Saturday, May 28, 2011

REBUILD: I Am Not A Saint

My sister came to visit me yesterday when I was out vending the newspaper. My phone charger broke so she came to let me borrow one of hers since I was in her neighborhood.

I heard her call my name from the side of the street and I looked over and waved. When I grabbed my bookbag and approached her car she gave me a hurt look.

"I don't want you doing this project anymore," she said. "Do you know how you were looking out there?"


"Pitiful. Sad. Homeless."

I laughed and said, "My whole body is hurting."

It was. We are dropped off by 7am to our posts for the day and we spend all day weaving through traffic with our buckets hoping that someone will give a handout. It is a humbling experience and yesterday, for the first time, I cried while walking through traffic.

I was thinking, "What did I do with my life? Is this what I deserve?"

I walked over to the median and leaned against the pole there and sobbed for a minute or so, ignoring the people driving by. Then I wiped my eyes and began walking and waving through the traffic as usual, my legs stinging with each step.

A black man with dreads waved me over. When I reached his window he said, "Is that you? Did I see you on the news?"

I lowered my gaze and nodded. "Yeah, that was me."

"You really did that?"

"Yes. And I'm still homeless."

"Courageous Sis," he said before dropping a few coins in my bucket.

"Thank you, sir."

To get through my day I tell myself that everyone needs my smile today to survive. When I walk through the traffic I smile brightly and wave, sending out positive energy to everyone, wishing that they all receive a miracle. I say "I love you." in my mind to each person, regardless of whether they give or not.

When I'm walking I look down at my legs and although I am in pain from walking so much I remain grateful to have legs. I'm serious. I see so many people in pain or with missing limbs that I am grateful to have all my parts and from watching the people in the homeless shelter deteriorate slowly, I am scared to think about my future as an elderly person.

From living in the homeless shelter, the main lesson I've learned is that we have to sow good seeds in life. One man I met there is in pretty bad health and he says his family told him to go fuck himself. No one wants anything to do with him and now I see why.

He's a bastard and I mean that in the most awful sense of the word. The crazy part is, he knows it. He says that he has made people cry over how he views life and the world. He has a mean streak that I haven't witnessed the fullness of, but he has said some mean things to me and about others like, "the sound of her voice makes my ass bleed." Ewww.

Apparently he's been that way, criticizing and trying to hurt people's feelings, all of his life and now that he is in need, no one wants to help him.

He said he called his brother and said, "Everyone here likes me." His brother replied by saying, "Wait until they get to know you."

Which makes me think about the type of person I am and I wonder if my last days will be filled with conversations with strangers in a down trodden homeless shelter. I don't make time for romantic relationships because I am too afraid of being taken advantage of and I have very few friends because random conversations about gossip and entertainment and foolishness don't appeal to me.

People read my writing and hear about my project and they think I'm some kind of saint. That is sooo not true. I am NOT a nice person and I am not friendly. If I met you, I'd be courteous, respectful and helpful if you need it, but I won't go out of my way to be friends and if I don't get a good vibe from you, I have no problem never speaking to you again and letting you know in the nicest way.

I have flaws that affect my entire life experience, like the mistrust I have for men, and I have anxiety that causes me to close inside my shell and live in my own imaginary world. I can be a big time bitch sometimes, especially to men. Sometimes it baffles me that they even approach me because I give off no signals to welcome them and I do not want their advances at all.

For years I've battled with the parts of myself that I know are not so pleasing and it wasn't until I began to study psychologist Carl Jung's work that I made the connection that all parts of me are equal and I must accept everything about me in order to completely say I love myself.

This doesn't mean I don't try to improve, it simply means I can stop beating myself up for not being perfect and behaving in the most graceful ways all the time.

I do believe in the theory of karma and the belief that our actions create an equal reaction through vibrations they send out. The more we criticize and demean others, the more we receive the same thing. In this sense, I'm looking back over my life and I see more good than bad. I see more triumph than struggle and although things look bleak right now, I'm waiting patiently for my karma to return.

Here's a video explaining why I'm doing this project.


I'm not mean. I'm just, not friendly or social and I prefer my own company to the company of others. People call me mean because i won't come "play" but really I'm in my own world studying and learning, which is what's fun for me.

The only people who can call me mean, are people who have been mean to me and I got fed up. Otherwise, I'm cool, but I don't chase friendships or beg for acceptance or approval. I don't need it and I keep to myself, so people think I'm stuck up or mean.


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