If you read my blog posts, you are probably thinking I must always compare life situations and people to food (Why people are like biscuits, for example).
As my lunch hunger begins to set in, I am practically drooling , waiting to grab my leftover Pei Wei from the fridge and throw it in the microwave. As my procrastination begins to set in... I decide to write a blog.
Topic decided: leftovers.
I was originally going to write a not so serious blog about leftovers and which meals are great as leftovers (pizza), which are terrible as leftovers (sweet potatoes) and which meals are great eaten cold (Kanki).. but as my thoughts progressed (or digressed as they usually do), I thought of a more metaphorical way to discuss leftovers with you.
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “leftovers” used when some people are talking about their ex boyfriends/girlfriends being with new people.
“that’s fine, she can have my leftovers! I don’t want them!”
“No one wants his leftovers.”
Now, I’m going to make the assumption that in most cases when “leftover” exes are being discussed it is usually more in an inappropriate way. However, I would like to make the case that people are like leftovers because they are never the same as they were before. Allow me to explain.
Some of this is personal, and some comes from mere observation, but I believe I am speaking on behalf of many.
Bad pasts. A lot of people have them. A lot of those people surround you in restaurants, stores, and on the street. Some of them work with you, some of them live with you, and I’m willing to bet that many of them sit next to you in church. Yes, in church. Unfortunately so many people may read that sentence and *GASP* in shock. Mrs. Geraldine has a bad past? Her husband used to do drugs? NO WAY! She knows every word to Amazing Grace without her hymnal. He volunteers at the homeless shelter. They don’t have bad pasts!
Don’t have closed ears/eyes. Don’t ignore the reality that some of the very people you may look up to are nothing but “leftovers.” They are products of life born with no faults that have slowly changed through life circumstances and choices and are now different than they were before. This application is for anyone, not just Christians, that has changed their life for the better. (of course I would suggest that if you are changing your life, you are doing it through coming to know Jesus Christ... but like I said, this is for anyone).
It is easy to look at people with bad pasts and judge them. Especially if you are someone like me who grew up in a Christian home with lots of Christian friends, a great youth group at church, and rarely any peer pressure or temptations. But leftovers are not a bad thing. Just like my leftover Pei Wei was great today... I would have missed out on lunch and a delicious lunch at that had I judged my Pad Thai on the fact that it had been through 24 hours of refrigeration with who knows what in our company fridge. Some of our world’s greatest people are people who have bad pasts... and we have to see past that (pun intended). If we don’t... we could be missing out on great friendships, relationships, etc.
Relationships. It’s about to get personal.
Another way of being a leftover is having “baggage” if you will from a past relationship.
If you know me, you know that the past 9 months have not been the easiest part of my life journey (but for the record, things have vastly improved for anyone wondering). A three year relationship ended (without my consent.. how dare someone make a decision like that without consulting me! J )and it changed every part of what I thought my future was going to look like. As cheesy as it is, you do a lot of discovering yourself in a time as such (Insert all cliché song lyrics about finding yourself and getting stronger here) and you also do a lot of changing. I would say for the most part, I’ve changed for the better. However, there is always the part of losing a part of you that can affect you negatively for a while and that is the part you have to consistently work on.
What I mean by that is personally as a “leftover,” I haven’t been trusting as easily and I have been somewhat cautious of what people say to me (this goes for any type of relationship.. friends, family, etc.). The biggest impact has been the unavoidable worry I have that people don’t really like me. OK OK FINE... It has made me insecure. I question my importance in others’ lives; I question whether or not they really want me around; I question if my quirkiness annoys them and they aren’t bothering to tell me. (quick side note: with relationships of any kind...don’t keep the small things that bother you to yourself, because they will add up and become one big thing. Shouldn’t that be common sense?) I find myself saying things to friends that make me sound downright pathetic and I’m finally making the effort to quit.
There is too much effort involved in worrying about what other people think.
That is why I am a leftover... I wouldn’t necessarily classify it as “baggage,” but I’d say that my past circumstances had been affecting my current ones for long enough and I am now winning the fight. My hope for leftovers like myself is that just like those with bad pasts... people will not judge us and will give us chances to prove how awesome we are. J I just need to find someone patient enough to work with me through it... perhaps another leftover.
Everyone deserves a chance. Even the sweet potato casserole that is usually gross the 2nd day can be good for something. It’s all in how you prepare it. Stick those suckers in the oven and not the microwave. Wait... we’re not talking about food are we? But really... I can’t think of a way to conclude this blog post with a bang, but I do hope that you will consider the “leftoverness” of yourself and others and how you rock no matter how different you are now than you used to be. Good can be found in everything and everyone.
Personally, I like pizza better the second day. Maybe one day I will find someone who likes me better now than I was before ;)