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Friday, September 27, 2013

Walking through the Storm

Ahh! Okay now that I let that out, I can begin this blog post. I don’t know where to begin. I can say things have been difficult.  I can say I feel frustrated, upset, angry, sad, etc. etc. I can even say I don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve cried more than needed, and my patience is being tested.

Yet, I am still here.

As a believer, I know life’s trials and tribulations are lessons as well as tests. I know God doesn’t allow things to happen without reason. He teaches us things that may not make sense at first, but eventually it all comes together. When I can wake up every morning, I feel it is a blessing. I believe it’s another chance to start over or try something new. I am grateful for that. 


Going to the waterfront makes me feel alive. I love the breeze felt on my face from the water’s waves. I like smelling the salty, seaweed smell from the river. Last Friday, I spent half the day by a west side waterfront in Manhattan daydreaming, listening to music, placing my thoughts in the water. I stood and sat by watching people join me. Some were doing exercise, walking their dog, or sunbathing on the grassy patch. I wanted to be as close to the water as possible. I felt stuck. I didn’t want to leave. My emotions varied.

The day before, I went to the Brooklyn waterfront where the moment I stood at my favorite spot I cried. The tears flowed like raindrops sliding down the window glass. I cried because I admitted to myself how much I changed since losing my job. I had to admit that since I stopped teaching, I felt I lost everything. I volunteered, took many online training classes, participated in events, but it didn’t fill the void I have in my heart. It still hurts that I am not teaching. It hurts that every teaching job interview I’ve been on is a bust. Although, I am aware of the budget cuts from ESL/adult literacy programs in NYC, I still wish I was a part of it some form or fashion. 

At the waterfront in Manhattan, I didn’t cry but reflected on everything I’ve been feeling. I prayed and thought about ways to move forward. I wrote too. I felt as if God was telling me that I still could do what I want, just differently. He also let me know that I still matter and I still can. My hip problem plagues me a lot. I’m in constant pain and believe that will be the case for a while. I’ve been back and forth with the doctors and no solution. The thought of a second surgery still lingers, and it’s still a possibility. I know that. I’m trying to avoid it. After leaving the waterfront, I visited the East Village where I sat in Washington Square Park, taking pictures of the flowers. I like this park, because it’s very artsy. I like how the people dress there too. It is home to New York University (NYU). Anywhere there’s a college, I feel happy. I then visited their bookstore where I saw a couple of books I want to read. They had teddy bears with the NYU school logo sitting on each bookcase. I felt like they were looking at me while browsing through books. Of course, you know which section I went to first, education, and psychology/social work. I really like the teddy bears.

I took a slow stroll to Astor Place where I saw Cooper Union School and some street art, which I love. I saw a homeless man who looked very sad. He wasn’t asking for money from anyone, but did have his hand out. He kept his head down most of the time. His body language showed that he was tired and needed rest. I went over to him putting money in his cup, which only had a dollar coin and two quarters. When I said, “Here you go,” he said thank you. I felt humbled and good knowing he could at least get a meal or something. I know that could easily be me. I rather give what little I have to someone less fortunate, than to be selfish. We are in hard times now, and since being out of work, I know that all too well.

I went to a panel discussion last night about volunteering during a disaster. I enjoyed it very much, because the panelists shared their personal experiences volunteering in disaster relief. I have an interest in mental health and disaster mental health as well. I met someone who works in disaster mental health, which is great. I have a feeling we’re going to have lots to talk about in the near future. I ran into someone I knew who was there. She is very nice and we have more in common than I thought. We talked for a long time after the event was over. It’s been a while having good conversation in a park at night. Many of the things she said, I could relate to on so many levels. I haven’t known her for long, but it felt like I did. It was nice to vent to someone who doesn’t know much about me. It’s no pressure or holier-than-thou attitudes. Instead, it’s mutual understanding and empathy. Empathy is so important when dealing with problems. It’s nice to receive that occasionally. One thing I did learn last night was the importance of asking for help and support.  My self-pride is going to get me in trouble! I don’t like asking for assistance, but I know I could use some support. Besides, my eyes are tired from crying.

I will walk through the storm. I know God is with me and I have to believe things will get better. I won’t give up on my dream or myself. I just can’t do that.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dara,

    I feel for you... I'm sorry that you have been out of work [the work that is your calling] for so long and that you have been unable to find another position up until now.

    I do hope that you find a position to your liking very soon.

    How wonderful that you met someone [new or old] with whom you were able to connect and talk... that is so important.

    Two things that may be of some help:

    1) < link to a free book on kindle [I believe you can also read these on your computer if you do not have a kindle] for a time limited period on making a difference [it sounds like it may be your cup of tea]

    2) There is an upcoming twitter chat #MeaningfulWork on Oct 1st at 7PM EST that you may want to check out

    Lastly, as Colin Powell eloquently stated: "A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work."

    So keep on plugging away, you will find a position....

    Best of luck!