Monday, June 27, 2011

Open Happiness


Dear Coca Cola,

You may not know who I am, but I am very familiar of who you are. For most of my life, I've known you. I've seen you in the supermarket or at the gas station. Your red can and cursive logo is so familiar to me, and every Christmas I look forward to seeing the most jolly of Santa's on your can.

Of course, it's what is inside that counts, and this is where you truly shine. I remembered the first time I enjoyed a Coca Cola. I was 13 years old, and my mother said I could finally have some caffeine. It was at a summer BBQ, and nestled in the ice chest was you. Beads of condensation ran down the can as I grabbed you out of the chest. I opened it with a nice *pop* and tasted Cola for the first time. It was delicious! To this day, I can't describe the flavor, but only how it made me feel. After my first sip, I put the can down with an audible *ahh*, like the commercials I had seen on television. It's instinctive, and to this day I still enjoy that first sip out of the bottle.

It wasn't until I started seeing the world, however, that I realized how special you are…

In the past 4 years I've been to 12 countries on 5 continents, and it's been one hell of a ride. Humanity never ceases to amaze me, and seeing all the wonderful cultures and people of this earth really gives you perspective and humility. Most of all, it teaches you how to love life and to be happy.

That being said, there are many times where I wondered if I could keep doing this.  As I write this, I miss home with all my heart. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss everything familiar to me. This world is wonderful and I intend to see as much of it as possible, but overcoming homesickness is very hard to do.

This is where you come in. Everywhere I've been to you were there waiting for me. When I was climbing the mountains of New Zealand or seeing the plains in Kenya, you were there. You may have come in different sizes or languages, but your familiar red can and contour bottle always stood out…like a beacon in a sea of the unfamiliar. No matter where I went, I knew that you would be there. I knew that I could open that can and in an instant feel the happiness I had when I was 13. You were, and still are, my constant in life.

You are so much more than that, though. You are a mediator. You are a translator of happiness. No matter where you go, everyone can enjoy a Coca Cola. I've been to places where the language, culture, and values were all different. Yet, after visiting a local shop, we could share a Coca Cola and enjoy each other's company. In a way, you connect all of us together. It's one world, and you know that.

So, for all the years that you have delivered happiness, I wanted to express my gratitude and thank you. Thank you for the wonderful memories and thank you for being there when I needed a little piece of home. I know that, no matter where this crazy and amazing life takes me, I can always sit down and enjoy a Coke. Here's to you, and to many more years of this amazing adventure. Cheers!

Ryan

1 comment:

  1. Dude. Its all about the polar bears and seals in the commercial. Coca cola is like you said the great mediator

    -Michael Geraci

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