Oh boy, I wanted to write yesterday but I was in such a typhoon of confusion I didn’t allow myself to touch the keyboard. I was drifting like a feather, comfortably riding the jet stream before the breeze launched me in the air, spun me around in circles, and spat me back to earth. Why? Who knows really. Instead of writing I took a lesson away from my morning meditation and just thought fuck it, I’m going to pretend like I don’t feel anything and just keep on going about my day (which is not exactly what my morning meditation teaches me, but it was the way I chose to interpret it).
The typhoon kicked off after I volunteered with Cause We Care, coming out of the hour and a half of stuffing Christmas hampers feeling a lot worse about my contributions to humanity than I had previously. There I was sitting in a warehouse alongside another fifty white, well-to-do women wearing multiple layers, drinking Starbucks donated coffee, writing cards with hearts on them and tying bows onto bags. Don’t get me wrong, what this organisation does for underprivileged kids and single mothers is incredible, but if I walked away dusting off my hands feeling as though I’d done my bit for society, then I would have been terribly mistaken.
On my way to the warehouse I passed a crowded corner where it looked like they were giving away food to people living on the street. “Maybe I should be doing something like that,” I thought to myself. But deep down do you know what I was really thinking? “I don’t like being in this neighbourhood and I’d rather not be here at all.” Wow, does that make me a horrible person? Maybe. Or perhaps just the honest truth behind that notion was that it made me uncomfortable. I felt out of my comfort zone, which is why I probably instinctively chose to volunteer for Cause We Care, which looked safe and inviting and run by modern, make-up wearing mothers who would never stand me on a street corner in the rain to hand out food to the sorts of people in Vancouver’s downtown Eastside that frankly terrify me.
It was a tough realisation to come to terms with. We can fool ourselves into thinking we have the greatest of intentions when that’s really all they are, intentions. So the one thing I’m going to take away from yesterday and feel good about is the fact I took one small step in the right direction, and now know just how much further there is to walk.