1.22.2010

Solace in the Silence

I find life funny. Ironic funny. Sometimes 'haha' funny. Mostly ironic funny. Nevertheless, it amuses me how people work. How they interact. How they relate to each other (or don't relate, for that matter).

When you live alone, life is often quiet. You find the more noise the better, but then when there is too much noise, you get lost in your own mind. You get lost in your own mind because you're more comfortable there...it's where you spend most of your time.

It's worse if your personal space has been violated at some point by a break-in, etc. The silence scares you. It frightens you that possibly tonight might be a night where you wake up at 2am to the police pounding on your front door. That you may wake up and a robber is taking your possessions. That at some point, when you're not paying enough attention, your life may be violated again. This fear sticks with you years after the first incident occurs.

When people come to stay, you make them feel at home. You do your best to make them an essential part of your life. You strive to make them feel as comfortable as possible, so that maybe they won't leave too soon. Maybe they'll stick around long enough that you feel safe to be alone again.

Yes, this is all true.

It's frightening because you don't want to latch onto these people too strongly as to scare them away, but what is too strong? Each person is different. Each person has their own personal space that they need. Each person feels differently. So you open your heart and your home to people to love and care for them. Then when they leave, you're petrified they will leave forever. This fear will rarely be abated. It's frightening when the silence sets in.

Yet there's solace in the silence. There's calm. There's contentment. The daily routine continues. But the fear those people will reject you lingers on.

I say this to you, as a little gem of advice: when you encounter someone in your life who lives alone (especially at a fairly 'young' age), have kindness and compassion for them. Don't laugh too hard when they talk a little too much. Don't freak out when they try to lure you back into their home and heart. They get lonely. You've got peoples. (Despite the fact that I genuinely believe that kitties and puppies are peoples, too.) Remember that they are yearning for your attention because they genuinely care for you and like your presence in their life, but when they're alone so much, it's tough to differentiate between the silence and the noise. It all runs together.

1.17.2010

Images of Destruction

UN Photo/Logan Abassi


This picture brought tears to my eyes. Not just because she is looking for water, or because her country was just destroyed. It brought tears to my eyes because despite all that sadness and destruction, there is a giant smile plastered on her face.

Thanks to the UN for giving me the opportunity to see this photo and be touched by it. See more here: UN Haiti Earthquake Photos

1.16.2010

My Wish For The World

I'm sure most of you know about the massive earthquake that happened in Haiti. If you don't, you should probably read the news a bit more often. Really, this is big.

Some of us knew Haiti was in trouble before the earthquake. We knew that there was a poverty rate of 80% and that it is the nation in the worst shape in the Western Hemisphere. We knew that the humanitarian situation in the nation was deplorable and that there was virtually no way out or up. Now the world is aware, because of an earthquake. This earthquake brought havoc upon the tiny island of Hispanola. The images brought forth by media and other humanitarian workers on the island are those of heartache and disaster. In the midst of it all, there is still happiness. Somehow these people, despite their great misfortune, are binding together and finding as much happiness as they can in singing, new life and finding loved ones.

This got me thinking. I started thinking about my research and about all the things I have seen and heard through the years. I thought about the possible reasons why we don't realize the extremity of a situation until it is dire. Why do we not realize that difficulty and trouble exists before it becomes tragic? This same anomaly occurred when the levees burst in New Orleans. We knew they had a hard time down there and we knew that the levees were not stable. It took a hurricane for something to change. Why is it that we continue to be reactive instead of proactive when it comes to humanitarian work, but when it comes to oil and money we are more proactive than we could ever imagine?

My wish for this world is that we begin being more proactive instead of reactive when it comes to people. That we realize it is more about others than ourselves, because when we make it about others, we get a better return on that than we could ever imagine. I wish that we realize that it's not about condemning but about accepting differences and figuring out how to work with and through them. I wish that this world continues to support its people as it does during natural disasters, but also does so every other day of the year.

I don't do good deeds to get recognition. I do good deeds because it's what you do. Because it's what I was raised to do. If the rest of the world responded that way, I'm pretty sure it would be a better place to live.

1.05.2010

New Life

As I type this post, one of my best friends is giving birth for the first time. She is bringing into the world a beautiful little girl that will become a part of our lives forever. She will call me 'Auntie Meig' and grow up to learn all sorts of things (including how to use words like 'onomatopoeia' and 'audacious'). I cannot wait to meet her!

This gets me thinking about my own life and where it is going. As I'm sure many of you have heard me say, 'I don't need to have my own kids to have my own children.' This fact is just as true today as it was when I first said it. I am not rushing around trying to find a husband so I can pop some kids out because those things are not necessary for me to function in every day life.

Yes, it would be easier if I had a man around to do a few things like, say, clean the car off in the morning when it snows, mow the lawn (so I don't have to pay the neighbor kid to do it - allergies prevent me from doing it myself), hold the ladder when I change the screens/storm windows, help me take out and put in the air conditioners, drive me places when I get tired of driving myself, and the list could go on and on...

But quite honestly, I do just fine taking out the air conditioner with the help of a random friend (or their significant other :)), I do just fine propping the ladder up and going up and down it to do the windows (although this year Billy helped me, thanks!), I pay the neighbor kid to mow my lawn which gives him a task and a sense of responsibility, and as much as I despise it, I do just fine getting up a little early in the mornings when it snows and going out to brush off the car, turn it on, lock the doors and going back in the house to finish getting ready. I am just fine on my own.

If I find someone that I want to spend the rest of my life with and who wants to tolerate me for the rest of theirs, so be it. I'm not opposed to getting married, please don't think that at all. I just realized that for a number of years all I did was pine, search, whine, search, moan, groan and it brought nothing but a pain in my heart and nothing to my soul. It was time to find happiness for myself. If someone else comes along and makes me happier, great, but for now? I'm happy being me. :) Someday I hope to be able to adopt children. To take them out of the horrors of the 'system' and give them a loving home they can call their own. Give them opportunities they never thought they would ever have. Believe in them when they thought no one else would or could. Show them that everyone is important and that they are special to me in a way that no one else is.

Until that day, I'll spoil my nieces and nephews and love on them like they are my own children like my beloved Aunt Penny did to hers. I will continue to strive to be more and more like the beautiful soul she was and saw in me.