When I was 13, I was home with my sister trying to figure out how to cut the homemade pizza my mom had left us.
It was a rectangle pizza, roughly 12 by 8 inches. For whatever reason, my sister and I had it in our minds that triangular pizza tastes best, no matter that it was simply a change in shape.
About 75 percent of the way through cutting the pizza, we realized that cutting a rectangular pizza into triangles is much more difficult than we had thought originally. We tried to cut it into squares. At this point my sister pointed out that the middle of the pizza hadn’t been cut – at all. We had apparently not cut far enough in with the triangles, in addition to leaving a large section between the triangles and attempted squares.
Somehow, we ended up with a couple half-moon shaped pieces, L-shaped pieces, and curvy triangles. Though initially odd, it ended up tasting the same: pizza.
I’ve been wondering recently if this post-high school business isn’t very much of the same dough, so to speak. At the very core, there is the basic dough, or the basic foundation of post-high school action.
Then you have the sauce, whether it be barbecue or tomato or pesto, as the support for that movement forward. Support for your actions is incredibly beneficial, but in some circumstances, the next items can assist with the lacking spread.
From there, you will want to decide what kind of cheese should be added, or the main accomplishment based on the dough and sauce. A nice cheddar college degree is the norm, but a steady mozzarella job is known for a good choice as well.
Here is when things get exciting: the topping options. Will you top your cheddar degree with a meaty baseball hobby, or stripe your mozzarella living with a healthy arugula of a volunteer position at the local hospital? Do you prefer to have a good dose of parmesan friends, or would you like to add some spices of romance? Will you opt for a pepperoni family, or a bell pepper master’s degree? All of them?
The point that I’m trying to make is that there are so many good choices out there that it is difficult to choose. Will you go to UCI or USD? Will you go to Biola or CalBaptist? All of the options are great, but which one fits you the best?
Will you go straight to a career in real estate? Or will you go for a military path? Or a combination of the above?
Just recently I visited a wonderful place called Vocademy, a makerspace that offers classes in anything from robotics and programming to welding to costume and prop-making. For some people, this hands-on option is so much better than going for the good ol’ classroom experience. (Editor’s note: A makerspace is a place where people can gather to create, invent and learn.)
There are many different ways to make this pizza of life; but beware: there are some combinations that are not advisable. Some combinations are not meant to work. Using a banana bread as the foundation, peanut butter and ketchup as sauce, Twizzlers as cheese, and Boba balls as toppings is inadvisable, to say the least. Some things are simply not meant to go together.
To translate, certain drugs and notoriously questionable choices really don’t enhance your wonderful beginning of a life, as much as you try to convince yourself of it.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t mix and match opportunities: everything I have said so far is in favor of variety, assuming it’s a positive movement forward. And ultimately, what are you going to want more: happiness for five hours or happiness and health for 50 years?
Another consideration that I’d ask you to consider is the way you serve the pizza. It’s great that you have built this delicious pizza, but what fun is eating alone compared to eating with good friends? What fun is having a considerable amount of money if you cannot bless others with it? What is the gain if you have lots of time but you squander it?
As the good Sir Baden-Powell says, “The most worth-while thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others.” There is little to no joy by being the robot of success and productivity: it’s not in our dough.
So now let’s share our pizza with others, since most often we get more toppings and seasoning as we experience more and more. Avoid the rotten and unsavory elements in your options, and you will discover that you can hardly decide between all of the good opportunities.