I hate eggs. Every part. From the gooey crayon colored yolk that coats your teeth to the pasteled white that takes an exaggerated effort to chew. I despise sunnyside and god forbid if I have to eat a hard boiled egg. One can only imagine the alarms that went off inside my head when I saw the first meal my host family in Japan had cooked for me.
A ramen infused dish with 2 hard boiled eggs sat gently in front of me. I looked up and found 2 little Japanese girls staring at me; eyes big, smiles wide waiting for me to revel in their signature family dish. In this moment I knew I had two options:
Politely decline the dish that took hours to make
Swallow my pride and take a bite
I went with option 2...somewhat willingly.
I had hoped that this whole egg fiasco was a one night thing, but to my dismay I found every meal sided with some sort of egg concoction. But, after 3 weeks of eggs, after three weeks of smiling and swallowing the yolk I once gagged at I found myself feeling less and less disgusted by the thought of eggs altogether.
My experience in Japan and being out in the real world forced me to question some of the things I so firmly believed in. Eggs is merely an example of the deep rooted prejudices that govern the way I live. By being thrown into a situation where I was obligated to step out of my comfort zone and try a new lifestyle choice was hard, but ultimately incredibly rewarding. I understand the power of new cultures, new people, and new environments. I want to study abroad because it would not only sharpen the way I see the world, but the way I see myself. Today, I view eggs differently because of my experiences in Japan. Tomorrow my discoveries in the world can impact the way I see social justice, the environment, and the values and morals that make life worth living. Through studying abroad I can find a new “egg” and maybe, just maybe learn to love it.