I’m finally finishing the coffee made at 7:30 this morning at 4:30 in the afternoon. Just in time to get off work.
Started out a bit rough. Overwhelmed and feeling unable to start, I turned to the tubs of donated children’s books by my desk. Grabbed a pile, and started to read.
Nothing wholly insightful or particularly comforting about any of them, but I did get into my groove finally.
And I realized that the pulled muscle under my ribs on my right side is probably because I tilt my computer to the left so no one walking past can see when I start reading the news or surfing facebook. I twist my body to the left.
Not that that is particularly interesting information for the masses, but it was a great breakthrough for me.
So I finally went through and answered all of my emails today. All of them. I answered flat out what I knew, and did what I could and sent it on. Instead of wavering and thinking I needed to wait for more information. I acted. I emailed at least 50 people today.
I didn’t act on all the personal goals I had for today– but that’s tomorrow. I’m going into work early.
I’ve become an unofficial part of the Bhutanese women’s art group. Drove seven ladies and their daughters speaking in Dzongkha and Nepali, and then speaking turning to singing and hysterical laughter, for an hour each way last week. It was my pleasure.
The event was a bit of a bust, and the women who spoke English told me that the next day.
I thought I was just the driver, I had my own booth at the festival. But realizing after the fact that being a good advocate is not just sticking to your job, but listening to the current needs that arrive. Actively seeking out information about current needs.
When we got to the festival, I went and took a break by myself, because I had worked all day, and was exhausted. I thought my job, to get everyone here, was done. But I learned later that the ladies were looking for me to translate for them in the chaotic environment that I too was lost in, even as an English speaker.
I will know in the future that it doesn’t have to be in the job description for me to stick around and help out. It’s in the advocacy, and understanding a group of people who, as one of the ladies put it, “have spent upwards of 20 years in refugee camps feeling like outsiders. We don’t deserve that anymore.”
No, no you don’t.
One of the most important things to me is making people feel comfortable. Especially those out of their element, from different parts of the world.
And I can’t believe I didn’t see it.
But outside of lack of experience, which I have now experienced and will do better at next time, I think that slip speaks to a broader idea about my life:
I need to remember to give myself time to slow down. Give to those who really need it, and not just to everyone who asks.
Self care, man. I’ve got to slow down. I’ve got to feel my bones, and I’ve got to respect that me being comfortable is just as important as doing a good job at work.
So I realize, I am going to give these ladies my all this year. They are bonded to me in a way I haven’t experienced before- absolutely no English but the ability to say “thank you” for four out of five of them, but I feel the connection. I gave them all a hug that night I dropped them off.
We’re going somewhere else on Tuesday.