Tuesday, June 21, 2011

REBUILD: Trying To Keep The Fire Burning

Sometimes I get into a slump but what quickly shakes me out of it is to notice my surroundings. Do I belong in a homeless shelter? No. Can I do something about it? Yes.

I have not met ONE person here with a positive outlook about life. Everyone complains and becomes depressed and tries to shoot down the dreams of others. Most people are nice, but at the same time, there is a lot of criticizing and backbiting, just like in the outside world.

So now I have a job and everyone makes a comment about how proud they are of me. I find this interesting because to people who know me FOR REAL, being a waitress is a disappointment but to the people in this shelter, I am doing big things.

I was in the trailor for mothers and children but a family became homeless and moved in about a month ago. I didn't want to stay in there with a family so I opted to move back out onto the patio and sleep on a mat. There's this 500 pound man who lives here and he's always saying that he doesn't want to be the creepy old guy but I tell him that he already is.

His "room" is a section of the patio that is closed off from the rest of the place and he can enjoy some sense of privacy. His roommate moved out and I have been sleeping in a chair in his room, where the internet connection is the strongest for some reason.

Everyday I listen to him complain about everything. He hates he food. He hates the weather. Everyone is crazy. Everyone annoys him. He hates his life. The only time he says something positive is when he's talking about me, which I don't believe because I can't be the only positive part of his equation.

So now I have two jobs and if I want to work them both I'll have to take taxi cabs or something. That's no problem for me, but there are others here who think I'll NEVER be able to get my own place while working at Denny's. They come up with all kinds of reasons why I won't be able to make it happen.

I know I can.

And even on those days when my faith becomes a little shaky, I just take a deep breath and make a new video. I lay another brick toward my success.

One of my old college friends posted a picture of an honor of being chosen as the top 40 under 40 professionals in our area. I wondered what she did to earn that and I wondered if my efforts will ever pay off. I'm not a professional but I take more risks than most. I take the risk of not being in situations that make me feel sad. I take risks of doing what I love NOW instead of waiting for permission. I take risks of being my authentic self instead of pretending to be who I think people want me to be.

So far, being ME hasn't paid off. I get nothing but head shakes and eye rolling and sighs of exasperation as people tell me I need to get it together.

My friend's fiance said that to me last week as I stood out in the sun collecting donations with my bucket. "When are you going to get it together?" he said with a disgusted look on his face.

And you know what? Even on those days as I watch others prosper or those days when men look at me in disgust, you know what I do? I just, decide to take another step toward my goal. I lay another brick. I write another article. I make another phone call. I read another book.

I try to do SOMETHING to keep the fire burning. As long as it's lit, I'm okay.



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