Archives for the month of: May, 2013

We are all on a different path to find out why we were put on this earth. Some of us will spend years searching and not finding a purpose, but there are those that are lucky enough to find their passion; what makes them ignite. You see there is nothing more powerful, nothing more radiant then the human spirit set on fire.  Throughout history we find this to be true, every riot, march, you name it would not have been done successfully without someone’s spirit lit ablaze.  Resilient is one of the greatest things a human being can be; to be able to not give up when things get darkest is the bravest thing I have ever known. We are all on that path, we all have that human spirit it is just a matter of setting it on fire or not. 

I would like to think that I have found the thing that makes my fire continue to blaze even when things have become darker than a starless night.  I use that fire to guide me and so far I think I have been able to succeed in my life. It has not been the easiest trip, but this trip is no where near over. I am excited for my future.

-S

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This post is going to just ramblings of my the everlasting tunnels that are intwined in my brain. 

I do not know where to begin accept that I am moving to Chicago the beginning of August and I am terrified. Knowing no one but the people on my team if that counts as knowing them trying to find housing with them is all we have in common at the moment. Which is fine I will really like them we all seem really down to earth. My service assignment for the year seems really interesting I will be working with Chicago House. 

This is their mission statement: “Chicago House and Social Service Agency serves individuals and families by providing housing, employment services, medical linkages, HIV prevention services, and other supportive services to those who are disenfranchised by HIV/AIDS, poverty, homelessness, and/or gender nonconformity. All Chicago House services are provided without discrimination and are explicitly designed to guide people towards wholeness and self-sufficiency.”

I could not be more thrilled to be working with them, I have so many high hopes for this program that I hope I can make a difference while I am there.

Now as far as Oklahoma goes, I am completely saddened by all those pour innocent children who have died. I work in Disaster Management and if my program was not ending so soon I would have most likely been deployed out there, I would have been terrified to work with those families but I also would have loved to be there giving a helping hand to those who needed it.

 

Also I don’t know why I named my post what I did. Enjoy
-S

“Don’t fight for your right, fight for what’s right.”
The amount of power in this phrase is beyond powerful. We forget to do the right thing because we fear that if we do the right thing we will get backlash, “No good deed goes unpunished” is what people break it down too.
I want to be the kind of man who will look back at my life and when my children (If I have any) asked me what I did back than, I want to say, “I did the right thing even when the right thing was hard to do”. We all should live by the simplest of rules, the most common of rules, look out for your fellow (wo)man.
In my anthropolgy class I had when I took a semester of college we were asked the simple question:
“Where do you keep your left over food?”
The obvious answer is, “The fridge”
That was not always the answer the ancient men and women had it right, they would answer by saying. “In the belly of your neighbor”.
That is what human decency is all about helping someone out, because one day you may be the one who needs helps, and the only way you will get it is by being a kind human being.
Never forget what it means to be alive and human.

“I told you to be patient, I told you to be fine
I told you to be balanced, I told you to be kind”
-Skinny Love by Bon Iver

I cannot help but to continue to write about the future, which is probably the greatest paradoxes of time since the future as they say, “Unwritten”. Moving to Chicago is in my future and that is the scariest thing to think about right now? I am moving back home for the first time in 10 months in June, than I pick up and leave again to go to Chicago, IL. I need to find a place to live and with a roommate and it is scary but it is so exciting at the same time, I am beyond scared but I am so blessed to have this opportunity. Like I have said before I do not have it all figured out, I don’t want to have it all figured out because that is the most boring concept that my 19 year old brain can come up with. 

I took a sort of impromptu road trip to Raleigh, North Carolina this past weekend, I learned a lot in my short time there… A friend of mine wanted to watch all her friends graduate from school (NC State University for those who were curious), these graduations were unique because when each graduate was called, they were able to thank people and tell the audience their future plans. Great idea but that instills the mentality that they HAVE to have a plan by the time that diploma is in their hands. The truth of the matter is not one of this people knows where the future will lead them, yes almost everyone did the generic; “I am going to continue my education and go to Vet science, etc etc…” But I can’t help but think that society has pre-determined our fate with education, we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on getting a degree then we are thrown to the wolves into the working world, none of us are ready.  We go to college to learn but you can be taught the material over and over again it still not learn a God damn thing, yes I value education and I have always been a learner and I will continue to learn until the day I die, but what shapes and makes you in your real world experience. In school I was not taught how to deal with having a terrible boss, or how to live with 3 messy roommates in one hotel room for two months.  Life is what will teach you, education gives you material but life will help you apply it and you will grow from it. If an opportunity comes your way and it may involve you leaving school for a semester or two, you better do it, because it will hit you in your forties when you realize you have wasted away in what could be a loveless marriage because you thought your college partner was the one for you, not realizing that this was your first and only serious relationship and you will think, “Fuck me, I should have worked on that farm in India, or I should have traveled more, etc…”

Do what you want now, there are only so many tomorrow’s and you may not be there for the next one…

-S

As I lay in my hotel room bed, which has truly begun to feel like home to me. I haven’t lived at home for 9 months now. By the time my program ends it’ll be 10 months I haven’t lived in my town. I have driven cross country volunteering all around America (mainly New Jersey, for Hurricane Sandy relief).

I have lived in Iowa, at what used to be a school for the blind

I then went to Anniston, Alabama for training at the Department for Homeland Security Center for Domestic Preparedness.

After that, Winchester, Virginia living in a hotel working at a call center.

Hurricane Sandy made landfall-That following weekend we were deployed to New Jersey, living at Fort Dix a military base. That by far was the most depressed I have ever become, looking back that is the weakest point of my life, but I made it through and I now realize what an experience living there was.

After that Montclair State University, lived there for 2 months

Finally we made it to the end of my service year-Washington, D.C. (also known as the happiest I have been all year) Back to living in an Extended Stay with 3 roommates, yes it is cramped but they are like brothers I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

So what is next? 

I received a job offer in Chicago, IL. I accepted this offer, for now. I will be working with people who have been affected by HIV and AIDS. I can’t imagine this next year being a walk in the park-if I go through with it and go move out there. I am still waiting to hear back from the college I applied too, if and when I am accepted I will choose to go there and continue my education. But for now Chicago here I come.

The future is unknown and I kind of like it that way-as scared as I am to move to a big city in the midwest, I am also excited for such an amazing opportunity. Is it 100% that I will be going? No, but I have the chance to so why not take it while it is there.

There are many things I want to do with my life, so many plans to be made, so many things to be done. I am trying the best I can to figure out my life, but I don’t have it all figured out. If anyone says they do, they are liars. 

I have until tomorrow at 5pm to decide on whether I want to move to Chicago to work with a program who help people who have been affected with HIV and AIDS. Such a big life decision to pick up everything and move out to the midwest by myself, get an apartment, begin working to changing the way people look at this terrifying disease, and hopefully helping those who need it. It is a huge move on my part, am I ready for something so big? I realize that past year has not been easy for me in the slightest, constantly on the move from state to state, working in disaster relief and now here I am in the beautiful city of Washington, D.C. I absolutely love it here and would one day love to move out here but that has not been written in the stars yet; maybe someday.  

I have been away from home for a long time, 10 months does not seem so far yet it has been a lifetime. So much has been gained this year of travel, and I love it, meeting new people, changing lives, seeing new things.

But when is enough, enough? I know this isn’t the end of my traveling but should I go back to school and finish up with my degree? I would first have to be accepted into the school of my choice…

Only time will tell but in 4 months time I will have moved to Chicago, or back to New Jersey. The uncertainty is killing me.

Just received a job offer in Chicago! I would be working with people affected with HIV and AIDS. They received over 2,000 applications, choice 15 to interview, and I was one of 9 who got the job. My mind is going crazy. I don’t know what to do.

Sitting in today’s meeting about disabilities and government and what do when a disaster hits. Seemingly like any other meeting except that again it turned into yet again another life lesson.

“We are as vulnerable as we make ourselves to be.”

And our definition of vulnerability changes from each situation we are in, in this case it is in regards to a disaster (Natural or Man made):

That could not be more true, the example the speaker used was who do you follow in a disaster: The rich man who just lost everything or the homeless man who had nothing to begin with?

The clear answer is follow the homeless man who is used to living of the land and hasn’t had the smart phones and the fancy dinners-(S)he will know what to do when the time comes. Again our definition of vulnerable has changed, the rich man has now lost everything and the poor man is will be able to survivor in this scenario. Having everything does not mean you will always be safe. Know what to do in all situations, always prepare for the worst case scenario, you never know when it will come in handy.

On special needs & Handicapped: There is nothing special about them, everybody has needs. Handicapped refers to the term Cap in Hand, poor people would have their caps in their hands looking for money in england, Having the term handicapped is implying that people with disabilities cannot do anything for themselves and are lazy. Be careful the words you use, you could accidently hurt someone without even knowing it.

We often times forget that we are all still human; do you not bleed when you get a cut? We all share the same fate, we all will die one day, we take nothing with us when we go. It is sad that we live in such an age that if a white man shoots up a movie theatre he is mentally unstable but if a muslim were to do it he is a terrorist. We live in a world where we are living in fear of a backpacks left unattended (even if that backpack is clearly for a little girl), and we have just reason to fear these things, as Americans we are a major world power and there will be people to try and knock us down, but we also must remember that in every civiliation since the dawn of time has collapsed, what makes us any different? One day will fall, maybe not in this lifetime but it will happen–the only hope that we do have is that we are in constant communication with other leading nations holding each other up (well we are supposed to holding each other up any, that is what human beings should be doing for one another)

A professor of mine once said, “When we turn out the lights we are all the same.” That could not be more true, no color, no religion, no sexuality. Extend your hand to someone who needs it.

Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

-S

At what point does something you do become an addiction? After the 5th time you do something you know you shouldn’t be doing? After the 10th? Or is addiction something that you create because society has deemed you with the addictive personality. 

Or is having an addiction when you do something knowing it could potentially endanger those around you? I believe that you should be able to do anything you wish, don’t be so restricted by society and be free to do the things you wish, but do not endanger those around you or the ones you say you love. That is what addiction is not being able to see if you are hurting those around you. 

Do I have an addiction or am I simply just living the life I want to lead? 

Not a question to me answered but just something to be pondered