Tag Archives: helping others

Something is Coming…

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My heart has been heavy and my mind has been swirling with thoughts for the past few days. I took the bus to volunteering this morning and as I was sitting there listening to Warrant on full blast, my mind raced and it felt as though I could hear the music, but not the words. I was hearing my own thoughts over the shredding guitar solos and I had to fight to hold back tears. They weren’t tears of sadness or anger or anything like that. My head was inundated with thoughts of wondering what happens next… when this time of being dirt poor and struggling is going to end… when I will finally be able to help people and fulfill my purpose on a full time basis… when I will be able to look at everything in my life and know that things are taken care of.

School has been wonderful, but it is indeed quite expensive. I am now leaning back toward staying in the diploma program instead of pursuing an Associate’s degree. It dawned on me this morning that my reason for pursuing that degree is almost within reach without it and soon, I am going to need a big, fat, brand new goal to go after. On top of that, when looking at the classes that I will be taking in the diploma program, I realized I won’t be missing out on as many classes as I had originally thought. Cooking is one of those fields where one can have all the degrees in the world, but if there is no passion or talent to back those degrees up, what are they really good for? I’m good at what I do. I’m passionate about the food I serve and the people I serve it to. A restaurant setting isn’t for me, but a place where I can help those who cannot help themselves is.

I have been thinking heavily about my mark on humanity. What kind of legacy will be left behind when it is my time to journey to the next life? What will I have taught my children? What will I have taught my grandchildren? What will the people I care about and the people I help have to remember me by? Will there be people who didn’t give up because of me? Will there be people who fiercely go after their dreams because of something I said or did? These questions and a million others like them have been running through my head like a band of wild horses. It is so beyond important to me that I fulfill my purpose and do what it is I was born to do… which is help.

The past year has been full of lessons, experiences, ups and downs… I have learned who my friends are, and I have learned that people who I once thought would be there forever are no more than acquaintances now. On some level, it saddens me. But on another level, I’m glad I know now. My goals and my purpose are too important to be hindered by people who do not support what I am doing. On the other hand, I also have people in my life now who I KNOW will be there forever, who didn’t make their entrance until recently… and who will pick me up when I go through times of sadness, despair, of wondering what happens next. When people removed themselves from my life, or I removed them myself, I subconsciously made room for the people that were really supposed to be with me.

It certainly feels like something very big is about to happen. Perhaps it will be something that answers some of my questions… something that will let me know that my struggles are all going to be so incredibly worth it. Whatever it is, I feel it in my bones and, quite obviously, in my brain. My dreams as of late have been vivid and have kept me from a good night’s sleep for weeks now. Something big is on its way… I don’t know what it is, all I know is that I better be ready.

 

 

A Lesson in the Snowflakes

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New Year’s Eve. I had parked my car in the mall parking garage thinking that the neighborhood where miniBAR was would be packed due to the end of the year festivities. As I stepped out into the crisp winter air, I noticed the bitterness of the night and began my walk toward my destination. Since I’m still relatively new to the Cherry Creek area of town, I relied on the navigation of my phone to get me to the venue. It took me around the neighborhood instead of through it causing my fingers and toes to freeze up and then heat up as my body moved against the chill. Eventually, I could feel my extremities again. I noticed that every time I took a breath my nostrils would stick together slightly until I breathed warm air again and defrosted them. As much of a freezing pain in the butt as this extra mile of exercise was, it also gave me the opportunity to be thankful.

As many as 3.5 million or so people are homeless in any given year in the United States. In California, I didn’t really take into consideration how big a deal this was because there were homeless people everywhere. Los Angeles didn’t see temperatures in the negatives during the Christmas season. While the homeless population was prominent, part of me was desensitized to the reality that these people faced and continue to face on a daily basis.

Aside from homeless shelters, half-way homes or other community and government run facilities, the homeless population doesn’t have a roof over their heads to protect them from blistering cold temperatures. It got me wondering how many homeless Americans freeze to death during the winter months. What a thought to entertain as I’m walking in my four inch heeled boots toward a warm bar on 2nd street to ring in the New Year, huh? But seriously…

My thoughts enveloped me and I almost missed my destination. I stopped for a moment to reflect on my new found appreciation for the home I have and the warm bed I sleep in every night and the choice of whether or not to turn on a heater when it’s chilly. Many, many people across the United States and across the world don’t have those luxuries… luxuries that many of us take for granted. I glanced up at the stars and said a small thank you to God for blessing me with a place to live and promised that I wouldn’t take that sort of thing lightly anymore.

With so many people out of work, many are struggling and many are wondering where they are going to sleep tonight. Will it be a park bench? The stairs of the Capital building? Under a pile of discarded newspapers at a bus stop? While the homeless population is not nearly as extensive here as it is in Los Angeles, it is still an issue that I think needs attention. Yes, there will always be people who take advantage of the system and try anything and everything to live off of the hard work of other citizens, however, there are more homeless folks out there who really do want to get back on their feet.

I’m not asking you to be like Hayley Joel Osment in “Pay It Forward” and bring a homeless person into your home for a meal, although more power to you if you do decide to do that. What I am asking you, my readers, to do is to take a moment to reflect on the things that you have that many Americans currently do not. Food on your table. A warm jacket. A family who cares about you enough to worry about your well-being. Faith in a higher power that helps you get through the hard times. Perhaps next time you encounter a homeless person, instead of lying and saying “Sorry, no change,” (we’ve all done it, myself included), maybe stop for a second and dig out a buck. You might just help someone out with bus fare to get to a job interview on time and change the course of their entire future.