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Your life doesn’t have to be a glass of Cola

By: Su Chen / Written: Jun 2, 2023 / For Letters Against Depression

Image: "Aluminum Beverage" - Media from Wix

Personally, if I were to drink Cola or any other fizzy soda, I can’t down a whole can all at once.

The carbon dioxide bubbles captivate my taste buds in small amounts, but drink too much at once and that’s another story.

That’s when the bubbles begin to burn my tongue, when I start kicking myself for my life choices and wishing I grabbed a can of Nestea instead. And that’s when I began to think about life. Which is ironic, because most people do it over pasta or wine. I did it over soda.

In a way, life’s the drink and we’re the taste buds.

There’s the fizzy Colas —- the saccharine, bubbly, exciting lives we’ve all wanted to experience for ourselves. Like walking down the red carpet in Hollywood as thousands of devout fans scream your name. Or being a multi-millionaire. Or being a world class fashion designer, dancer, tennis player, astrophysicist, author — the list goes on.

And then there’s the Nesteas, the Fruitopias, the Sunny-Ds —- also pretty sweet lives, but without the carbonated bubbles of glamour and superstardom. Maybe you have a tight-knit group of friends who are there for each other through life’s peaks and doldrums. Or you have a career that confers you a sense of pride and satisfaction. Perhaps you’re volunteering at an organization that gives you purpose (wink-wink, LAD!).

Just like how our taste buds crave the intoxication of a fizzy Cola, we crave the intoxication of life’s carbonations: fame, fortune, and wild success.

And we all desire these fizzy bubbles to various degrees. Some of us would argue that superstardom is fantastic, but otherwise don’t pay much attention to it. Others lust for a prestigious life of fame and recognition so deeply that they believe they haven’t truly lived until they possess it.

Is all that yearning going to make us happy, though?

Will we really lead happier lives longing for a fizzy Cola, than drinking the cool, refreshing can of Nestea or Fruitopia in front of us? And if we do get the Cola in the end, would the carbonated bubbles have been worth all those years of yearning?

Sure, life’s bubbles can be alluring, but they can burn us too if we drink too much fizz at once. Excessive fame can compromise the privacy in your life, and the pursuit of world-class excellence can strain our relationships if we neglect them too much.

My point is that life’s Colas (and honestly, actual Colas too) can be overrated. Sometimes, it’s better to savour a life that is just sweet — without the fizz, instead of lusting for a carbonated life that excites and burns you at the same time.

After all, Nesteas and Fruitopias are amazing.


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