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I got so nervous when I started to feel differently, when the hair on my arms didn’t shoot toward the sky every time I heard your voice. I was driving the coast, on my way up to LA when I noticed it for the first time: You were on the radio. Which, we talked about, I know: about how it’d probably happen, how you were too good not to blow up, how you’d probably be busy on weekends once the gigs started rolling in, but it still caught me off guard when I heard it because that sunken ship in my stomach gave everything away.
We are living our values within the confines of real life. As someone who has fairly recently dropped out of and then back into “real life”, I can say with confidence that it is a hell of a lot harder to be intentional as a “regular” person. The pressure to conform is everywhere and the landscape is slashed with deeply worn ruts of tradition and normalcy. Living intentionally among mainstream society means constantly having to define and defend your values, even to yourself. It can be exhausting. It’s tempting to fall into the nearest groove and let yourself be carried away for a while on the current of commonplace.
I understand now why people join communes, cults, and convents.
We all come to Haiti the first time knowing one thing; Haiti is poor. Somehow our minds must assume poor means stupid. We further disempower the poor when we hold that attitude. Poverty means disempowerment and a lack of freedom to reach full potential. We can unknowingly be a part of adding to that system. The poor are already trapped in deep, complex interactions of social, political, economic, religious, and cultural systems.
But where are those people called by God to step down, leave behind, earn less, influence fewer, to follow? Does God only call His Son to downward mobility? Or does God call me downward too and I fail to recognize His voice because it sounds too backward?
The best thing about figuring out what you want, is that it’s fun.
Take 15 minutes today, focus on what you really want. Write it down. Cross it off if you decide you don’t want it, add in more if you want more. Make another list of everything you don’t want.
I feared that I would one day look back on my life and see the trappings of modern success and regret that I hadn’t embraced more adventure and lived with more meaning. Could life really be best spent worried about the latest Social Media tool, playground politics and what’s coming on TV? I was running through the days, going through the motions, and that busyness was beginning to lead to an overwhelmingly depressing feeling of emptiness. It was time to wean myself from my steady diet of distractions.
It’s hard to accept something you know very little about and that’s especially true for young children. Having a buddy with special needs will allow your child to accept that being different doesn’t mean being less valuable and soon they will see everyone as equal members of society. It’s one thing to read a book about people with special needs, but it’s an entirely different thing altogether to invest in a friendship — which is three-dimensional and real — with someone who’s different than they are. It’s a hands-on opportunity to learn that everyone has something to offer in this world
So yesterday I went to super Target and I did not cry. I even *gasp* bought a Starbucks coffee and didn’t have guilt (ok maybe a little but not much). I wrote sponsor letter and gave a family gift to the three boys we sponsor and was thrilled I could. I cried in the car on the way to carpool. And today I’m getting ready for the magazine people to come to my home next week and I even bought some pillows for our bed (even though I self righteously told Shuan Groves I would not under any circumstances be buying anything for my house because of this shoot).
Real Or Not Real?
Some people don't need a 'reason' to live.
Living is their reason.
They are very blessed or have worked very hard.
That is not possible for all of us, all of the time.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you work, you hurt all over
inside and out, under and in the fine veins of your left pinkie toe.
You can feel your heart. It hurts.
I know I said "poor" in item #10, but I was being lazy. I'm sorry. What I really meant was "broke." Don't get some chip on your shoulder about how disenfranchised you are because all you have is a liberal arts degree and 100 Top Ramens. It will make you sound silly and careless. Some people have been systemically disadvantaged their entire lives and now they live in their cars and don't even have Bottom Ramen. Here's an easy way to tell the difference: If you got arrested, do you have someone that could bail you out of jail? If the answer is yes, then you are broke and not poor. "Poor" is not a game. You are "broke."
I longed to have children, and we were finally at a place of attaining certain goals that would allow me to step back from working full-time so we could start a family. And the irony is that he began pushing for a baby right when he started his affair. And since I knew something was going on—even when I didn’t know how bad it really was—I knew adding a baby into the mix wouldn’t “fix” anything. So I’m the one who made the decision to wait. Because I needed to be sure we were okay.
Here's where it gets murky: No one knows exactly who is providing the would-be troops with those new vehicles, guns and Get Money jackets. Some think Martelly is doing some behind-the-scenes maneuvering, others believe that anti-Martelly factions within the government are, at worst, looking to instigate a coup d'etat, or, at best, make Martelly look bad. I've heard that they're being funded by Duvalier, who is raising the money from among Haiti's largest and wealthiest families, and also by a well-known drug runner who wants to see UN troops outed in favor of more corruptible local troops. Another theory is that the US government is behind it all. According to a friend, "On the one hand, the ambassador says Haiti doesn't need an army that the US is providing support to the police. Secretly, military and political high-ups are creating plans at the embassy to strengthen the army. They've already given Martelly guns for the army."
If someone gives me a compliment, the voices inside immediately tell me, “That person’s opinion doesn’t count. They don’t know what they’re talking about. You can’t trust those words. Brush it off. Discount it and dismiss it before it has a chance to land on your heart.”
If someone insults me or hates on me though, I tend to do just the opposite. “Wait a second, this guy, this guy who said something bad about me, he knows what he’s talking about. He’s smart, he’s got me pegged. I should really take this guy’s words to heart. I should really mull over those words and consider them. This guy gets me.”