Everything Looks Perfect From Far Away

Like…snow.

Snow is so, so pretty when it’s falling. Then, when it gets in your shoes (or, even worse, your pants) it isn’t so pretty. It’s cold, and wet, and will leave you freezing for the rest of the day. Especially if it gets in your underwear and you have a long day of work ahead of you.

Snow isn’t the only thing that’s perfect from far away. The future is, too. All of these amazing things I imagined doing–doing laundry with my boyfriend, working with at-risk youth, slogging through the Cambodian jungle–are very different in reality.

Not necessarily in a bad way, just different.

But then again, snow is still fun and pretty up close–but it’s a lot colder than it looks from your window.

Just like the future can be, too.

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It’s a Puzzle

I work with one particular boy who consistently gets in his way.

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the kids I work with do this, and a lot of people in general do this.

(Myself, for one, but let’s not go down that road).

Not long ago, this kid, we’ll call him M, finally seemed to find an activity that kept him out of trouble and quiet. This kid, from the first day I started, was a headache. That sounds mean, but seriously, I could not reach this child. I could see his pain and feel  his anger, but I could not find anything beneath those masks with which I could connect.

Then, we went shopping and bought some new puzzles, and my boss convinced M to get started on a bada** one with a bunch of dragons with a tantalizing offer:  finishing the puzzle would equal keeping the puzzle.

What a boon.

M worked diligently on his puzzle for days. When he finally reached the last few pieces and found one missing, we were all close to devastated.

When another sharp-eyed student spotted the missing piece, my boss went right over to tell M the good news. He came back and happily added the last piece.

And the next day?

M destroyed the whole thing.

It breaks my heart to see a glimmer of something in a child, and then before you know it, the window is slammed shut.

I’ve never seen a glimmer in M again, and we rarely ever see him anymore.

All I can do is hope–someday–he’ll remember that someone believed in him in enough to encourage him to something as simple as a puzzle, and that someone is there if he needs help achieving more.

Sometimes, we see a glimmer in someone and we never see it again. I guess that’s how life is–we’re all just a bunch of ships passing in the night, and sometimes a lantern turns on. Sometimes it stays on, sometimes it burns out, sometimes it blinds you, sometimes it warms you.

courtesy of wikipedia.com

And every light is beautiful. Perhaps the ones that are just a flash are the ones we’ll remember most–but boy, it’s hard to remember and never get to see more.

This Is How It Works

“This is how it works:
You’re young until you’re not
You love until you don’t
You try until you can’t
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath…”                                                                                                  ~Regina Spektor

My thought for the day.

It was quite a day, and it’s been quite a week, and I’m too tired to think about anything else but the fact that life isn’t fair, it’s not always pretty, the older you get the more you worry.

The more people you care about the more you worry, and the more people you know, the more people will have things to say that they think could make your life better.

Sometimes, the only thing you can do to make it through is remember that life is pretty basic.  All you can do is keep trying until you just can’t anymore.

Then, maybe take a nap.

And get up and try some more.