Thursday, May 26, 2011

Creeping Vines

O, poor neglected blog.  I hope you've been able to feed yourself in my absence!

I'm kind of in a quandary.  I have this amazing, awesome, powerful job that I love so much, and generates so many feelings and so much fucking amazing material... and I can't write about it.  Not that I can't write about it, but that I can't write what I want about it, because I respect the confidentiality of our clients, and this is a small town, so even the most general characteristics might identify someone.

But I can say that I've been working full time at an agency that provides low-barrier services for homeless and very low-income people in Portland.  It is simultaneously the hardest job I've ever had, and sometimes doesn't even feel like work (work to me is sitting at a desk for 8 hours in front of a computer.  I get to talk to people all day and I'm lucky if I get to check my email once a day). I am fully engaged with my whole person in this work, for the first time in my life that I can think of.

It's the clients themselves who provide the richness of the job, though.  Working with them is making me a better human being, for sure.  Every single day I see both the very best and very worst of human nature, and I am learning how to radically accept these things, and in turn myself. And after years of cynicism and coolness and worrying about what other people think (and, OK, pushing away my own feelings), it feels good to care, really fucking care about the people who use our services, to try to be genuine and present in every moment, to learn how to set boundaries with love.... I am growing by large leaps and difficult landings.

And I leave every day exhausted and with a heart full: or worry, of hope, of love, of frustration, of empowerment, of pride, of sadness.

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