Once again I have become completely consumed by nothing at all and have been periodically beginning a post only to run out of steam and leave it hanging amongst the continuously growing list of draft posts I’ve accumulated over these last two weeks.
It is not for lack of trying. You should see some of the things I’ve started out with. They had all the makings of some kind of revelation (something that happens to me at least once a week) and there I go, fingertips to keys, I type. Type. TYPE. Clickety, tickety type … Here we go… yes, yes, yes! … It’s working, the thoughts are coming … ooh these are good. But then my mind begins to wander, my fingers slow down and ADD (Andrea’s Design Deficit) takes hold.
I get hungry, or decide I want to exfoliate my face, do a mask, soak my hair in avocado oil, paint, paint my nails, brush the cats, clip their nails, tickle their tummies, dust, listen to records, do my dishes, clean my cupboards, play Nintendo, take a nap, scrub the walls of the litter box (that’s when I’m feeling particularly energetic), tidy up my MSN contact lists, purge some Facebook friends, think, daydream, fantasize, read, learn, think again, over-think, map out my life, pick my next travel destinations, self-actualise, -reflect, -analyse, -deprecate, love myself, hate myself, resign myself to my self, take a shower, make a list. (Reprise) Then, before I know it, it’s 10:PM and my half-finished blog post is still lingering on my monitor leaving me feeling unfulfilled, disappointed, and mad at myself that I did it again. I may attempt one or two sentences for good measure, hate where they’re going, and as a last ditch effort I’ll try to channel the exuberance I experienced earlier. However, it usually concludes with me opening up Bouncing Balls in Facebook, and then I go to bed.
Anyway, in a life’s nutshell, since my last successful post, I received my transfer request to start working in one of the downtown east side offices. For those of my readers who are unfamiliar with the DTES, I encourage you to visit the above link. This area of Vancouver is aka “Canada’s poorest postal code.” It’s the truth, bang on. And, it fascinates me in the most sincere, genuine, empathetic, compassionate, and heartfelt way I could ever express.
This area struggles in so many ways and does seem like there is no relief. In many ways there really isn’t. The struggle is consuming. So I’m here now experiencing at least a duplication of destitution from what I experienced at my old office. Some people, when I tell them I actually requested this transfer, will say I don’t know how you do it. My parents will say, Oh, just be careful, Andrea. I mean, in many ways they’re valid concerns. This place isn’t for everyone. But, for me, it’s full of damage, and for those who know me well, they know I love people’s damage.
I wonder about why it appeals to me so much and I believe a lot of it has to do with the fact that in the DTES, as an example, you will come across real people. Their afflictions are there for the world to see. Denying them to save face it is no longer a concern. They can be inappropriate, yes. Addicted, mentally ill, lost souls, and are in perpetual survival mode – survival is all they live for. It can be vulgar down there, yes. But it’s still real, there is no facade. Real as a state of being is very comfortable for me to be around. It’s the philosophy I live my life by, only with equanimity. There’s also something about helping someone find a roof over their head, give them some food, give them some hope, some warmth, just an ounce of understanding, respect, and comfort. The DTES is so rich with community resources too, I mean there is support for every possible social circumstance you can find yourself in. Starvation, addiction, fear, violence. You name it.
The DTES community resources are almost as saturated with support as the area is saturated with devastation so there is a good balance. Remember the industrious Doozers who lived under Fraggle Rock? They were constantly working but never really seemed to focus on what the heck they were constructing and why they were even doing it. They just did it because it seemed to need to be done. That’s almost what the DTES is like.
Pull up a chair, Andrea goes into the deep end…
I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I identify my own damage on a regular basis. I don’t hide from it. I might wish some of it away, or may resent experiencing some things, but, at the same time, I’ve found that there’s nothing more cleansing than understanding what your damage is and meeting it at face value rather than convincing yourself it’s not a part of who you truly are. In doing this, I find it gives me better perspective into someone else’s life. When you know what hurts you, and you acknowledge it, you have a good idea of what’s going to hurt someone else. Then you make many friends that last a lifetime. You become the person who just “gets it” and I don’t care who you are, we all want that in the people we meet along the way.
So things are going well at the new office overall. I was caught last week picking up the sticky insect traps around the office to see what goodies were inside. This may or may not have included going under some unoccupied desks. See, bed bugs are an issue in the DTES and I’ve never actually seen one so the sole purpose of my investigation was to find one stuck in there that I could see for real. Don’t you pick up sticky bug traps in your office to see what’s inside? What? That’s not normal behaviour for a thirty-two year old?
What else did I get up to…?
Oh yes, I finally finished painting my living room. It took me three weeks to complete and even still I’m not entirely finished painting the frame around my front door but on the whole the walls, trim, all six window casements and baseboards are finished. 1/3 of the door frame is complete. Perhaps I’ll finish the rest tonight.
Doubt it though.
On Friday night I vowed to my body and soul that we would do nothing together. The hour struck 9:00 and I turned off all the lights, put on my Beatles’ Love Songs album set, put on the fireplace and mentally escaped while staring at the ceiling from my sofa. If you’ve never done such a thing, I highly recommend it.
At any rate Let it be came on with a little crackle and as one of my favourite Beatles songs played I started to really concentrate on what that song meant to me and actually came up with a new tattoo idea. Of the three, but technically four, that I have, this would really be the only one that would actually be something I truly believe in. I have one, but technically two, on my left foot that translate into “Happiness” and “Truth” from Chinese (to the best of my knowledge) and I got those when I turned seventeen because my first real boyfriend made out with some other girl on a beach one night. That was how I dealt with the heartache. – Might as well tattoo my passive-aggressiveness on my own foot.
Now, when people ask, I just tell them it means Merry Christmas.
My mom will find out I’m getting a new tattoo from reading my blog. Hi muzzy. Reminds me of the really bizarre time I was actually coming back from my technically first tattoo on my foot and my mom was surprisingly driving right behind the OC Transpo bus. She spotted me, my face pressed against the back window of the bus and mouthed the words Did you get it? With the kind of look on her face that screamed I fucking hope not! I gave her a thumbs up with a really innocent look on my face that said Please don’t hurt me. All was well.
Okay so… blogging … new office … painting … tattoos. There’s got to be something else…
I might just very well be lapsing into that state again so I best get this published before it gets thrown into the pile of drafts that I will never get back to and eventually delete in a moment of housekeeping my blog.
Nicole, that one was for you okay? It’s my wedding gift to you.
Haven’t jammed in a while? Me either… let’s jam.
Neil Young – Unknown Legend.
I think this is such a beautiful song. I want someone to play it for me some day.
The Enthusiast, by David Uhl