if we allow ourselves to fall apart when necessary, we will reap the benefits of the after effects of a breakdown; the breakthrough. The moment the therapist gives you a pat on the back and tells you how far you have come. We spend too much time hiding our emotions, and pretending to be perfect. We are not perfect, and we never will be – so let’s just stop and accept that. We can however, always be better. (That’s the joy of not being perfect, we can still grow)
***On a side note – therapy is an amazing addition to anyone’s mental state. No shame or stigma should ever be applied to seeking the council of a trained expert. If you use a personal trainer for your abs, why would a therapist’s assistance navigating your mind be considered taboo***
🍉 Lastly, what if we allowed ourselves to be treated with care?
We expect two sturdy hands to carry a watermelon, but we allow ourselves to be treated with disregard and disrespect on a daily basis. We allow ourselves to call over-eating an indulgence rather than an abuse. We listen to music with lyrics that tear down genders, ethnicities, and our own confidence with constant comparison. We watch television programs and movies that parade thoughts and judgments that don’t coincide with our own views. We allow people to speak nonsense into our ears and demand our mind to filter it into sweet philosophy. Instead, what if we took a stand? What if we said no to things that don’t match our goals? What if we required dignity and proper consideration from others, as well as ourselves, as we deserve?
So today, as you hunt for the watermelon you are now craving…remember who you are.
Be the fanciest watermelon on the picnic table in all you do, and enjoy the celebration of your own existence in the universe by all who meet you.