Evolution, Part 2: Work + Welcome

Maybe angry isn’t exact; anger is a flash. This was more of a deep resentful annoyance over unaccountability and team members who chose not to participate. Had I been in charge, I would have required everyone contribute to the outcome. Admittedly, this stands as solid evidence as to why I shouldn’t ever be in charge.

There was work to be done. Retrospectively, I can attribute unintentional engagement; works in progress. Still, the split bothered me.  Eventually, even the committed became distracted by their uncommitted peers, gathering in small groups around a pool table, a punching bag, and a ping-pong table. The pool players played with others outside our group. There was a proper punching bag technique demonstration by two also outside our group. As for the teens playing ping-pong without paddles, tosses became wilder, volleys less controlled, and soon the game bore no resemblance to a game, at all.  This make-it-up-as-you-go-along ball flinging frenzy didn’t sit well with me. Despite the interpretation, this wasn’t intentional downtime.

At least not being in charge leant me some perspective. If someone lacks a volunteer heart, no amount of pushing will mold it into one. I was honestly just let down; bummed. Unfortunately that disappointment turned into high-energy annoyance when one of the players laughed loudly and shouted, “Is this what being homeless is like?”

I understand youth are youth. I also understand the weak correlation. No paddles, doing without, making the best of things, finding another way to play. I don’t understand how those words left anyone’s mouth while in the presence of more than one homeless unfortunate. I don’t understand the lack of impress; how do you not know where you are and why you are there? No one else seemed to notice or react. Without discussion or direction it is probable that ignorance and impropriety would remain ignorance and impropriety.

Loosely congealed, we wandered into the lunch line. I didn’t completely understand. Due to short shifts, I had never been fed as a Cass volunteer. I had never stood on a lunch line. I conjured up the expectation of cold sandwiches and chips. I imagined meeting and eating with other volunteers. What I imagined was segregation. I never even considered sharing the same meal in the same space with the women and children and men standing patiently between gaps in volunteers, waiting for the gift of a good, solid meal for themselves or their children. I never expected to feel as if I were unworthy of receiving. I knew I was as welcome as anyone. I also knew I had a granola bar in my pocket that would hold me.

I thought of stepping out; stepping away with a lavatory excuse. I labored with this until it was my turn to follow through. At that point, there was no way to bow-out without having to explain. Instead of creating a fuss, I accepted a plate, requesting smaller portions than were offered to those before me, skipping items. The only beverage offered was fruit punch. Allergy wise, my history with fruit punch isn’t positive, so I made do with chewing ice, and eating slowly to match the cadence of my table mates. I still didn’t eat slowly enough to avoid sitting with an empty plate, hands folded. I occasionally made what I thought might be a friendly or cute comment with not much response. Mostly, I was just awkward, caught between age groups, layers of unexpected feelings and thirst.

Really, I just wanted to work.

Quote for the Week:

Expecting to be treated differently than others better than or worse than

Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:

Conquer Frustration: http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/conquer-frustration/

Not Everybody Should Lead: http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2013/01/23/why-youre-not-a-leader/

Statistics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness_in_the_United_States

 

 

simply non-absorbing

Canceled flights, postponed meetings, put downs, over-waiting, under-eating, the over-ignored melancholy of having missed the importance of affections; meltdown. The unusually stacked, short-time string of dismissals tweaked me one tiny notch too far.

The result was a temper tantrum; the kind that comes about when I haven’t gotten my way in a really long time. The sort pressure-cooker steam-off that surfaces when my worths (self or external) are ignored or devalued.

I never know when that’s going to be. I only know when I get there.

It wasn’t entirely my fault. Truly, I may have been headed toward angry-ville anyway, but I had an over-sufficient amount of help getting there. A few fast-run to dead-stop power kicks helped punt me through the uprights, and the wide-open door to furyland.

I could have kept shrugging my shoulders, knowing from experience, the weight of the world loses its heft when you religiously exercise the muscles holding it up. I just chose not to.

Instead, I walked away. Literally, down sidewalks, around corners, unconcerned. If my random turnings turned me around, GPS would just have to guide me back. As usual, I made it on my own. A few miles and almost an hour later, I was tangled up in spent.

I de-shoed, de-capped, de-socked and de-shorted and decided I couldn’t decide what needed to happen next. Too confused to eat, too upset to make sense; too watery-eyed to read texts, I couched.

I really do try to avoid confrontations. It wasn’t always that way, and it’s not that easy for me now. Even though a trying moment might have ended, I can’t always get over it. I can’t always let go.

I’d like enlighten, enrich, and make the world a better place by pointing out bad faith and false profession, but history has shown there’s not much success in that approach.

I try not to tell it like it is, and give myself credit for having learned something over the years.

Nobody wants to hear the truth. Nobody wants to know if they are bossy, or inconsiderate, or lazy… or bordering on mean for no good reason. I know this, because I’m one of those nobody’s too.

I’ve examined the clichés, the verses and the proverbs. I cannot find any evidence to support the notion that we are all supposed to be sop-ups. Nothing requires any of us to be an emotional sponge.

Soaking in the dramatic static of others’ lives just isn’t healthy; repeated wringing wears away our civil surface and unprotects the soul.

So, while I strive to seem pacifistically accepting, I embrace an entirely different definitive power beneath my stoic surface. This is my solvent and my equilibrium.

I am no longer swaying with or subscribing to the soak and squeeze.

I am only self-obligated to osmose the good stuff, at my determination.

If there can’t be any of that, I’ll stand here silently; simply non-absorbing.

Quote for the week:

I am responsible. Although I may not be able to prevent the worst from happening, I am responsible for my attitude toward the inevitable misfortunes that darken life. Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have life itself.  ~ Walter Anderson

Enjoy this week’s discovery links:

Osmosis for Kids: http://www.ehow.com/info_8650496_osmosis-kids.html

Minimize Drama: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/7-crucial-steps-to-minimize-drama-in-your-life/

In-depth Goal Posting: http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-build-a-goal-post/index.html

Soaking in the dramatic static of