Getting a Little Perspective

This past week has been very busy and very stressful. For a moment, I wondered if I am putting too much stress on myself. I am, after all, trying to finish up my second draft of the novel by the end of the year. Not to mention the reading and the grammar. My life consists of working 8-9 hour days, coming home cooking dinner and working another two to three on personal writing career. It doesn't leave time for much else. I keep thinking, "If I am this busy now, how will I ever be able to manage this and a family?" then I think, that is why I am doing this now...So that I work fulltime as a writer later. The timeline helps keep me focused. It's hard to slack off, when you're on the clock.

On Friday I was really stressed out. I let it creep over into the weekend and I shouldn't have, but sometimes you can't help it. Then today I remembered that God doesn't put you in situations that you can't handle. I know you're probably surprised to hear that coming out of my mouth. I don't even go to church regularly. But I strongly, fervently believe that everything happens for a reason. Every single time I have suffered something good has come out of it. Even the scars that I still carry, they make me the compassionate, intelligent and witty person that I am. People who have never fallen have never tried. Life is about getting bruises. Love is about getting hurt.

So today I had lunch with someone who reminded me just how lucky I am. Frederick is a young man from Rwanda. Same age as me he survived genocide, lost both of his arms and lived on the streets. Now he is a painter, a photographer, a teacher, the founder of an international non-profit organization (NGO) and big brother. He tells me that sometimes he gets nervous about having so much responsibility, but if he doesn't do it, who will. He believes in giving back. He was able to come to the US and get Prosthetics in 2002. Not everyone in his country is as lucky. He teaches individuals with disabilities to become a functioning part of society. He brings them off the streets, provides food and shelter, and most importantly an education.

Frederick talks about the genocide in Rwanda. He speaks of the movie Hotel Rwanda and says that it is not truth, that in reality, what happened was more violent, more horrible than anything they could show. He asked me how I felt when I saw it. My answer? Angry, very, very angry. I was angry because I had no real idea what was going on at the time. I was embarrassed that we as a country didn’t do more to aid them. I was 12/13 and was ignorant to things like that, living in a very sheltered world. The fact that it was almost ten years later before I even learned about it, angered me more. Frederick and I were the same age. He should not have had to endure the things that he has. He should not have had to grow up so fast.

I sat with Frederick and remembered that just as he has been given a gift and is meant to do certain things. So am I. It is foolish to believe that it will be easy. Just like everything else in life, if it were easy, we wouldn't bother. I've always been two steps ahead, too focused on the next phase to enjoy the one I'm in. Maybe it's time I focused on the now and what I can to today.