Archive for Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bugeaters know no stress

July 10, 2008

I ate a bug recently.

And it was voluntary.

I know, it's disgusting, right? I still can't decide if it's better or worse because it was a dead mealworm.

The pro being that the insect was dead and not wriggling in my mouth or down my esophagus. The con being that it was a mealworm. Have you ever seen a mealworm?

Being as I wasn't on Fear Factor recently you are probably wondering why I felt the need to eat an insect.

I was covering an event sponsored by the De Soto Library called "Bug Hunters." A representative from Powell Gardens taught students about insects and creatures that eat them, like frogs and humans. It was linked to the Johnson County Library's summer reading program Catch the Reading Bug.

At the end of his presentation, Powell Gardens educational specialist Vaughn Owens let the children and their parents try a mealworm for themselves. To make it more palatable, he put the mealworms in a cheese ball covered with ranch.

As I took pictures of children and adults tasting the snack and making funny faces, I was asked the question.

"Are you going to try it?" youth services specialist Cari Albarelli asked.

"I wasn't going to," I told her.

"It's mostly psychological," she informed me. "It just tastes crunchy. Besides, how can you really do your story if you don't try it?"

Why did she have to say that? Now as a journalist forever seeking the "truth," whatever that may be, I felt guilty. She had a point about telling a better story if I went ahead and ate the mealworm.

So I did it. It was crunchy, and it tasted like the Mexican spice flavoring it was covered in.

Would I do it again?

No way.

I guess I couldn't battle the psychological aspect of eating a mealworm. I gag just being reminded of it.

Later when I thought about what she said, "It's mostly psychological," I realized it applied to other areas of my life besides eating dead mealworms.

Stress, for instance, is mostly psychological, and as a journalist I live off of it.

In fact, my boyfriend jokes that if I don't have something to stress about in my life, then I create something.

If you think about it I am always going to have deadlines and 50 things going on at once, whether I am in this business or not. Most Americans do. So I have taken the idea of "It's mostly psychological" and applied it to my everyday life.

I am trying to not worry so much about things that aren't so important. With the more important items, such as deadlines, I am trying to focus my energy on getting the job done instead of letting myself have time to worry about the "What if I don't get it done in time?" or the "What if I can't get in touch with this person?"

So far it has been a difficult transition. Like I said, my boyfriend claims I live off of stress.

I guess we'll see about that.

As I look back now, I am glad I ate that bug because it made me ponder some things.

Would I do it again?

Only if you paid me.

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