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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Trustey

Life’s chapters as told by ice cream flavors

Throughout the PhD process, our faculty has encouraged (read: required, though I’ve tried to make it optional) us to choose a theoretical model/conceptual framework that applies to our research. I would give you an example of what this means by using my own research, but I am still trying to figure it out in terms of addiction treatment (pray for me because *allegedly* I’m supposed to know this before I take comprehensive exams which I have schedule for the end of next month #wildchild). BUT, I do have my conceptual framework for life. So really, at the end of the day, who’s winning here? All the people who are on track with their dissertation research, or me, who has wasted an entire afternoon applying ice cream flavors to life’s experiences? (Don’t answer that.)

Here we are. Life’s 5 most important chapters as told by ice cream flavors:

  • 1. Vanilla: those times in life where literally nothing new is happening. You know those moments when a friend you haven’t seen in a while asks what’s new and all you can reply is “honestly nothing at all. I wish I had literally anything to update you on (because this conversation is so painfully awkward)”?? CHERISH. THOSE. MOMENTS!

example: a young caro enjoying ice cream up in New Hampshire, the biggest concern in the word being whether or not she can beat the ice cream drips down her arm

  • 2. Rocky road: probably goes without saying, but rocky road is representative of the rough patches we all experience. Sometimes these rough patches are short construction sites on otherwise smoothly paved roads, and other times the road is rocky for as far as we can see. It should be noted that rocky road ice cream has marshmallows in it, which is very representative of those sticky situations we find ourselves in all too often.

example: I’m having a hard time thinking of one here (lol ?). A sweet Jake offering a consoling hug post-funeral.

  • 3. Cake batter: my favorite grief flavor. Celebrating birthdays, not death dates. Ok. So cake batter ice cream is up for debate. In my opinion it’s good for a bite and then it’s a mega stomach ache, BUT there is something to be said for appreciating every birthday of those we love around us and for choosing to embrace and celebrate the birthdays of those who have died, honoring the gift of their life (and hey, you can probably eat any flavor on that day…I’m no ice cream police).

example: celebrating birthdays of loved ones gone with my bestie

  • 4. Soft serve twist: DON’T ANYONE DARE COME AT ME ABOUT SOFT SERVE. I adore soft serve. A chocolate vanilla soft serve twist is like a big hug. More importantly, it reminds us we are never alone. We don’t have to do hard things by ourselves. Just like you cannot separate the chocolate from the vanilla, you cannot separate yourself from your people.

example: two of my many grief buddies, met through grief support group, the most exclusive club on Notre dame’s campus.

  • 5. Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked: interpret this as you wish, but truthfully I don’t think there is anything better than a bite filled with brownie batter and cookie dough. The mix of happiness and more happiness. This represents those moments in life when you literally cannot imagine life being even an ounce better.

example: moments with my people

Never needed in life: fruity ice creams (strawberry, banana, etc.): these serve no purpose. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.

There’s not really a moral to this post besides that ice cream cures all problems, life is better with ice cream in it, and when in doubt, eat more ice cream.

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