New Adventures, New Lessons

My intent today was to write a nasty entry about the stupidity of rioters and the political turmoil our country has put itself in.

But my son is curled up against my chest, out cold. It took about two hours of indecision on his part to get to this point. (He seems to be going through this rotten phase of wanting nothing to do with mom, and everything to do with dad. And I won’t say anything more on that subject, other than the fact that it is absolutely heartbreaking.) Looking at his sweet face at complete rest makes me rethink the direction of this post. For one thing, I envy his eyelashes. Why is it that you men always get the naturally thick, long, luscious lashes that us women have to buy?? But no, this is not a post about eye lashes.

I know, you’re welcome.

So. Update.

A few weeks ago I accepted a new position at work to help get another office back up on it’s feet. For one reason or another all of the previous providers had left and the office needed help to stay afloat. They reached out to the company I work for for help in management, and here we are! I’ve been so incredibly blessed by this company I can’t even begin to describe how amazing it is to be a part of it all. They have worked so hard to change the healthcare industry. My manager actually looks at me with respect, encourages my ideas for growth, and seeks my assistance. I’m trusted, and my heart for people is appreciated and acknowledged on a daily basis.

I’m actually heard.

I just can’t tell you how much easier it is to breathe working with them, after being in a position where my team was overworked, unappreciated, and completely disrespected.

::Rewind:: My daily commute to work used to consist of a mental debate on whether or not that day would be my last. I’d sit at the stop lights of major intersections and the only reason I didn’t let my car roll forward into oncoming  traffic was the thought of injuring other people. Sounds pretty dramatic when I’m writing to you guys about it, but it’s a very literal description of what my morning thought process used to be. I had a team of girls that kept me sane there, but then one by one they started to leave in search of something better. Soon after, my drive home would be spent trying to see through tears, desperately trying to catch my breath. Working there made my stress, anxiety, and depression get so out of control that I wanted to die.

And one morning I’d had enough. I’d been yelled at and cussed out one too many times, and I decided no more. I said what I needed to say (maybe a little louder than I should have), made it very clear that things needed to change and that the people there deserved far better. I made it clear that I deserved better.

A month later I found out I was pregnant.

Six months later I was hired with my current company. Five months in and I was being asked to assist with another office.

::Fast forward::  Cut to Tuesday afternoon, driving home from my first day at the new location, music blaring and trying to avoid having a complete meltdown.

The new office had an atmosphere that felt exactly like my old office. I’d never been more terrified, thinking I’d just taken three steps back making the biggest mistake of my life. Every time I let my mind go there I couldn’t breathe. What have I done, I thought. What have I done, what have I done…what have I done?!

Thankfully, my drive home is a long one. I knew God had given me this opportunity for a reason, but it sure felt like a trap. But I could feel Him trying to whisper to my heart, I’ve got this under control, I promise. So once I could finally think straight I realized what I had done wasn’t the biggest mistake of my life. I hadn’t taken three steps back. Rather, God had put me in a position to come full circle. Before, I had been stuck in an office that would never move forward as a business because the employees weren’t encouraged (let alone allowed) to change anything. I knew what needed to happen, I knew how patients wanted to be treated, but we weren’t allowed to build that environment.

Now, in this new position, that’s my entire purpose! I get to help take this office out of the mud, clean it off, and present it to the community for what it should have been in the first place. I get to love people as they should be loved. I’ve been entrusted to remind a very angry and confused community that they deserve to be treated like people, not a chart or a file or a burden.

And y’all, that feels damn good. To hear “you are the right person for this job” is incredible.

It makes me really rethink this riot nonsense. Not really rethink as in change my opinion on it, because it’s still destructive and stupid. But it also kind of makes me sad. How a person can have so much fear and anger in their hearts that they forget how to make real effective change, and instead turn to destruction and chaos….it’s just sad.

Looking at my son now I’m reminded of the things I want to teach him most. Love God. Love people. I understand that people are scared with the political transition of power. I understand people don’t trust Trump. He’s easy to hate. He’s mouthy, seemingly unstable, pompous, and incredibly…self assured. But I think what we as a country seem to have forgotten is that change doesn’t come from the almighty capitol. Real, effective change doesn’t come by lighting someones car on fire or throwing bricks through people’s windows. Change starts with your community. Change starts with your tribe, with your world, with your people. We need to stop skipping out on the little guy and get involved with the world we see on a daily basis. Yes, there are very real issues that need attention. But there are also people within arms reach that need attention that we seem to have forgotten about. It’s easy to be swallowed up with the fear of what could happen to us as a group of 325.5 million people. But while we’re worried about what ifs and “the big picture”, our immediate world is slowly rotting away. We’re not guaranteed control over 325.5 million people. We are guaranteed control over ourselves, over our own actions, and over the thoughts we instill in the minds of this country’s future. And if we can all decide to start caring about our neighbor, if we can just learn to reach out a hand to the person we pass every day, that love will spread like a damn wildfire. One by one. I promise. 

And that’s what I’ll be teaching my son. Black, white, gay, straight, tattooed, clean shaven, democrat, republican, liberal…none of that matters. I will teach him to love people for who they are instead of how they appear to be. I will teach him to treat people like people, not a paycheck or a burden. I will teach him to smile on the hard days because that smile may be the only light another person sees all week. I will teach him to listen to that person that doesn’t seem to be talking about anything in particular, because maybe they don’t have anyone else to talk to. I will show him that the guy or girl on the sidewalk with an old worn out bag and a cardboard sign deserves compassion instead of judgment. I will show him that one by one you can start to dig your people out of the mud, clean them off, and show them they have been enough since day one.

And the most important part? I will teach him all of that no matter who is elected president.

Stay weird, y’all XOXO

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