Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"Don't ever look away"

I don't like boundaries. I don't like having to tell myself I can't talk to someone, or that I can't ask a particular question because it would be "insensitive". When someone dies, for instance, people have a tendency to tread lightly around the topic, or pretend it never happened. We assume that the people grieving simply want to forget and move on and keep busy, and somehow they'll fool themselves into thinking that whatever happened is not a big deal.

I'm revealing my geekiness here, but I think this is along the same principle as what JK Rowling said: Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself. All of the characters in Harry Potter refuse to say the name Voldemort. They want to believe he doesn't exist but in refusing to look at the reality they magnify his fear factor - and everyone is too scared to confront him.

The issues we refuse to acknowledge blow up in our minds until it's something we're convinced is too big for us to handle. We think the only solution is to look away and move on and pray to God that we never need to encounter the issue again. But things are never so black and white. Issues are not Satanic forces that will swallow us hole if we turn back to face them. The more we can face them and talk about them and work things through without fear, the smaller and more reasonable the issue becomes.

Call me nosy, but I don't like boundaries. I refuse to accept that part of my life is over, never to look at it again. I'm moving forward, but I'm not running away.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Boulder

I heard a story once about a man whom God told to push a rock up a hill. It was a huge rock. It was taller than the man's head. But the man said OK - if that's what you want me to do, God, I'll push that rock up that hill. So he tried. And failed. And when the sun set he went away frustrated, telling himself he'd try again in the morning.

For nearly four years the man would wake up early every morning and push against the rock. Every morning, the rock stayed put. He wanted to please God, or at least prove he wasn't completely incompetent, but no matter what he did he could not get the frigging rock up the frigging hill.

Finally, certain that he'd been set an impossible task, he blew up at God: "I've been killing myself every day to move this freaking rock, and it won't move! Why would you give me a task when you knew I would fail?"

But God, in his omnipotent way, said simply, "It was never your job to move the rock. I only told you to push it. I will move the rock." And he did.

The man, exasperated, demanded, "Why bother getting me to push against it all these years?"

So God told him to look at himself. He's grown strong and lean; he now had some sexy muscles; he'd learned persistence, and had become more fit and energetic; he was a great critical thinker, after trying thousands of methods of moving the rock. He'd grown in many aspects, all from those long, hard mornings of pushing against the rock.

It's easy to get frustrated when we feel like we aren't accomplishing things, but maybe the accomplishment isn't the point. The attitude we do things with is more important than the things we actually do. That's the part we have full control over.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Last Day at White Spot

So I leave Vancouver today to head home to Calgary. Yesterday, I had my last shift at White Spot. Let me paint a picture: my belongings are strewn everywhere across the apartment, dirty dishes are in the sink, tiny ants are scurrying around (as usual), there are a billion plastic grocery bags filled with garbage to take out (also normal), I still haven't cleaned (...), and it is 20 minutes before my shift at White Spot is scheduled to start. This is a shift I'd been optimistic my manager could find someone to cover, being as he'd told me initially I wouldn't have to work this week.

20 minutes before my shift no fellow worker has come to my rescue, and I realize I've thrown away the shirt I used to wear at the White Spot Restaurant. I need to wear a white shirt. I call into White Spot 10 mins before my shift asking if they have any spares. "Of course not, and why don't you have a shirt??" was my response. So, I take 5 minutes to wash some dishes and then, with 10 minutes remaining, sprint out the door and 5 blocks away, into Winners where I grab any white blouse off the rack, pay for it, and dash 3 blocks to White Spot. (I made it on time, by the way. God bless downtown and it's tiny blocks.)

It is only then that I realize the shirt I grabbed is down to my knees, semi-see-through, and has no stretch whatsoever. Therefore, as I walk onto the floor for my last shift, I have a shirt that is completely bunched up under my pants where I tucked it in, it is extremely obvious I'm wearing a bathing suit under the shirt, and every time I move my arms a large section of shirt gets pulled loose of my pants and floats around my midsection so that I feel like a ghost from Mario and Bowser's world. One of the waitresses said I look like a hussy. Not sure if she meant it in a nice way or not, but I suppose I can be proud to at least be able to say I looked like a retard my last day at work =)

When my shift ended I returned the shirt. (It was still clean!) "What's your reason for returning the item?" "It makes me look like a mushroom." "Oh. OK then."

Cheers to Vancouver and terrible blouses everywhere.