I am not the same.
Who I was when I came home on Friday afternoon is not the same person that left it Monday morning.
Gandalf: Well, all good stories deserve embellishment. You'll have a tale or two to tell of your own when you come back. Bilbo Baggins: ...Can you promise that I will come back? Gandalf: No. And if you do... you will not be the same.I live and breathe the Lord of The Rings trilogy and am absolutely in love with The Hobbit. The history of Middle Earth is the closest thing I have to holy book. And this exchange between Bilbo and Gandalf perfectly sums out how I feel at the end of this work week. The job I have is a constant adventure, and this week, at my core...the very source of my being, has fundamentally changed. Forever. But before I get crazy, you should know some things about me.
I grew up Catholic, so my need for a false idol to replace the God I read about when I read the story of Babble, makes sense to me. I need a figure. And I love the traditions of my childhood faith. It's the most bizarre thing. I don't agree with the church at times, and I find their God a little wacky...but I can not fully leave it in my past. At Christmas I love to listen to the lecture, on Ash Wednesday I will usually make an attempt to get ashes, on any given Sunday I am totally in love with singing hymns of my past, and when I feel depressed I go to a Catholic church and I kneel and I pray. Then I went to University and had Jewish friends who told me of their holiness and I fell in love with how they spoke of their religion, and I took a class on Tibetan Buddhism that made my soul light up from the inside. I spoke with Atheist who made me uncomfortable in the best of ways. I had physics classes that somehow let me know that I was about to make sense of the world in my own way. I took a drama course, that was the first class that literally taught me how to think, not what to think. And most importantly, I had a struggle. A struggle that forced me to find my faith, because I needed it.
Spirituality is NOT religion. Being spiritual just means you are in touch with your own divine self. - A. Pereria
And I renamed my god Eugene. Eugene is a really cool dude who I sometimes talk to when I'm not sure what I am doing, where I am going, or how I am feeling. I know Eugene isn't perfect, and he never claims to be. I know that some days he's had a rough time and he probably goes to the bar for a shot of tequila. I'm also sure that it is in those moments that I usually have an epic failure. But I give him a break because you know what, he isn't all knowing! And being someone's faith, that's a rough job...and every one makes mistakes and needs to take a break! And he screws up bad too. Another thing I like about Eugene is that he doesn't claim to be in control. He's made it very clear to me that people are in control of their own mind, body, and souls. But I believe they can make it better on their own. And I believe we have multiple lives to give us the opportunity to grow and change. Sometimes, with the way of the natural world, it's impossible to learn all the things your spirit is meant to learn in one lifetime. And I think Eugene's purpose is to help us, not to do it for us, or be in control of it for us. And that he can only help those who want it. Even if they need Him, they have to want Him before he can help. Which makes sense to me, so I'm down with his method.
So to sum it up. I'm basically Buddhist with some tweaks. But I have Eugene, and I love science, so...that's...that. :-)
Thank you, Neil
*Disclaimer: As I said, I feel I am of all religions. And I respect and honor those who have a different faith. All faith is beautiful at the core. I truly believe that. And I hope others can respect and honor my choices I have in my faith.
Live like there is no midnight. -Cinderella
Another thing you should know about me is that I actually believe in fairy tales. I either read them or listen to them most nights before falling asleep, and growing up, Disney movies were my comfort. A lot of people can't stand this about me, or they think I'm being fake. And I only know of one person who has seen that part of me, and liked it without ever questioning it. I love that person, and they will forever be a reminder that someone can really see me, and like me. Without doubt, and without asking, "Are you sure this is who you are?", and without laughing at it. That's how real my Princess complex is. I think what happened is I have believed I am a Princess for so long, and I have believed that my life is a fairy tale for so long, that it is now so apart of who I am, even thought I'm not 6 anymore. And you know what, I don't give a damn. I like it. It's what I love about myself. I have this amazing capability that even in the darkest of hours, I can still feel like I'm worth something, cause I'm a damn Princess! And I deserve a happy life! And I don't care if Prince Charming is along for the ride, I'm going to wear a crown anyways! *Whew, glad that's out of my system* My complex is who I am. And I love myself. It's not fake, it's genuine. And frankly dear, I don't give a damn if you believe it or not, because I do.
So those are two very, very real things about me. I'm a spiritual being, and I am a Princess.
Pain doesn't show up in our lives for no reason. It's a sign that something in our lives need to change.
If you don't already know, I work as an aide in a primary classroom for Emotionally Disturbed children. I work with the worst of the worst, because that is the kind of care we provide. These kids are aggressive, foul mouthed, and have this sense of entitlement that is beyond belief. But I can look past that those behaviors and see them, and understand them, and give them the love they most certainly deserve. It's a wonderful job. It's physically and mentally exhausting, and it's emotionally taxing, and it fills my life with meaning. I mean, when you tell anyone that you see them, and you mean it, it overwhelms them. When you tell it to a child who trusted people who were supposed to take care of them, and then were hurt, that you see them and you hear them, it overwhelms the both of you. Before I had this job, I had no idea that these kids existed in this world and working with them has given me a new lens of which I see life through. It is a gift I could have never gotten from someone else, and I am forever grateful.
But this week was in particularly hard, as you can imagine it would be for a calm spiritual being who is a Princess. We were short staffed, so that always creates some stress. But for some reason, when I learned about one of them it struck something inside of me. A terrible, horrible, inexcusable evil had been done onto the child and it changed me. To know that a child has been through that kind of terror is unforgivable to me, and it made me mad. And I wondered why I was suddenly feeling this way. I have known since day one that all of these kids have a story that is probably heart breaking and I can't say I would be any better if in their position. But for some reason, this week, it made me angry, and it made me hurt. These little ones that I spend my days with, who I care for so deeply, have faced real dragons and real monsters.
It took me back. I thought I was a badass for growing up poor and going to college. And I used to have a lot of resentment towards my parents for some of my childhood memories. But then, I know these children who are truly the most wonderful beings. So deeply hurt and in need of something pure. And suddenly, I find myself thinking, "I'm special. But I don't know if I'm a badass anymore." I never wondered if my parents loved me, and I always felt safe with them. I never ate out of a trash can. I didn't have to hoard food out of necessity. I had my own dragons to face, and they were 100% as terrible as they seemed. But I think about the monsters my kids face, and I don't know how they do it. Knowing their lives, and knowing their past, I am literally in pure awe of how some of them manage to get out of bed every day and come to school.
But I am so happy they do, for my life has been made better by them. They suffer, and they (sometimes) let me help them. What an honor, truly.
My struggle I think, now after putting it into words, is that I'm angry. I'm angry at the monsters that have hurt the children I work with. I'm angry that they stole their innocence, and didn't let them live in a fairy tale. I am most angry that other people don't get angry. Sometimes when I tell people the nightmares of my children, they are sorry. They are sorry that that happened to them. And that it is terrible. And then they go on about their days, talking about their designer clothes, luxury cars they desire, and which celebrity cheated on their spouse with another celebrity and they now will boycott all movies that celebrity participates in because that celebrity is a bad person. If that is your definition of a bad person, you don't know what horror is. I don't think you know what kind of evil is really out there. Brad Pitt leaving Jennifer Aniston because he fell in love with another woman isn't evil. That's human, and people were hurt, that's true. But he isn't evil, he isn't even a bad person. Neither is Angelina Jolie. And sometimes when I talk to people, that's who they imagine to be bad people. It makes me sad. It makes me angry.
And that is my current struggle. That so many others, consume themselves with people who just sin differently. There are REAL monsters that have done awful things to others. To children. That should make people angry and it should make them hurt. Not Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie being together. I don't know why, but I'm having a hard time finding a coping skill for that.
You're telling me!
I'm re-evaluating my beliefs and my priorities and what I want in my life. Things aren't coming in full circle for me. And this realization has shaken me. I lost a little Princess in me, I lost a little faith. And then I remembered...
Lack of passion is fatal. - Unknown
Where there is life, there is hope. I refuse to be beaten down by the system. I grew up in a wonderful home, with supportive and loving family, and the best of the best of friends! And I hope one day I can inspire others to make a change for ANYTHING they are passionate about. Whether it is children who have been wronged, or global warming, or how to improve our public education, or how to fold a fitted sheet. People lack passion. In general. And I realized that this week, and it's not ok with me. And someday, somewhere, somehow I'm going to help other people be passionate. Can you imagine what kind of world we would live in if every single one of us did what made our hearts leap? I know everyone that I work with has that, because to have my job, you have to love it. If you don't, you only kill yourself. But I want everyone to have that, because it's pure light.
I am forever changed, especially after these past two days, at my core. But that's what a good job, a good passion, and a good life does. It challenges your beliefs from time to time and makes you stop in your tracks and think, "What the heck am I doing?" And at first, I wasn't ok with that. Why the hell is this change thing happening and where did it from? It caught me off guard and I wasn't ready for it. But isn't that how the best things come to us, from left field? Even if it's hard, painful, difficult, or just plain crappy... when you find something or someone that makes you think and sets you on fire, that lights you up on the inside and radiates out, it's inspiring. Be inspiring. Spread the light.
Holy cow, are things coming in full circle for me? I knew they would, when I began to write. That's the beautiful thing about writing, it leads you down a path and you come to the other side and it is completely different from what you thought. But for me, one thing is for sure, whenever I write, I find peace.
Until next time.