2nd Day Of Christmas: ‘Tis The Season Of Giving

IMG_7437Today’s story comes to you in the form of a good deed done by my mom. My mom’s heart will always be the biggest of anyone I know. She has this uncanny way of being accepting and compassionate even towards those who least deserve it. She has the ability to look beyond the surface without judgement. She’s who I want to grow up and become because there really isn’t anyone much more wonderful than my mom.

If I’m correct, my mom has been donating to the Grand Forks homeless shelter; Northlands Rescue Mission for awhile now. $10 or so here and there whenever she could. I don’t think it’s been too regular or anything but I think the mission sends out donation requests periodically and if she can afford it, she’ll throw a few bucks their way.

Bags-of-Blessings-2014-231x300Recently, Northlands Rescue Mission sent out flyers with the tagline “Bags of Blessings.” As we all know, Christmas is definitely coming. Those [believers] of all ages, races, and income levels in some way, shape, or form have Christmas on their yearly bucket lists. Whether you have the money or you don’t; Christmas is special. ‘Tis the season where miracles are possible and kindness is spread.

My mom took part in being someone’s Christmas miracle this year. Instead of tossing the flyer she received like I’m sure a lot of people would do (sadly, myself included) she decided to spread the wealth. Good karma if you will.

On a routine trip to Grand Forks she picked up all of the items on the list including a sweatshirt, socks, shampoo, deodorant, and a few other things. She also bought a gym bag as asked and marked the front of it male also noting the size she had bought for. All that was left was to bring the bag with the items in it to Northlands Rescue Mission and that she did.

The total cost of all the items purchased came to $72 and some change. When I asked my mom what her reasoning was for helping the homeless shelter more than she usually does, she left me with this:

Matthew 25:40 “What you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.” ~Jesus Christ

I’ve been one to judge too quickly and assume things that I do not know.  I’m sure that many people in homeless shelters across the region and country are truly in need of generous help from those like my mom and I hope that I can find the empathy needed towards causes like that. My mom deserves a round of applause not only for buying a few things and donating it to the shelter but for being a damned good person. Coming from someone (myself) who finds it hard to see beyond the grime and the dirt on the surface and actually wonder what the story behind the homelessness is – it really takes a heart of gold and compassion to donate towards a cause that faces so much ridicule.

IMG_7970If you’d like to donate to your local homeless shelter please do so; I’ve listed both Grand Forks and Bemidji’s contact information at the end of this post. They need more help than any of us are probably capable of even understanding. If you chose not to donate towards the shelter, find a cause that you feel comfortable donating towards even if it’s just one time a year.

In an effort to embrace the season of giving and to do some good; I’ve decided to do some research myself and donate a little bit this Christmas season as well. I fully believe that rehabilitation is one of the key factors to solve many of the homelessness cases in the area. I’ll be looking online and around the area locally for a non-profit rehabilitation program to donate towards.

Northlands Rescue Mission – 420 Division Ave, Grand Forks, ND 58201
Village of Hope – PO BOX 1035, Bemidji, MN 56619

Merry 2nd Day of Christmas!

 

Genie, You’re Free.

10565051_10152597690648363_376277940965275515_nMy mom gave me this on Sunday for safe keeping. She asked that it be engraved on her tombstone whenever that may be. Which by the way will be the same time as the rest of our family. I have this “thing” where everyone I love is going to die at the same time because I honestly don’t think I could handle losing anyone close to me and fortunately I haven’t lost anyone with whom I’m extremely close with. Yet.

With that being said, I wanted to send my condolences to the Robin Williams family. I never noticed until after the fact how much of a comedic influence he really did have on my generation from Jumanji to Aladdin to Jack to Flubber..the list goes on. He was a comedic genius.

I read an article today that was really eye-opening especially to someone like me that has always been taught about suicide in the negative and selfish tense. Someone had asked how RW had died and the response in this article was…depression. Not suicide. Which I now believe is an accurate cause of death. The analogy the article gave was describing a cancer patients death. The cancer patient in question had “died”  from a pulmonary embolism but when people ask how so and so died, naturally most people will say s/he died from cancer. A pulmonary embolism is a side effect of cancer. So in relation, Robin Williams sadly died of depression. A disease that is very difficult to find hope for and suicide happens to be a very tragic side effect to said depression.

Usually I don’t get overly sentimental about the rich and famous dying, passing on, whatever you may refer to it as. I think the reason that this for some reason hit close to home is due in fact to two key reasons: 1. He was undoubtably (in my opinion) a hilarious and insightfully genius human being. He was quick and witty. He helped to shape and mold the millennial generation through his characters. And 2. A school friend of mine took her own life less than a year ago. Up until her death, I had a very “selfish” view on the term and act of suicide. The thoughts I had about it were probably very ignorant and hard to change but through research and learning about the history of many people involved in a suicidal train of thought, my heart hurts for not only their families left picking up the pieces but for them; the victims of depression.

So Robin, I’m sure one of your first pitstops will be Belushi but could you do me a favor? Find Aron and tell her how much we miss her? Thanks to the moon and stars and universe and back.

What Do You Do When Dreams Don’t Come True?

When is everything going to seem real? I’ve dreamt about getting married and starting a family of my own for as long as I can remember but it hasn’t happened to me yet. Everyone around me, old classmates, extended family, ect. – They are making and starting their own personal, self-contained lives. Starting futures with each other, raising babies, graduating with their masters degrees. But not me.

It’s funny because even though I “want” it so bad it seems like there’s a reason that my turn per se, hasn’t come around on the merry go round of life. It’s weird. I want to be a wife but what does a wife do that I don’t already do? I want to be a mom but I can’t picture a baby in my tummy or arms yet. I want to own a beautiful house with a giant yard and a big shaggy dog but I don’t see that dream as a reality financially. It’s like my dream life is just that; a dream. As if there’s no possibility of it being real because I can’t “feel” it happening.

When everyone else around me is planning their weddings, bachelorette parties, baby showers, and Caribbean cruises; I wonder what they are feeling. Do they feel like it isn’t real? Or was it just on their docket of life goals and they are checking them off?

In turn, I’ve also heard my whole life that..as much as you absolutely “want” something, it’ll never happen until you stop focusing on it. A woman wanting a baby, doesn’t get pregnant. It causes martial problems or divorce. She starts a new fresh life in a new city. She focuses on herself. She’s happy with the cards that she was dealt but then gets knocked up after a one night stand. And that once desired life dream is now an “oopsie.”

Obviously, that’s a drastic example but that’s how it feels to me. The people that I used to know or have many memories with lead totally different lives today. And although I have a wonderful job, loving boyfriend, and a semi-decent bank account – it still feels like I’m living the same life I was 10 years ago.

I’m nowhere near owning a house, let alone knowing which area I want to raise my future family in. The marriage wheel has been on a plateau for years and even though I want to go back to school, what the hell would I go for so that it financially pays off? That white-picket fence and children laughing while running through the sprinkler truly does feel like a dream. Just a dream.

So let me ask you, life-livers: When the big life moments do happen, does it feel real? Was your wedding the most special day of your life pre-children? Do you second guess the money it is going to cost you when you vacation out of country? Have you ever felt truly stuck or does life just magically happen to you?

Or am I the ugly duckling here? It’s as if I’m standing still, I’m the core. While the rest of the world is moving and evolving around me a million miles a minute.

Empathetic VS Apathetic.

Empathy doesn’t come easy for me. Even admitting that makes me feel like a douche. It’s not that I don’t care about people, I do. But I don’t know, it’s just something that I can force and force and force but if I’m faking it, does it really matter? Can you tell? I mean, I feel empathy towards people that I can actually relate to. There are plenty of people that I can actually say I’ve felt something similar to what they are feeling but there are many more things that I just can’t relate to. I’m sure lots of people that can empathize with others haven’t gone through the heartache or whatever emotion may arise but they can still genuinely exhibit compassion.

Does that make me a bad person? Is it better to show rapport when you don’t mean it or to be honest? I’m sure it depends on the situation. There have been times when I just want to say “you know what, too bad for you.” This even relates to the entire 9/11 fiasco. It’s terrible that all those lives were lost, yes, but it didn’t change me. It didn’t change my view on the world. The world has always been a shitty place, have you ever read a history book?

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I’m sorry that your spouse is in the military. They chose that life knowing the consequences. You either were part of the decision or knew it was part of their life when you met them. It’s a package deal. Yes, it’s tragic when someone dies in war but it was also awful when my mom lost her dad to heart disease.

Or when you miserably had to plow your snowed in yard for the thousandth time this winter? Really, I don’t care. You live as far north as you can in the midwest, are you surprised it snowed again?

Within the last year, I had a good friend pass away. It was a very sad moment in time and whenever I think of her I am filled with immense emotion but I wasn’t close enough to her to deserve any empathy from anyone. Once we heard of her sudden passing I promised myself that I’d try to relate to people more but it’s not easy. It’s not something that you can just “do” or turn on. You have to try to be kinder and I mean really really try.

I’m not trying to exhibit myself as an asshole nor am I attempting to justify my emotions. It’s more admitting to something that I can’t seem to control. I do empathize when necessary but overall I’m not an overly understanding person. The simple things in life that we all complain about on a daily basis shouldn’t have to require empathy. I bitch all the time but I don’t expect people to really give that much of a shit. And when people do go over board with the “oh no, that’s just terrible” nonsense speech – it doesn’t make me feel any better, it just makes me wonder if you are sincere or not.

I’m not quite sure where it all came from. It’s gotten worse as I’ve gotten older I can tell you that much. I’m sure part of it was how I was raised. When you wake up in the morning it’s up to you if you’re going to have a good day or not. Don’t let others bring you down. It also might be due to the last few years where although I had people to care for me; I still didn’t feel like anyone understood what I was going through. Someone told me about two years ago to not broadcast everything out there. To keep it to myself and that’s what I’ve been doing. I kept a lot of things to myself thus obviously no one has been able to empathize with me because in all fairness, they didn’t have the choice to.

Having gone on an on about that, I wouldn’t describe myself as an apathetic person either. I guess I’m in limbo when it comes to the topic. I wonder if we were honest with ourselves; if more people are actually in-between like myself. I run into people on a daily basis that try too hard and I can’t help but wonder if they pull the guilt card like I have for so many years so they just default to feeling bad for people. I’m on the road to being more honest so I can find myself from within and I really do feel that I am a good person to the people in my life whether you are present for five minutes or five years. But I’m still willing to admit that I could be better.

Here’s to trying a little harder and caring a little more.