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Monday, August 29, 2011

Current State of Affairs - (written) two weeks ago

I’ve been having some pretty solid pity parties recently. Like real solids. Like blanket on my floor with an empty bag of Milano cookies, watching SATC 2, eating pizza. I wouldn’t have to sit on the floor if the sofa I bought fit through my door but that didn’t happen how I had planned it. Last weekend I built several pieces of furniture that resulted in a smashed knuckle, a burnt knuckle, a totally wicked blood blister and bruised knees. Once thinking myself handy I’m beginning to re-evaluate the validity of that attribute. I’m blaming the increased pity parties to my nearing birthday which I’m getting less excited about. More pity parties about my single state of affairs. More pity parties about not being where I am in my life where I thought I would be. I wish I was kidding about this whole paragraph.

Just this last week, I had a monster sized zit on my chin. You know the blistering kind that just pitch a tent on your face waiting for you to exhaust all will power not to pick at it. You know, those kinds…I had one.

So embarrassed by it I stayed in Friday night, (which isn’t unusual for the introvert me but admittedly I did turn down plans with strangers so as not to be seen in my current state) and watched a movie with myself, shielding the public from the horror that was Mt. Vesuvius on my face.

However, at work we work hard to combat the ills and evils of the world. Ills and Evils I don’t know. Bill Foege, a fellow at the foundation and a gentleman instrumental in the eradication of small pox, recently gave a commencement speech to the Cal Berkley School of Public Health that I found absolutely inspiring. In it he talks about a society that doesn’t know the dangers and ills of the world that not too long ago was plagued polio, MMR, pertussis, Hep B, TB, and a host of other diseases, mostly prevented by vaccines and improved global health standards. We are further removed from that reality, which is a major accomplishment in the history of global health and mankind. However, this distance created has also made it difficult to connect to the issues where those preventable yet deadly diseases are very much a present day reality for those without access to vaccines, those still entrenched in poverty, lacking access to clean drinking water and a place to take a shit. Their reality is so much further from the world that we know in the bubbled first world.

So as I sit in my cozy, woefully under-furnished one bedroom apartment, unmarried, gainfully employed, with health insurance and my physical, mental and emotional health (that last one is questionable sometimes), tap water, clothes, a fridge of food (sort of), clean clothes from an electronically operated washer and drier. I am grateful for all the things I don’t have. Maybe I get a giant zit on my face every once and awhile, have a few extra pounds with a death grip on my ass and thighs and a sink full of dishes I’m too tired to do; but I don’t have a chronic disease; I don’t live within the bounds of poverty; I don’t worry about where my next meal will come from; I don’t suffer…at all really.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about what I don’t have in my life and have found myself very grateful.

For my friends who fed me tonight and sent me home with leftovers and truffles. For a faith and belief in goodness, service, forgiveness and agency. For sunny days, although few. For laughter, oh man I love to laugh. For popsicles, ceiling fans, and a sunroof. For access to health care, the interwebs, and freeways. For farmers markets and farmers. To be born in this time, space, longitude and latitude.

In this context of what I do/don’t have, I’ve decided to let go of the idea of where I thought I would be at this point. Its wasteful of time and energy to think of things that might have been or what you thought would be. In that vein, for those trying to let go of something, maybe now is the time.  If I can, you most certainly can.


Molly B said...

dear C,
i can really appreciate your honestly in this post and deeply empathize with your sentiment. something that usually makes me smile, or at least gives me pause about the little things in life is reading this: oh, and lots of chocolate(the good kind, ie. theos & frans).

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