this week can’t end fast enough.
i had breakfast with one of my mentors this morning. eggs benny as usual. i was tired from having not slept well the night before. mind racing and refusing to rest. distracted from sleep by frustration, anger and a slew of other emotions i’d rather not list.
there have been only a few weeks during my whole life where i have actually questioned my desire to continue doing outreach on the streets. this past week was one of those weeks.
to be honest, some times i hate doing this.
as rewarding as many of the relationships i’ve built at street level have been (some have changed my life), very few of them have been easy. not by any stretch. yes, all relationships take time and effort, but building them on the street usually involves much more.
some times i just don’t want to give more.
some times i just want to get a regular job, work with regular people (is there such a thing?) and have a regular routine.
no more visits to the shelter.
no more hanging out at the soup kitchens.
no more anything street related.
why i am saying all of this?
i’m tired of having to always be the strong one. tired of putting on a fake smile and talking about sports or complaining about the weather. tired of having to project strength when inside i feel weak.
i’m tired of pretending i feel ok inside when that’s not how i feel.
underneath whatever veneer i consciously or subconsciously project, i hurt just as easily as everyone else. maybe more. i just don’t allow it to show. project strength not weakness.
it’s a facade.
i’m broken like everyone else. i’ve got to accept that eventually, right?
i was betrayed this week.
it wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time, i’m sure.
that last matter-of-fact statement is more veneer, as if i don’t care. i do care. i care more than i’m willing to admit. it’s not because of who it is but what they represented.
‘friendship’s enemy is betrayal.’
i was betrayed this week and i lost a friend.
different sides of the same coin.
i allowed myself to be pushed around. literally. screamed in my face. insults upon more insults.
don’t take it personally, i tried to repeat in my head.
but no matter how many times i repeat the cliche-like mantra, it doesn’t work.
i can’t help but take it personally.
fatal flaw or gift from God.
feels more like a flaw today. tomorrow it may be a gift again.
i’m reading through a book called ‘the cost of community’ right now. in it the author examines what real, authentic community looks like and the cost to those who venture to build and be part of it. tough times are a given, the author argues. real community doesn’t come about without blood, sweat and tears. in one part, which i feel speaks to me the most considering my past week, the author says, ‘resist the impulses for vengeance (gossip, slander, etc) and retribution and follow the radically risky and sacredly foolish path of peace and love.’
that sounds nice and all, but i’m tired and find it hard to care right now.
i need a vacation.
or maybe just a decent sleep.