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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

if you had one chance

What does it take to change the world?

What does it take to end poverty?

What does it mean to be a leader?

I feel like this year has moved me closer to those answers and more. On Sunday, Philadelphia was hit with a wave of hail and a sporadic thunderstorm. Large pellets of water fell from the sky, pushing their way into the earth and flooding away the remnants of the winter. On Monday as I was walking to the subway I noticed there was a different smell in the air, something new painting the world around me: green. Green is my favorite color and I have never appreciated it more. Spring had sprung and green, lush, verdant life was emerging from the earth.

A volunteer just told me that in her meeting with a new client she was able to find a job for him and line up a house. Green, lush, verdant life emerging from the earth.

We live in a world of possibilities. I know that the present year has been lauded as a crisis but it is something much more precious, an opportunity. It's a wake up call, we've been going in the wrong direction, being uselessly exessive and unnecessarily proud. We have a new opportunity to make things better and more useful. If anything, we have been shown that we need to include more perspectives and voices in the work we do. We've got to realize how we are all connected, how our actions have consequences, not just for us but for so many others. We've got to keep up our enthusiasm in the face of seeminly immovable boundaries and we've got to be smart and understand the future as it relates to our actions in the present.

Green, lush, verdant life emerging from the earth. My life is my one chance to make in impact. There must be a God in this world, the way the earth seems with life. Yet we are here too and God flows through us. Has given us a piece of himself in hopes that we can all work together to bring this world to a greater place. And I am here to answer the call. I know that change is possible.

The challenge wasn't whether to buy a couple of bottles of champagne; it was instead not to take or privelege for granted and to use it in a way that served the world and our highest purpose.
Jacqueline Novogratz

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rise Above!!

My God is the God of sunrises,the God of running into old friends because a traffic jam made you late.The God of cool breezes,who leaves lessons for life in the flowers.My God is the God of teachers just when you need them,and silver linings revealed when you had given up hope.The God that laughs when you make plans,but ensures you always get where you need to be.My God is the God of sunsets, who hugs you when a door is slammed shut,and winks at you through the window cracked open.My God is the God of song and dance, who prefers this form of prayer,and delights in creativity, and other expressions of love. My God smiles at me from the moon and stars and reminds me that life is never not perfect. Allison Mills

Where have I been oh blog, away away away....

But I miss you so I'm back.

I haven't really been busy but I have. A lot of wonderful things have happened and a lot of not so wonderful things. I feel somewhat lost, and lonely. At times I really enjoy that feeling because when I there I feel closer to being found, how odd.

It feels good to come back to you and it feels to come back to things in general. I am struggling now with my concept of God and my faith and my spiritual connection to those around me. I feel there are many thoughts about God I have convinced myself to believe but I am finding my own now. My own connection to a God that is bigger than me and anything I can create about him.

What I miss most now is community. A community centered around a common love. Does anyone else out there miss those things as well? I am wondering now how I can create those for myself. I'm not sure if I ever had those in my church, although I think that was the point. But my heart longs for something more real. Not things I have to convince myself of. Things that don't take effort but just are because they are. I long for authenticity.

I am thinking about moving to another apartment in Philadelphia. This saddens and excites me for many reasons. I love the little home that I created for myself but I long to be apart of a house and have others to come home to. But maybe this is the time for me to be in my own space. To leaern more about my place in this big world.

I'm also studying for the GRE and researching grad schools. It feels like the right time. I know what I want out of a program and I feel lead to this place in my life.

It has been a very rainy day in Philadelphia. I did not feel like doing much work and fortunately neither did many people in my office. But we did have a rush of clients at various points so that really brought us back to reality. It was a nice day, I really do enjoy overcast days. Sometimes the sun can just be so bright and overcast seems like a needed reprieve from all that.

So I have adopted this mentality in life now. It is called Rise Above. A couple of weeks ago I found myself becoming really negative and being dragged down by external forces. I decided to just let go of all that and rise above. To focus on the bigger things, respond not react and live a life I can be proud of. It is has been so refreshing. When you feel the rip currents of negativity pulling you in, rise above!

I got a new journal cause I had gotten close to the end of my old one. I usually never finish a journal just get a few pages to the end and then stop. I leave pages at the end cause there is always more to the story. But my journal has proven to be a faithful friend.

I guess, thats it....

For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again. Benjamin Button.

Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, not small, but valuable. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void. Kathleen Kelly.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

at this point in my life

I can't believe this week went by so fast.

Wonderful things have been happening in our office and in the lives of the people we work with. I am blessed, its been good and has brought a smile to my heart.

Today when one of our volutneers was trying to find a job for the client she was working with, she found a cruise ship singer position. So she asked out loud, "can anyone sing." At that moment all of the clients in the office began belting out their favorite tunes. It wasn't long before the volunteers joined in. It was magical. Although the answer to that question was a definitive no and so the job search continues.

I can see the joy we bring people and we're bringing it all day long.

And there are days it feels daunting, absolutely. Particularly when you look at the dropout numbers, and when you look at what's not serving the students in the United States well. But then there are other times, you know, days like these when you're in a small school like this and it's exhilarating because you see the possibility. And it's the possibility that makes us keep working on this. Melinda Gates

Monday, March 2, 2009

saw it there

A snow storm rolled in last night and today our offices and most places in the city are closed. I came in today to e-mail the volunteers and call clients. All things, I realized, I could've done from home. I intended to stay for just an hour but of course I got into my e-mails. And then I need to purchase some plane tickets back to Ft. Lauderdale for next week. And then there was just some things to set up for upcoming absence from the office.

So now it is 12:20 and I am still here. Not really wanting to leave. Not that I'm a workaholic, I just feel comforted being in the office. A certain since of normalcy. You blink these days, and everything changes. I might go downtown to Rittenhouse. It is my favorite place to be when it snows.