Life is like groceries. We go around gathering raw ingredients. We make choices, based upon what our circumstances will allow. Some of us are able to shop at gourmet foods, while others buy dented cans from the food warehouse. We can choose to invest a lot of care into our groceries, and purchase lovely organic fruits and vegetables. Or we can grab huge bags of Doritos and six packs of Pepsi Cola. The choices we make affect the outcome: our meals, our daily diet, our general health and well-being are the result of our groceries. It is all up to us what we put into the bag.
Like so many things in life, we have times when we are not in control of our choices. We have to deal with the things that other people have chosen for us.
On October 17, 2008, I stood on the edge of my living room at two o’clock in the morning watching my husband embrace and kiss another woman. Now, I can tell myself that I didn’t choose this, but maybe I did? I was the one who chose to live in a horrible marriage that I hated for fifteen years. I was the one who chose to have children with him, when I knew he wasn’t available to parent them. Maybe I was the one who chose the brand name life of a house in the suburbs when there was an equally as good generic one available that I was afraid to try.
Regardless, that night changed all of my life choices, right down to my groceries. For a while, that night sent me seeking substance from the kindness of strangers, and I got my groceries from the local food bank. But what I learned is that while life may hand you raw ingredients, such as lemons, it is up to you what you do with them. It is in this way, that I became the Food Bank Gourmet.