Some say that people can’t change. They say that any change a person encounters is really a turn to what they’d tried to hide before. Others might say that the change is more self-discovery than anything. Really, any number of excuses might be thought of.
Hogwash, I say.
People can change. They can do hard things, soften their hard-headed ways, come out the successors in a hard-won fight.
I grew up a notoriously picky eater. 99% of the foodstuffs out there I would never touch with a ten foot pole. Over the years I’ve softened, branched out here and there. And I’ve fallen in love with cuisines my 10-year-old, even my 18-year-old, self would not have tried.
And now I’ve entered culinary school. The one place where I can’t be a picky eater.
It’s my litmus test for life I suppose. I’ve been fortunate enough to end up on the dining rotation this first nine days of the trimester. There are two dining room classes every culinary student takes. Beginning and advanced. Their classroom is where we eat. They serve whatever gets made in the kitchen right off the dining room.
This go around it’s classical French cuisine. Five courses, one hour. I’ll just name one or two dishes for each day.
Day 1? Escargot.
Day 2? Oysters florentine.
Day 3? Some sort of salmon dish.
Day 4? Scallops.
Day 5? Stuffed mushrooms. Poached pears.
Day 6? Crepes Suzette. Lamb.
Day 7? Crab-stuffed crepes. Lobster.
What’s my point with all of this? Not one of those dishes is something I’d touch growing up. Salmon was something I didn’t try until I was a senior in college. (I adore salmon when prepared well.) But I tried almost every one of these dishes in the short time I’ve been in school. (I passed on the oysters because I wasn’t feeling brave enough to find out right then if I was allergic. Turns out, mildly allergic to scallops, no reaction to the crab or lobster.)
I’ve made a change. Am I liking it? I enjoyed the salmon, the poached pears, and the crepes suzette. The rest? I’ll still order a good filet mignon over lamb or lobster but at least now I’ve changed my ways and won’t be so mule-headed.
Have you thought about something like this for your characters? What is something that they’ve stubbornly refused to do, or not do, that you could plot a way to get them to do it? Would it be believable if they made that change? Will it deepen your story? Think about it. And join me in eating some plain yogurt and a walk on the treadmill.