It seemed like only moment in time when Vera answered her calling. The life she was currently living was what it was, a job, money in the bank and a boyfriend. But where am I going? Day after day it was the same old same old. Get up, figure out what to wear, stuff a lunch in a bag, out the door and off to work. Then as time went, the boyfriend she was on and off with in a casual relationship, who was anchored at his workplace due to family pressure, asked Vera a question out of the blue. It happened when they were out for pizza one night. She sensed he was somewhat distracted and asked how his day went given that family dynamics always on the upper shelf in his cupboard. Ben glanced one way then another and only shrugged his shoulders saying, "It is what it is." He quickly changed the subject, and we left soon after with nothing to add to the conversation. As he pulled over to drop her off at her apartment, he said, "Wait a minute." He then reached into a pocket and before she could guess what was next, he proposed. It was the shock of a lifetime as Vera was only nineteen years old. Not a way to live life at the moment when she hadn't a clue who she was yet. She paused for a moment and replied as if she was at a meeting and was asked to comment on her overview of the featured topic of the day. "I'll think about it."
This was not where she needed to be at the moment. She was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ben looked at Vera with pursed lips and then gave a mighty exhale of breath. "Okay! I guess I was off, thinking we had more than a casual thing going on. So, here's the next thing. Never mind." He snapped the box shut and shoved it in his top pocket of his jacket. Vera quietly and without any further conversation, got out of the car and walked towards her apartment, not looking back. Ben hit the gas, made a U-turn and was gone. She never saw him again.
Time has a way of going as fast as a speeding bullet but then sometimes it moved as slow as molasses. When one gets their head into that quagmire, the days and moments in life seem so much longer without a clear way out. Thinking and rethinking what she should have said in a better way to Ben put more unhappiness on Vera's plate. Her foot hit the brake with him as her decision wasn't going to change as quickly as he seemed to need it. The company she worked for, had changed their business platform. It wasn't where Vera wanted to stay as the corporate world was growing more iron fingernails in a sense and using these in substandard ways. This was so wrong. Vera did not hesitate and moved on to became more imbedded in a new direction in her world. She thought long and hard, reached out to many people, and within a short time found a road she needed to travel. The way to make yourself happy, she reminded herself, is to follow your calling. She had a way with food; cooking, baking, and creating so many unique dishes. So, with apron in hand and business savvy as a corporate executive under her belt, she applied to the local chapter of the food bank in her city, CHIEF COOKS & BOTTLE WASHERS. On her first day the application was accepted, and the group she met with were very excited to have her in their program. It was an upstart that had started only several years ago with good intentions. The marketing started clearly, funds were uplifting, and this non-profit was building their name. Before the group knew what was happening, they came to find the door to the building closed and locked. It seemed that another person had not pulled their weight and the place was near to closing down. "We need to keep helping the ones that knock on our door every day." Vera knew there was more to the story and promised to look into it. They gladly welcomed her and hoped that she could make a difference. The others in the group were smart and keen on many levels so she knew she was in good company.
Vera knew people, who knew people and it did not take long for her to find out the story behind the closing and the end to an important mission for the area and beyond. But before long the business was up and running again with a clearer picture. She met with the others, and they established a better picture with a secure business plan. The local bank was on board and their status was updated to be a worthy endeavor to assist. These stressful times needed more good works, not less.
CHIEF COOKS & BOTTLE WASHERS began offering cooking classes which Vera was promoted to and allowed to develop in her own way. The group members were first offered a taste test, so Vera put together her own potluck dinner to win favors. It was very well publicized as the new beginning of this non-profit business. The local newspaper made it to the event. So, the end result was a positive start to Vera's new life choice. She stepped aside for a moment and watched everyone enjoying the celebration. It was then that she had a flash back to the time spent with Ben. She had no idea why now but wondered where he was and how his life was now that ten years had gone by. Happy voices cheered and she was brought back into the fold by several ladies who wanted to acknowledge her with a toast. It was a cup of hot cider everyone raised to welcome and acknowledge a new cook in the kitchen, Vera. Then everyone wanted her to say a few words. "Vera! Please say your best words for us to hear tonight!" And with that Vera was so humbled, but paused with a slight nod, approached the mic, looked up and saw Ben. He stood clapping with the others to wait for her to speak. Life stood still as she stared out, her jaw slackened. A woman stood next to Ben, and there were two young boys on his other side. They had to be his wife and children. Quickly she regained her posture, smiled and spoke to the attendees thanking them for trusting her in this huge commitment for the community and beyond.
She ended her talk knowing that the memory of the calling brought her to today, yet it took her back to a glimpse of the past that she knew was never gone.
"I'll think about it was never an option."