You might not hate that thing you think you hate.

For a really long time, I thought I hated salad. In fact, I hated SOME aspects of MOST salads. Take this epiphany and apply it to everything in your life you think you dislike. >>
My name is Sarah and I hate salads.
Why would I hate something so innocuous? Why waste time and energy thinking unkind thoughts about a pile of vegetables?

Let me count the ways, guys.

1. I hate that I have to prepare a salad from scratch every time I want to eat one. Sure, salad, I’d just loooove to spend 10 minutes cutting things into small pieces. That’d be a super fun use of my time.
2. I hate that each forkful of food is an endeavor. I want each bite to include all the bits of the salad (spinach AND tomato AND feta AND carrot. Oh, and that sliver of almond, too.)
3. I hate that all the best bits (the cheese, the nuts) end up in a dressing-covered pile on my plate because I can’t seem to make them stick to my fork during the initial stages of salad-eating.
These Salad Issues mean that I consume my vitamins in the form of microwaved frozen vegetables or bag after bag (after bag) of baby carrots and hummus. I narrow my eyes at those pre-washed bags of spinach and harumph-over $15 salads at fancy lunch places.
But after years of believing I hate salad, I made this little number. And reconsidered.
Because really? It wasn’t so much that I hated salads. I hated some aspects of most salads. I hated making them from scratch each time.
I hated lettuce. I hated scouring my plate looking for a piece of avocado to add to my fork. But I didn’t hate salads. 

Of course, I immediately wanted to apply my salad-based epiphany to everything else in my life that I ‘hated.’

And you, I imagine, could too.

Do you really, actually hate road trips?

Or do you hate the stomachache that comes with gas station food?
Or the motion sickness?
Or having to listen to terrible local radio stations?

Do you really, actually hate organized sports?

Or do you hate the shitty teammate who yells when you miss the ball?
Or the pulled muscles?
Or that you look dumpy in those basketball shorts?

Do you really, actually hate going home for the holidays?

Or do you hate sleeping on that lumpy pull out sofa?
Or your aunt’s insistence on asking why you’re still single?
Or the totally-not-vegan-friendly meals?

All of those are legitimate reasons to not like something. But my salad-inspired epiphany requires me to point out that you might actually like road trips if you packed luscious picnic lunches that you ate overlooking something gorgeous.

You might really enjoy organized sports if you stretched a bit more and played on a different team.

You might not mind Thanksgiving at Aunt Judy’s if you brought your own snacks or a really nice airbed.

Of course, you might also discover that nope, nope you still hate road trips and softball will never, ever be your game.

But in the process you might also hate those things a little less.
And wouldn’t that be lovely?

What things have you (erroneously) thought you hated? What changes have you made to ‘hated’ activities to make them nearly-enjoyable? I’d love to hear your insights!

P.S. My problems aren’t your responsibility (and, ahem, probably vice versa) 

photos by adam jaime and abigail keenan // cc

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  1. Pieliekamais

    🙂 loved this post

  2. Jeneric Generation

    I love revelations like these! And I'm glad you shared this one. Your post picture reminded me that I used to think I hated cats, until my parents got an outdoor cat (that does come in quite often to play with the dog). I realized that what I hated about cats was the smell of their litter box and the idea I had they they never did anything. I've become more open-minded now. 🙂

  3. Dara

    All my life, I thought I hated green veggies (like spinach and broccoli). Then I got married to a guy who loves them very much so I have to cook green veggies almost everyday. Turns out, I do love spinach and broccoli. I just don't like the way my mum cooks them.

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      It took me a long time to realize I didn't hate camping – I just didn't like camping the way my family camped when I was a kid!

  4. Vanessa

    But…I *do* hate turkey. I think it has a funny smell and it tastes so sour. Ditto bananas. They both have such strong smells and flavors that they ruin the other foods they touch. However, I don't flip out on Thanksgiving when everyone else enjoys turkey. It means more mashed potatoes for me.

    My biggest beef with bananas is that every single time I've had to drink barium for a CT scan, they've "masked" the taste with banana flavor. It's like drinking milk of magnesia that has a weird fake banana flavor. I chug those bottles (2 bottles, double ugh) as fast as I can, though.

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      I'm totally with you on turkey. WHY DOES IT SMELL SO MUCH?!

  5. Anonymous

    I hate running. I find it boring, pointless, and painful.

    But then I completed a 5k. I liked that feeling of accomplishment – completing something I never thought I could do.

    (I still hate running for the above reasons, but now I take an interval treadmill class at the gym to make it more interesting, and play soccer so that all the running has a purpose)

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      Yes! I hate running on treadmills or flat surfaces but trail running/stairs/obstacle 5ks are totally fun(ish)

  6. kristin | W [H] A T C H

    i've tried to erase the mundane use of hate from my vocabulary. i think consciously replacing "hate" with "dislike" lends quite a bit of perspective to my statements. hatred is a pretty big word that should be reserved for special occasions. dislike is a bit more proportionate and representative of how i feel about certain things.

  7. Optimistic Existentialist

    Hi Sarah! Great post. I used to hate salads – my saying was "I'm not a rabbit so I don't eat salad". I slowly have grown to love them though. Never say never, I suppose 🙂

  8. NZ Muse

    I hate green salads! Ha. I need actual filling foods in my salads.

  9. Jen

    Sarah you totally nailed exactly how I'm feeling about salads and all vegetable based foods right now. It's like I spend hours just 'finely chopping' for every freaking meal. Not to mention the equitable bite and jaw stamina required.
    But they are so f'n good.

    Who knew there was a life lesson in there?!

  10. Purple Closet Beauty

    I think you should make slaw instead of salad, and use the shredder disk on a food processor or a mandolin for all the prep. Deb Perlman's got some amazing slaw recipes, but her broccoli slaw is my favorite. Mmmm so good. It's a little prep heavy, but you can make a big batch, and it'll keep for at least 3 days.

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      Yes! I now love chopped salads and Asian slaw!

  11. Laura Hager

    I love this post. What a simple way to take something I thought I hated, break it down to find the cause, and change the details to make it enjoyable! I'm definitely going to start having this mind set when I say I hate something. I think everything will be a little more enjoyable. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Sue

    I find that I say I "hate" or "love" things because I'm a lazy conversationalist. But I'm realizing that people trust that I'm using accurate words for things. So they assume I hate all fish, when I really hate the idea of making fish at home (the smell) or spending money for an unknown, possibly not tasty food item at a restaurant. I'm thus far trying to be better about catching myself when I use lazy vocab and correct things that are stronger than I intend. I aspire to stop using the lazy words altogether but it's a long work in progress, it seems.

  13. Anonymous

    I read an article years ago that said to try to find the good in any situation. ie: Enjoy the sparkle of the bubbles while washing dishes…. I was heading out to clean up the dog droppings on the weekend and my daughter said you seem overly happy about doing that job – and I said I would rather be happy about it than angry. Hate or anger seems like such energy suckers!

  14. Chrystina

    First of all, spend a few weeks in New York on a project where you have to go to a deli every day for lunch where instead of there being a soup natzi there's a salad natzi and you'll hate them even more. The amount of posts that I have about ideas for making salads in a New York City salad bar is crazy. That said, salad is my favorite food, but the stress of finding the right things to put in it is too much for me. I now just make salad #3 on this list all the time ( Also, the two other things that I thought that I hated are also food. I thought I hated all mexican food – but that literally made no sense. It's veggies and beans and cheese and salsa and I love all of those things. It took me a long time to learn that it's the cilantro I don't like. Also, I really thought I hated Mediterranean food, but it turns out that I hate large quantities of garlic. Once I realized those two things I was able to order off the menu a little bit better and definitely found some things that I enjoy.

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