I’m in a blue funk. Or a black mood. Or some other really dark color that denotes pure cranky irritation.
I’ve been reflecting over life things–the stuff I worry or obsess about, but tend not to write in my blog because I never want to say anything in a public forum that I might regret. In that respect, I am the exact opposite from my sister’s webfriend, Trista. Trista is very open and honest and entertaining and messy in the very best ways. I think that level of honesty takes a kind of courage I intrinsically lack. I think I’m too worried about what other people might think about me. That’s stupid though–to worry about that. It’s selfish, actually, because it tends toward a belief that every interaction I have with another is, in fact, totally about me, me, me. Sort of short-changes the people I spend my time with, doesn’t it?
I know a lot of really amazing people. I could start with my sister, Faith, who is good, kind, loving, sweet, and the bestest, most loyal and true friend a girl could have. She has a wicked sense of humor that helps her keep her head above water. She’s spent a lot of her life being the best friend and the good sister, but it seems like she’s coming into her own now. She’s taking much better care of herself than she used to. To me she’s always been beautiful, but I don’t think she ever believed it herself. Now, though, she’s eating healthy and losing weight and it shows. We spent some time together on Saturday and she looks really, really good. Aside from that, she’s always taken care of herself spiritually and intellectually. She’s a voracious reader and she asks questions. I love her because she’s my sister, but I’d love her anyway. She’s just that kind of person.
I also have a terrific friend, M, who is quite possibly the funnest person I’ve ever met. I used to love it when M came to see my shows because she has the loudest, most delicious laugh that carried backstage. You can’t hear that laugh and not laugh along with her. She’s teaches Italian in both high school and college (as adjunct faculty). She’s a great teacher–the sort of person Chaucer was thinking of when he wrote, “Gladly would he learne, and gladly teach.” If there’s something wonderful and brilliant worth knowing, then for her, it follows that if must be worth sharing. The day we became friends, we both skipped a sunday school lesson in order to commiserate over life’s little d’ohs. One hour later we were fast friends. We don’t talk as much lately, because she’s working on her master’s degree, teaching high-school full-time, and teaching an Italian Intro course at a local college. How’s that for some natural gumption?
Then there’s the people I see every day/week. I work with this amazing person who supports herself and her daughter on a university secretary income, without complaint–uncanny considering how poorly paid most university secretaries are. She’s trying to put herself through school one class at a time, so she can be a math teacher. I know a professor who dedicates himself to work with domestic violence offenders–he spends frequent amounts of time outside of his academic work volunteering and trying to make a difference. I know an actor (artistic director) who donates a vast majority of his spare time to community concerns. He’s a much beloved local artist who continually goes to bat for his theatre and for the arts in general. As an example, this last season the city cut arts funding, drastically reducing the amount his theatre would receive. He immediately went on the offensive, fund-raising like crazy, and granting interviews to local media, effectively shaming the city into reversing their decision. It’s a good thing, too, as this artist runs a youth outreach program that really manages to make a difference. I know another artist who refuses to keep any of her profits. Every single show she’s directed and produced has benefitted charities who work with victims of abuse. She’s an amazing woman.
I’m saying all this because I get so wound up about little stupid things, that I forget how many people there are who make life beautiful–who give and give and give of themselves and never ask for something in return. They’re people who are worth knowing and they make my petty worries and perceived slights look just this side of ridiculous.
So I could mumble, grumble, but instead I think I’ll just be grateful for the people who strive to make the world a better place.
I hope all of you have a someone who inspires you. If you do, I’d love to hear about them.