Monday, January 12, 2009

I Understand Selfishness Now

There are countless conflicts going on outside my home. From Gaza to the Philippines. The environment to political corruption. From blogs to publishing houses, there are conflicts everywhere.

And the guilty part of me wants to use my blog to show how much we can do - in action - to make this world a better place. The activist part of me wants to throw myself into the middle of the frey and hold on tight to what hope remains, if any, in Gaza.

The truth of what is going on inside me is that I'm worried about my own internal conflict. This mess of an economy we have going on right now and how my own life whirls in response to the instability of it all.

I need a job.

Like my computer genius cousin who was just laid off after years of working with the same company and needs to put food on the table for his baby girl.

Like my friend who spent her finances chasing her dream of working in audiology, got her masters, and now works in daycare.

Like my confidant who is a gifted minister, transferred to IT work, and just got laid off as he found out he's going to be a father.

Like the stories of women who are working three jobs and still cannot provide enough for their rent.

Like my...who lost...has a family at losing their home...
I could go on and on.

I understand selfishness now. I understand, as I look out at the dripping icicles of this cold winter, that the dark months of unemployment are going slowly for everyone. And the sick twist in my stomach as I comb the classifieds section of the Cleveland Plain Dealer empties itself in tears. I understand that I am selfish because I am not in danger of being blown to bits or losing my life. There is no war on my doorstep, just the lonely winter winds beating down my door. There is a melting block of ice in my chest and it is chilling my blood.

The time that I want to spend in a job is now spent listening to the women of Gaza and wondering how I can be so selfish as to lay on my couch and cry with worry for my own ridiculous life and then feel so damn frustrated with my weak ass for crying in the first place.

The blanket of 10 inches of snow has quieted Cleveland and its haunting, like the city can hear itself dying in unemployment and laid off positions. The gray and white background of January looks ashen and I can hear the pulled sleds of children squealing down the street. My lentil soups are frozen, ready for the long haul of winter.

With all the time and silence in the world, an inescapable question sits in front of me, "What do you want to do with your life?" And my only reply in my head is that it doesn't matter what I want, what matters is what I can do.

I don't know if I mean the women in Gaza, my job search, and or the creeping plague of joblessness drowning the boat so many of us are in.

1 comment:

  1. I can't cope, but I do what I can and struggle with not being too hard on myself. My parents raised me on guilt, and I still fight it.

    Around the holidays, I found a blog by a woman whose twins died in utero and got to thinking about my dead mother, grief, the last time I cried for myself, and all the things for which I don't have to cry, the things I don't have to endure. If someone told me my story as her own, I would say that, at any given time, you only have to get through this moment.


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