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Thursday, September 4, 2008

when it rains it pours

Yesterday was one of those emo days.
I've gotten to the point of emotional exhaustion. It was slow and steady, but it was coming. My stomach starting tensing up a week ago and I haven't slept through a night in a while.
Yesterday I headed to Lush after work, but Lauren (my manager) had overscheduled and she asked me if I just wanted to take the night off. I was pretty happy about that but I didn't really know what to do. Lush is in Center City which is the downtown area of Phila. Specifically I work in the Rittenhouse Square district which is very very fancy. I walked down to Rittenhouse Square which is this beautiful (I can't emphasize that enough) park in the middle of it all. Then I just sat down and did absolutely nothing. On Wednesday nights they have free concerts so they were setting up for that. Their was quite a subtle buzz around the park but I just sat there and stared up into the trees. I realized I don't think I had sat down and thought clearly about nothing in weeks. I felt so calm and it was really nice.
This man came over to shine my shoes. I resisted because I didn't have any cash to pay him but he insisted. We had a really good conversation and he was telling me about how much he loves his job and about all the people he gets to meet. It was really refreshing.
The band that played was The Hustle, they were really good. I realize I really love live music. Also I need to find something creative to do with my time and my self. Human beings were made to create art and express themselves. It's not done enough.
They are a Philly band and one of their songs was about Philly and it was really good. It made me realize how much I've grown to love this city and loathe it at the same time.

I ended up getting pretty emotional. The night was very carefree and I haven't exprienced that carefreeness in so long. I feel like I'm losing something that I can't describe in words but that is disappearing day by day. I feel so weighed down and overwhelmed at times and I just miss being carefree. I just miss living almost. I spend so much time thinking about living. Thinking about my bank account, thinking about my grocery list, thinking about my clients, thinking about my job, thinking about the things in this world. I've lost all concepts of peace. When you think so much about living, then you're not really living.
I started crying and I wasn't sure why. I was sad and exhausted and yet still very thankful. Everyday is so hard and when I say hard I mean it feels like I'm running up against a wall but not breaking through at all.

I went home and read a book that has never failed at picking me up out of my 'woe is me' moments. It's by Dr. Seuss and it's called 'Did I ever tell you how lucky you are?' It's a wonderful book. Here is the last few lines:
Thank goodness for all of the things you are not!
Thank goodness you're not something someone forgot,
and left all alone in some punkerish place
like a rusty tin coat hanger hanging in space.
That's way I say, "Duckie!
Don't grumble! Don't stew!
Some critters are much-much,
oh, ever so much-much,
so muchly much-much more unlucky than you!"
I don't read the book to make myself feel happy because I'm not poor or homeless. I don't think it's fair to poor or homeless people that their lack of things is a factor that makes the rest of us so much better off. But I do read it to remind me that there are people out there in dire situations just like mine. However, I know that in a year or two, I'll go back to school or get a better paying job and things will get better and than I will be able to make a difference with the privelege I've been given and the knowledge I have.
Some people are in the situation I'm in, or work in the emotionally demanding field of social work and never have the power or voice to bring themself out of it or make sustainable and systemic change. I've been given a voice and knowledge and I can make a difference, and that gives me a responsibility and makes me lucky.
The man who has it doesn't want it
The man who wants it doesn't need it
The man who needs it doesn't know it
At the same time, I should realize the issues in our world without taking things to seriously or worrying myself to death. I can't make a change by myself and no one expects me to. I think I should spend more time enjoying myself while working to ensure that others have the ability to share in that enjoyment in their own lives. As Lila Watson an Australian Aborigine speaking to mission workers stated "If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together."

I can enjoy my life, I need to, I have the opportunity to while so many others don't and it would be a shame to waste it. I need to have fun, do stupid things, dance and laugh and sing loudly, spend time with friends and just be. I can't forget how important it is to live the live I've been given and ensure that those around me can live theirs as well. Yet while still wearing the responsibility that comes from understanding that if one of us isn't free, than none of us is free. Use what you love to do to change the world. Enjoy your life and ensure that those that work with you enjoy the same privelege. Did I ever tell you how lucky you are.

Quote: We run into serious problems when people confuse random acts of kidness with a social strategy. Robert Egger (but don't stop doing nice things when you can!)

Song: The Hustle http://www.myspace.com/thehustleband

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