Friday, July 19, 2013
Guest Post: Liz with Food for Thought
Graduation had come and gone and after three years of continuously living away it was time to pack my possessions and move back home. Home to my room of 10+ years, and thus home to at least that many years of accumulated belongings. As I packed my things, I was determined to lighten my load and am proud to say was able to rid myself of many non- essentials - clothes that hadn’t left their hangers in semesters, clothes that had left their hangers but not the room, books that I never should have ordered for that class that I never should have taken, and an empty lotion bottle or two.
After my room was “essentially” sorted, I headed to the kitchen to clean out the pantry. My mini fridge was, for the most part, already empty. I had recently stopped shopping to make only what I had on hand available for eating. I was on a mission to downsize my pantry, regardless of my habit for lots and lots of fresh vegetables. Over the course of graduation week and the week following I did pretty well using up my stock. I believe the price of a dwindling pantry was gaining only what felt to be 5 or so pounds and feeling largely bloated and out of sorts for most, if not all, of the graduation events, but hey, small price to pay... the pantry stock had dwindled in size.
Dwindling, but still in existence, I began to go through what was left of the pantry and was startled to find that a few hidden treasures (for a college student) remained; couscous, a nice bottle of red wine, fine teas from Europe, and a rather authentically Italian looking jar of red sauce. I looked at these items with regret that they’d gone unused. However, I must be honest, my word choice, to this point, has been a bit misleading ... these things hadn’t been hidden and if treasure they had merely been coveted. I had been aware of these items as I waited for the perfect occasion to open the wine, to steep the tea, to heat the sauce, to cous the cous, but the setting was never right, the company was not complete, and the occasion was nearly always left wanting. Instead of setting the right scene, laughing with “the wrong” company, and making the occasion one I wanted to remember, I held back and neither myself nor any other had the pleasure of a fine red, a steaming cup of tea, or laughter filled company, etc., etc.
I started out writing this piece with the intent to share my realization about holding onto material things and the ridiculousness of saving something for the perfect moment, that perfect moment that might just never come. For the ladies, and maybe for the men too... it’s like that perfect outfit. That outfit that we wanted so badly, that we finally got, but then that we never wore because we didn’t want it to go to waste on an average occasion where it might go unnoticed. While realizing the absurdity of holding onto the material I began to realize that the items in the pantry were reflecting something much bigger.
As I reflected on the situation, the coveted “treasures” of the pantry began to parallel more valuable treasures; the abilities or talents of individuals which go unshared. Individuals holding back pieces of themselves in fear or apprehension that the moment wasn’t right, the crowd not ideal, the timing just a little bit off.
Will our lives be like the items on the shelf; time passes, the end comes, and we pack ourselves up with remorse that our moment never came? I challenge you, regardless of the situation, get off the shelf and into life. Stop holding back for that particularly nice, yet imagined, joyous moment. Whether it’s for the “wrong” company or just for yourself; take the outfit out of waiting and uncork the bottle of red, because maybe, just maybe, the joyous occasion, the perfect moment, the time you’ve been waiting for... is now.
Editor's Note: A big thanks to Liz for joining us again!