The Dinner Table is Set

In: Casa de Youngren, Sweet and Sour
Tags: confessions, daily life

For years, I felt like I couldn’t just pull up a chair to the dinner table of life. Every time the gourmet meal would be set out to enjoy, and the invitation sent for all to come, sit, and join in on the feast, everyone else strolled up with confidence. Everyone else pulled up a chair and sat with anticipation.

Everyone else dug into the meal.

I, however, would run to the bathroom at the sounding of the dinner bell so that I could touch up my mascara, run some fingers through my hair, and adjust my outfit. Was it the right look? Would I fit in with those at the table already? Would they listen to my thoughts? Or would I simply have to smile and laugh – always remaining on the borders of their conversations?

Then I would hear the crowd settling around the table and, with fear in my steps, race from the bathroom, hoping that there would be a seat left for me on the edges of the banquet…

But now – oh now – not only do I look forward to the dinner bell, but at it’s sound, I stride with excitement and confidence towards the beautifully laden table. On the way, though, I reach out to the sweet shy person next to me and invite them over too – before they can run to the bathroom to hide and miss a chance at the best seats. When grace has been given and the food is ready to devour, I dig in with my fork and savor every. single. freakin’. bite.

You see, I had to learn that there are no requirements in order to sit at the table of life. At least not at the table that I want to sit at. Everyone is welcome here – the only prerequisite is that you accept the invitation and come as you are.

Now I know that:

  • Being a quiet introvert is a powerful advantage and not a crippling fault. I have the keen power of observation, which makes me a wonderful friend, a devoted wife, a skilled writer, and a talented photographer.
  • Since I talk so little, I have come to discover that people will listen with great curiosity when I do speak. And the more they get to know me, the more they look forward to hearing my thoughts. I make sure that what I say has meaning and weight in order to spread love, grace, and goodness in the world around me.
  • It is ok to say no to social events and, instead, sit at home on the couch with a Little Cesar’s pizza, a bottle of wine, and a package of Oreos. All of which will be consumed by the end of my West Wing marathon.

Every morning when I come into work, I glance out the windows to the street below before heading upstairs to my desk. Our photography studio is located in the heart of the picture perfect urban area of Kensington, and our second story bay windows overlook the neighborhood sign hung across the main street.

In those moments, when the day really starts at a job that I love, I sip some coffee, take a deep breath, and observe the scene below. If this isn’t pulling up to the wonderful feast of life, then I don’t know what is.


In: Casa de Youngren, Sweet and Sour
Tags: confessions, daily life