I am what you would call, an “emotionally driven” person. If you have ever taken a Meyers-Briggs test, one of the dichotomous categories that makes up its personality portrait is whether a person is “Judging” or “Feeling.” Are you a ‘J’ or an ‘F’? Through the countless mishaps and joys peppering my life so far, I can say with fair certainty I am a “feeling” person. This is neither good nor bad thing, its just what it is. There are times though, when I react so strongly to a situation clearly based on feeling and not fact, that I can’t help but wonder what the hell I was thinking?
One day, while walking to work, I passed by a woman and what I assumed were her two kids. The older boy looked about 13-14ish and the other son looked a few years younger. Both kids looked scraggly and a bit dirty and the mother looked even worse. Staring off vacantly with her hand wrapped in a shawl and her younger son clinging to her while she walked, she looked lost. Seeing this affected me alot. I wished at that moment I could do something longstandingly (is that a word?) positive for them, especially the kids. No one, especially a young person, just starting to grasp at their place in the world, deserves a life like that. I had thoughts of quitting my job and going back to school to become a social worker, thats how stirred up I felt. I thought about it for a bit but eventually at the end of the day the idea had just drifted off (along with the strong emotion I might add).
A couple of months later, while on my morning run, I see another young kid. Probably about early teens with dark hair and looked kind of tired. He skulking around in some dirty jeans and a thin shirt at the corner of one the intersections I am waiting to cross. He kept looking at his phone and moving it around as if to somehow get better reception. My immediate reaction is: “Oh no, its that homeless kid from before! He is probably living the in park in this cold weather. He has nothing and probably cannot call anyone because his cell phone is dead! Gahhh! Why is life so unfair!?” I am not kidding. The leaps and bounds my brain is able to make is scary amazing. Outwardly, I ran past him like the sometimes aloof adult I am, but once I got further away I was overwhelmed enough to actually start tearing up and my throat started to itch. I slowed down and managed to calm myself down but for the entire run that kid was on my mind. Was this this my newfound passion? To go out and save the kids of the world? Maybe. I kept running and at some point turned around and ran back. As I got closer to where I saw the first kid I did not see one, but two kids. More homeless teens! And they looked like they were scrounging around in the dirt, no less. Lost in my dramatic sadness I almost missed seeing a green recreational park truck parked near the side of which, an obvious adult park manager was standing nearby. The kids were using gardening tools to dig through the dirt in order to make some sort of path way. The adult was directing them on how best to clear the area and generally giving orders. I felt so….deflated after I saw that. All my energy devoted to the indignation of the existence of poor homeless kids. I felt a little ridiculous at how quickly my emotions get a bit out of control. But in a way, I don’t mind it. I would rather be someone that has feelings and is able to empathize. I am going to at least channel that into some good towards kids (which I usually am afraid sometimes to approach because they can be intimidating!) Because of this I have started tutoring this kindergartner weekly. It has been interesting, partly because I always thought I was a generally funny person and like, not weird (though I know everyone is a little weird). But this kid keeps me on my toes. “Why did you say that?!” “Do you always wear purple?” or my favorite, “Why are you laughing?” Even so, he is a great kid, with an energy quota that simultaneously scares me (Lord help me, he makes me question Motherhood sometimes) and motivates me, chock full of mile-a-minute ideas. I am glad to be making some difference in his life, albeit a small one.