Not Like the Picture

Last week, I was perusing Women’s Health (typical), and I came across a recipe that I was super psyched to try. The recipe was perfect for a few reasons:

  1. I’m always trying to find new ways to cook with coconut
  2. I’m trying to introduce my tastebuds to new fish
  3. I want to find a good Lenten fish recipe

Lo and behold on page 99 began a spread called “Taste of Paradise,” with a big coconut for as picture. I’m pretty sure sparks started flying out of my brain because I was so excited. I quickly spotted a recipe called Coconut Lime Tilapia, and I was sold. Tilapia was on sale at Kroger that week (how did they know?!), and the recipe seemed to fit all of the above criteria.

The magazine version

The magazine version

Last night, I tested the recipe out for the first time in hopes that it would light up all of my tastebuds and I would fall in love and only ever make that dish for dinner. Unfortunately, my result did not look like the picture. It had hardly crisped, and the spinach looked weak and over-wilted.

My version

My version

I still had hope, so I braced myself for the outcome of the less-than-Instagram-worthy meal. I slowly lifted the fork to my lips, and… it was just okay. I wasn’t wowed by the recipe. The flavor was somewhat bland, but it did make the fish taste less ocean-y.

I want to make the recipe again on Friday in hopes that I can tweak the results a bit. I think I need to add a little more pepper and lime zest and back off the garlic because that flavor was a little overpowering.

And now, I’m about to perform some literary magic and tie this small concept of fish into a much broader theme. Aren’t you glad I take creative writing classes?

Sometimes, life doesn’t go the way we plan. We have an image formed in our head of how things are supposed to be, and when something gets in the way, we beat ourselves up about it. This can happen in any facet of life – school, weight loss, jobs, relationships, family, hopes, dreams – the list goes on.


Life doesn’t always look like the picture we had in mind. And you know what? That’s okay. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and we are not dealt anything that we cannot handle. So maybe you completely failed at your first attempt. Do you have the chance to try again? Take it. No second chances? Learn from your mistakes, reflect, and move on. Things will always get better.

I know that this may seem odd contrasted with a tilapia recipe, but it’s something that I failed at on a day when not much else could have gone wrong. I ate the meal and decided that on Friday, I would try again.


I encourage you to show some confidence in yourself next time life doesn’t go according to plan. Take a moment and be thankful that you had the chance to mess up. Then go out there next time, and crush your goals.

Questions of the Day:

How do you handle failure?

Do you have any tips for cooking fish?


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