One Life Lesson My Chipotle Bag Taught Me


It all started with some hunger and a Chipotle nearby.

The one at 7th and Flower. The only one in Downtown Los Angeles. The only thing I wanted at the moment too, which doesn’t happen often. There must have been something in the universe pointing me there (…or maybe just proximity), cuz Chipotle is not exactly a location you’d expect to walk out of feeling empowered, with a new, fresh perspective on life.

It was noon rush hour. I got in line, read my book, ordered my Sofritas bowl with a tortilla on the side, and then as usual, contemplated filling up my “cup for water” with soda. I didn’t, but man, the struggles of maintaining your integrity. I sit down and I’m munching on my Sofritas, trying so hard to have a moment away from technology, when mid-bite, I see a story on my Chipotle bag. Sure, why not? Let me use this moment to feel like I’m 10 again and reading the back of a cereal box on Saturday morning.


This little story of no more than 300 words (shout out to Chipotle for understanding our society’s short attention span) had such an impact on me that I searched for twenty minutes looking for a picture of the bag, and then taking to @ChipotleTweets to ask about it:

Capture d’écran 2015-11-03 à 17.52.15

Mary Roach, the woman behind the story, answered a few interview questions over at Cultivating Thought and again, spit her genius wisdom by saying, “I think people recall meaningful things that are said or read when they’re not expecting to be hearing or reading anything meaningful.”

This woman is on a roll. Was I not mid-bite into my Sofritas bowl when my life perspective once again took a shift for the better?

For the past, hmm, six months of working from home and from coffee shops, traveling Europe for three months, and now moving to Los Angeles, I feel myself falling into the trap of getting older and having less friends, which is fine, but I’ve been wondering if I’m getting too comfortable being alone. Look at pretty much anyone in their twenties, and their friend group tends to be a lot smaller than it was in high school. Maybe it’s getting to know yourself more and through that, knowing who you want to spend your time with, or maybe it’s just being comfortable. And being comfortable with being comfortable.

Let me give you an example. This past summer in Europe, I met a ton of people, but I also know that there were plenty of times when I wanted to talk to someone, but didn’t. Since moving to Los Angeles, I’ve met a lot of cool new friends through other friends, but more than anything, I don’t remember ever approaching a stranger and finding a conversation starter. How many times have I gone to the club, saw someone, and thought, “Damn, I could really be good friends with that person?” But do I go up and start a conversation? No.

That says something – and now after my Chipotle empowerment session, that is not something I’m okay with anymore. Shyness and the fear of looking dumb is not going to get anyone anywhere.

“Getting older” is no longer an excuse I’m okay with, and so from this blog forward, I will say hey.

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  • tecben

    Great post Damon and gawd do i know that feeling when you fill up your free “cup for water”. lol

    Me and my boyfriend are a bit antisocial in our hometown but when we travel for some reason it’s very easy for us to make friends. We should really make an effort to have a open mindset and start a conversation.

  • Rayan Elkheir

    That’s an awesome revelation, but I’m totally surprised that this is a new beginning for you. Would have thought that you’d be a veteran at this. Kind of comforting to know that even the most outgoing and adventurous ppl like you and Jo need practice at this.

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