The buffet of life

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Close your eyes and imagine this…sitting at a table in a restaurant and never getting a menu.  You just sit there and before you know it, plates of trouble, glasses of issues, and silverware covered in hurt are before you.  You didn’t ask for it, and yet it is what you are being served.  So you eat and drink with what you are given and do not realize that you can refuse to partake in this feast of unhappiness.  On occasion, you find yourself glancing around the restaurant and see others that do not seem to have what you have and as you quietly admire “what they’re having”, you have to wonder how did they get served something different.  Did they order it?  You don’t see any wait staff to help you, so you just sit there…alone.  Left to ponder what happens next.  From time to time, you get up from your seat to walk around the restaurant, but realize that you have to come to accept that those other people’s orders were not meant for you.  So, with a heavy sigh, you find yourself back at your table with the same drab nourishment that even the condiments won’t help to taste better.  You begin to pick at your food, never really enjoying it, but eating just enough to get by.  To get you from one moment to the next, keeping to yourself, being sure not to bother anyone else in the restaurant.  Maybe that is when you comprehend that no one else seems to notice you either.  And you prefer it that way.  In fact, when others make a slight gesture or comment to you, you want to run and hide.  But you can’t leave the restaurant…you are there forever.  You follow the rules of the establishment and make friendly chit-chat with the other patrons, but don’t ever let anyone see how you truly feel.  You put up such a strong face that you can never let anyone know just how broken you are.  Then, one day you see something you never had seen before.  You are not sure why this one day, you see something different, but you do.  You see an endless supply of a variety of food that has color and texture and you find yourself drawn to it, if motivated nothing other than by curiosity.  So, you quietly slip over to this display of life.  And as you look around the rest of the restaurant, it suddenly dawns on you…this is a self-serve buffet.  There is no one there to help you because you have to help yourself.  Everything that life has to offer is inside this collection of experiences and people and you just have to go and pick out what you want. You get to choose. Have this ever been you?  I know it has been me.  It was me for a long time, but I never saw what everyone else saw.  I was afraid to look, expecting life to be all that I had ever known and it wasn’t what I wanted.  My life started to change when I came to the conclusion that I had to choose a different entrée.   And who doesn’t love dessert?  I could choose and not just allow things to show up on my table and that I should just be content to “eat”.   So, if you are sitting at that same table, eating what is being served to you, then you still have a choice.  Don’t worry about what others think or say about you.  You might give them the courage to get up from their table, too.  Don’t let life serve you something that will give you food poisoning a little bit later today.  Go get the life you want…there are plenty to choose from.  You deserve to have access to the full course meal — to go back as much as you want — and eat at the buffet of life.  LET’S EAT!

Michelle Homme 2012 ©

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