Dear Pooper scoop,
First of all, did you know I met someone who had Lena as a teacher as well last week? Small world.
Secondly, I’m sorry this post is so en retard.
Thirdly, I love you and miss you.
I actually don’t remember waiting around for you very often, although I’m sure I did. Probably waited in Laura’s office at church coloring or reading. Yeah, kids grow everywhere, and not all experiences are all good or all bad. However, there are definitely some childhoods that are more difficult than others. I just spoke with a “lost girl” from Sudan. She was an orphan and lived in a Kenyan refugee camp from ages 5-13. At 13, she came here and became a foster child. She said that the only reason she was able to succeed here in the U.S. is because her foster parents wrapped her up so securely with love and support. In fact, her whole entire community embraced her. “All kids need love, and to feel like they are known, then, they can do anything,” she said. If kids feel loved and recognized, they can grow up anywhere, and not just grow up, but also contribute to society.
I agree with you as well, that diversity brings creativity, learning, and new experiences. I think because we were so privileged growing up (c’mon, we’re food snobs now, outdoors snobs, culture snobs), it can be particularly difficult to be understanding and empathetic to others with different experiences. For example, judging those who might eat white bread or not care about going for hikes. I also think, as Americans, we are so often insincere. Not that we mean to be, or even think we are. We are overtly friendly, but I wonder how honest our words actually are. I often speak with refugees, people who have been persecuted, forced out of their country, traumatized, and then live in camps for an average of 6-15 years reliant on the UNHCR for food. Maybe it’s because I only speak with refugees who have been successful here in this country, but they speak with such beauty, deep understanding of the world, humanity, and sincerity. I am stunned each time I speak with them. They have been through so much, and they go through a lot here as well, yet they are genuine, open, and understanding in a way I couldn’t imagine being.
We haven’t been through trauma, knock on wood. I may never understand the world on the level that they do, but speaking with people who have had such difficult and different life experiences than me makes me leave work everyday grateful for every little smidgen of a thing in my life. The fact that I’m simply putting one foot in front of the other astonishes me. That I have all my limbs, I can smile, and I have a cozy little home to go to. Yes, we have challenges in our lives, but in many ways, they are such privileged challenges that can be seen as opportunities rather than challenges. If we don’t take advantage of these challenges that life hands us, I think we might not be living to our fullest.
You’re right, our 20’s are such a strange, tumultuous time. We have so much to learn. I feel like a little baby coming out of an egg. I have to pay rent on time, and cook a healthy meal for myself, and learn how to live a strong, fulfilling, ethical life. I hope that if we strive to be open, truly open, and honest with ourselves and others, we will lead ourselves in the right direction. At least this is what I’m hopeful of.
CPerks (this is what people in my office have started to call me!)