Who I Am

For those who don’t know, I am 23 years old and live in the Midwest USA. I recently had to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, for a few different reasons. The most pressing though, was that when I turn 25 (I think) I go off my dad’s insurance. Now, that ¬†might not be too big of a deal, but since I’m a Type 1 Diabetic (for 19 years now) I definitely must have insurance. There is no way anyone can afford the outrageous cost for a Type 1 Diabetic to get the supplies that will keep them alive. I’ll save my rantings on that for another post.

Anyway, I needed to either have a job that would offer me good insurance, or else have a job where I can afford to pay for good insurance by that time. I decided to go with dog grooming, and am very happy that I did! However, I’m still not sure if it’ll be enough for insurance, but surprisingly that isn’t what I want this post to be about anyhow.

Yesterday I finished my first reading of a Philip K. Dick book by recommendation of Lucas. (Thank you amore!) Flow My Tears the Policeman Said is the one I had the pleasure of reading first. And my, how my mind did melt. I am putting everything he’s ever done on my list of must-reads. If you haven’t read him, you need to! (Although I’m probably the one late to the party) I started to read more about him as a person after finishing his work, which is what I normally do when a book/movie/actor/etc moves me. I learned that he had dealings with drugs, depression, other mental health issues. His ideas for the future, now over forty years ago, still hold up against time and could be our future even now. We definitely didn’t get there yet, but reading his book really made me think about the world.

We live in an age that no one has been in. Which is also true for the generations before us. (That we know of) What exactly are we doing with this time, and this knowledge, and technology we have? Are we bettering the world? Are we helping each other achieve goals, and move toward the future in unison? Are we trying to colonize other planets, and explore the universe? Why do we feel the need to be contained on one planet when there are too many to count right at our backdoor?

Yes, some people are trying to do good, and trying to help the world and their fellow man. But most of us are not. Is that just ‘the human condition’, or will we as humanity reach a point where we decide enough is enough and we change? When I was in first grade I wrote a story about the Rain Forest. At that time I wanted to go to the Rain Forests when I grew up and fight for the lives there that were being destroyed. The trees, the animals. Look up how many of our animals are endangered, or already extinct. It is disgusting. Only for the fact that it isn’t Nature who’s endangering them as the circle of life goes, but it’s us! WE are responsible. Even if you aren’t the one doing it, we’re living in a world where most of us don’t care, or don’t speak up about the things that are wrong because we’d rather ‘go with the flow’ and not stand out or make waves.

I have anxiety. It’s getting better, but is still very much there. I have decided though, that I’m not going to let it stand in my way. I’m going to go against the flow, and I am going to be me with MY thoughts and MY opinions. And they might differ from yours. And that’s okay. We don’t need to be the same, but we don’t need to fight about it either.

At work, The Groomer is everyone’s favorite person to hate. You know the one, I’m sure every workplace has somebody like that. She drinks, and comes to work drunk a lot. I’m not really sure why they let her stay, considering it is a HUGE risk and liability. I’ll write a different post about that though, I don’t want to get off topic. I’ve lived my life up to this point trying to please everyone, and trying to say or do what I think they want me to so they’ll like me or so we’ll get along perfectly. Since she broke her hand, she’s been out of the clinic quite a bit due to it swelling and her not being able to groom anyway. When she isn’t there, other staff members are excited and talk about how great it is she’s gone and how terrible she is. I’ll stand up there and nod along; not really inputting anything, but laughing when they do and whatnot else.

I was thinking about that the past couple days, and that isn’t me, nor is it who I want to be. I don’t want to be that person who laughs behind someone’s back, especially someone who has taught me everything I know about grooming, and who has had a difficult life. You don’t end up the way she is without having had many ordeals throughout the years. From now on, I refuse to be that person. If others want to talk and make fun of her, that’s on them. I will not stand for it, nor be around it anymore. Who cares if they think I’m dumb or like me less because of it? Not me. I’d rather be who I am, and proud of that person, than have to tell you all I’ve gone along with making fun of someone and feeling ashamed of that.

Going back to humanity, why is it so hard for us to help each other out? Today we went to the store, and there was a man sitting outside. He walks around town, we’ve seen him the past two years we’ve lived here. He’s homeless, and just has a backpack. Always out in the elements, rain or shine. Why do we shy away from, and move our gaze from people like that? Why is our first response not one of helping and comforting? I don’t have a lot of money, but I had three dollars in my wallet which I gave to him. He thanked me, and I said, “Happy Memorial Day”. He said, “Oh, is that today?” I told him no, tomorrow, and he smiled. “Peace and love to you” he told me as I walked away, and I turned back and smiled and told him same to you.

Three dollars may not be a lot to some, but it is to me, and I’m sure to him. Want to know something crazy though? The feeling I got having that momentary connection with him, knowing he could now get something cool to drink, or whatever it was he wanted most with that $3, made me feel better than anything I could have bought with it.

I’m still figuring out who I am. With any luck, I’ll still be figuring it out forty years from now. I don’t like a lot of things in this world. I don’t like the way most people treat each other, and the Earth. I’m frustrated with it all. But I also realize I can make MY world how I would like to see everyone’s. Not by writing a story, but by living it. Now that I’ve written that down it does sound a bit cheesy, but it’s true. I can be better to my fellow humans, and fellow flora and fauna surrounding me. I can continue to give to those in need, and donate to charities that try to help endangered animals and other important causes. I may not have a lot to give, but every single little bit counts. And I will like that person in me who gives, and who wants to see things get better, and who wants to be a part of that. In time, I may actually learn to like myself. And that would be grand.