I went to Wal-Mart today and purchased a lunch box. I left the last one behind at my old job and being a broke college student I had to shop around for the best price on a new one, big surprise it Wal-Mart won. Of course all of this is irrelevant to the story. 🙂
When I was checking out it took a bit longer than I’d hoped for. The lady that was the front of the line had questions and the cashier was kind of slow.. What struck me as funny was the man in front of me, so far as I could tell all he was purchasing was a bottled water. Why stand in a somewhat backed up line for something you could have paid for at a vending machine and been on your way? I also thought his manner was curious. He just seemed to have a lot on his mind, distracted or something. Anyway, his turn comes, this whole time waiting in line behind him he never made eye contact with me, he waited for his bottle water to be scanned and then asked for nicotine gum, the Orange flavor. As soon as he asked he glanced over and made eye contact with me. I just smiled and he smiled back. I wanted to say, Congratulations. Good for you. I think he could tell because his smile seemed to reply with, Thanks, it isn’t easy.
I love being out in the world and, even for just a moment in a glance, feeling like there was a connection with another person. A silent conversation, a smile, even just eye contact. I will settle for it. I genuinely enjoy interacting. That’s a funny thing really given that I am by nature an introvert. I have my moments without a doubt but I do love those small connections made with the rest of the world in passing.
I am doing quite well in classes. Well, with the exception of Math that it is. That, unfortunately, is nothing new for me. I am not a Math student. I am working on it though and will pass just fine. I have no other options. If I want to reach my goal I have to meet my full potential and do what I may have thought impossible before.
I had lunch with a classmate on Wednesday. We share the same major and it was nice to get to talk more about our lives and what brought us to where we are. It seems to me that she is still searching. She is younger than me by 7 years and has a bit further to go with this part of her degree before she can move on to the next. I explained the requirements of the program we are planning to apply for and gave some suggestions on things she can do to make herself look good on her application. I think she may do some volunteer work with me at some point, hard to say when though. She seems hesitant. I can appreciate that. I didn’t start volunteering until a few years ago. When you are in your younger twenties your time feels more precious. You go through that mind-set of ” I only get to be this age once, I don’t want to waste it being responsible”, or such was the case with me at least. 🙂 I have no regrets about the decisions I have made, even the less thoughtful ones led me ultimately in the right direction. I wouldn’t know myself as well as I do if I hadn’t broken my own heart a few times along the way.
So on Tuesday I start volunteering at the Russell Home for Atypical Children. I am excited and nervous. Excited because I want to be hands on and experience this so badly. I want to be exposed to struggle and good will and love and heart ache. I was originally interested in this particular group because of Isaac, my nephew. He is the lightness in my step. He is also autistic. I want everything for him and I don’t want his differences to hold him back but in the same breath I would never under any circumstance want to change him. I like to think of myself as an optimist, a happy person with a kind disposition. However, I believe that no amount of good I will ever be able to do will hold a candle to the goodness in that boy’s heart. You will never meet a sweeter soul. Quite aware of what I am saying here, I would count myself lucky to have a son exactly like him. So he is my reason for wanting to help with this group. I also feel timid about this decision as well though because even with my experience in the medical field and what I have learned after Isaac’s DX I have still never had this much contact with so many disabled people at once. My experience from my medical background is more with MS and Oncology patients. We would have an occasional Cerebral Palsy case but that was few and far between. I guess I am just worried for the same reasons I always worry, that I am not emotionally strong enough or that I just wont be able to give enough.
I am going to have to stop for now. Todd has come to bed and he is talking to me and muddling my thoughts.