Onigiri: A rice ball wrapped with seaweed and often filled with something salty or sour or both. A common on-the-go meal in Japan.
So I've been watching (and reading the manga, too) this anime called Fruits Basket. It's funny and different and even a bit romantic, but what's surprised me the most is this exploration of how people work, how they see themselves and others.
In one episode (#7), there's an onigiri analogy I can't seem to get out of my head. As you can see from the picture above, onigiri can look pretty plain and uniform. But on the back they sometimes have a surprise:
Look! Umeboshi! Umeboshi are these intensely salty, sour pickled "plums." Though they aren't really plums, they're ume, which is in the plum family but is more like an apricot.
So on the front onigiri all look the same, but on the back there could be a plum or a ball of salmon or some toasted sesame seeds, etc.
The main character in Fruits Basket, Tohru, begins to notice how two certain boys envy each other's good qualities, while totally ignoring their own. They are so hung up on what they don't have, that they are blind to their own awesomeness.
Tohru compared them to onigiri. All they can see is their white, boring rice front, but they keep seeing the umeboshi in others when they turn around. Little do they know that they have a plum on their back, too. That they are just as special.
This, of course, got me thinking about writers. Admittedly, sometimes it's really hard to see all the amazing writers out there—some of them my own friends—who have these special umeboshi or whatever else on their backs. Sometimes I get discouraged, thinking all I am is this boring, white rice ball with nothing to offer. It's hard to believe there's something special on my back when I can't see it.
But Tohru was right—we all have salty, sour pickled plums on our backs (best compliment ever, right?). I see them all the time, and my friends often remind me that mine's there too. So there's no need to compare or to feel sad about someone else's skills. Even if we can't always see our own talents, they are there and other people see them all the time.