... to explain everything which has transpired since last I wrote. Here are some of my learnings:
1. There is a reason they call it working FULL-TIME and going to school FULL-TIME. Doing both at the same time in one life results in a negative quantity of time and whole lot of half-assed assignments in both domains.
2. Our system for assisting those suffering with any kind of mental challenge and their families is one of the more broken things in our world. No one gets what they need without unimaginable pain and stress that does not let go. The only way to get through this is one breath at a time.
3. I love the boys I work with more than I ever thought it was possible to love children that did not come out of my own womb. They smell, they curse, they are involved in all sorts of destructive behaviors, they devour media whose benefit I cannot find, they only love you back when it suits them, and they have attitudes bigger than the whole sky... and somtimes things happen and they run away and I don't know where they are or if they are safe or cold or hungry or dead or injured or scared or sad or destroying themselves by some other means, and when they come home I realize why my heart was racing and I could't sleep and it makes tears in my eyes and I have to hold on to them for a few seconds and touch their faces to make sure that the peices are still attached. There are moments in every day I work there that are so fundamentally human that my heart literally hurts. Human = someone needs to listen to my story. Human = someone needs to be there for me to give my school papers to. Human = someone needs to hug me when I get home. Human = someone needs to laugh at my jokes. Human = someone needs to be delighted that I came back with both feet under me. That anyone could birth a child like any of the children in my cottage and ever give him away... ever consent to have him taken away... ever not be able to find the strength necessary to move heaven and earth for him... this baffles me. I am better able to interact with the bafflement than I have been in the past. The parents concerned cannot find the strength. Things have happened beyond their control. Most of them come from so many generations of shattered families that they do not know how to even think about being 1 of 2, let alone 1 of a whole family. The world is an ugly place, and foster care is another place where the ugly shows clearly. All I know is that if the universe conspires in such a way that I cannot adopt or have a son of my own, I think that my life will be incomplete. Seriously, I have sisters; I knew about daughters. I did not know about sons. Why didn't anyone ever tell me about sons?
4. I have the capacity to literally love anyone. This is both a blessing and a curse. I am still learning how to interact with this quality. Love is, after all, both blind and the answer.
5. EVERYTHING (from eye contact to tone of voice to words that are said to when to speak and when to not to what you say and how you say it and what color shirt you're wearing and more things even than that) about communication is cultural. There literally are different sets of rules for different colors of people, and an annoyingly small number of people are able to understand that people should be treated differently when they deliberately slight you than when they simply did not speak your cultural language.
6. The flu SUCKS. Seriously, that thing knocked me on my behind for 1 week and left me perpetually dizzy and exhausted to weak for another week on top of that. I lay there and thought, "Yep, I could see how someone could die from this. It wouldn't be that hard to die from this." Still firmly in this world, but it was truly awful.
7. I need curtains on my windows in my room. I have decided to go ahead and let this be a long, laborious process of picking some that I really love instead of settling for ones which will work but which I don't really care about. This is probably metaphorical, but for now it's about curtains. Stop judging me.
8. Speaking of judging, I do not know where single women even go to find a man. I am open to this possibility, and I feel like, despite #1, now is the time. There is a startling lack of options.
9. I hate school and everything it stands for. Who said this was about education? I've said it before, and I'll say it again; school getting grades which is about figuring out what the teacher wants and delivering it.
I think that's probably enough learning for now. I'm exhausted. My life is exhausting. I do, however, love almost everything I get to do. Who's complaining? Not me. :)