The past month has been one of the worst for me in terms of anxiety and stress over the situation I currently find myself in. The financial support that the ex had been offering came to and end on September 1. Since then, I’ve been on hyperdrive trying to land a job and find my own way forward and out of this predicament. I’ve got bills stacking, and the pressure of starting out on my own is building. I’ve developed eczema and find myself digging at my own skin in the middle of the night on more occasions than I care to admit. I have had to really dial back my caloric intake simply because I can’t afford it. In short, it’s been a very trying month.
Beyond all of that, though, there have been brilliant radiances of amazingness in the clouds and turmoil of this place I find myself at. I have been able to connect with some of the best people here in Portland. I’ve made friends with a guy named Dan, a health fan and person with a perspective I can align with. I’ve met Jim, another local who appreciates the peace and kindness that can be found here. I’ve met Marc, a man who has given me an outlet for thoughts that I rarely get to express. These guys, and the others that have come into and pass out of my life in the last thirty days have been extraordinary to me.
It’s now, as the end of the month bears down on me, that I’m realizing the threads that bind them together. In fact, they are the threads that have bound so many people I have been fortunate to meet and share time with, both here and in the many other places I’ve lived. I am truly surrounded by people who are loving, caring, and above all, kind.
I have had help from complete and total strangers. I am connected to many people across many channels, and it is because of this that I have had a chance to interact with more people now than would have ever been possible only a few short years ago. On occasion and out of the blue, these people I share with and connect can sense when I’m in a dire strait, and it’s then that I have been amazed with the help and support they’ve given me, a total and utter stranger.
What this means, for me, is this: I have a lot to pay forward. When I finally do connect with a job, and start to get my life back into order, I fully intend on making an impact on someone else in the same fashion. Need a couch to crash on? I have one. Need a few bucks to tide you over? I’d gladly give you some, with no strings. I want to be that guy. I want to be the man who can and does help to the best of his abilities. This bout of joblessness has taught me that it’s not all about the preservation of self. I am, in fact, part of a wider community, full of people who are amazing and wonderful and deserving of as much support as I can offer.
All of this is coming at at time when I’m exploring my own gratitude towards the people in my past who have made a huge positive impact on me. Suddenly, I’m finding myself reaching out, back over time, to these people who have gone out of their way, have said or done something that hit me in a certain way, and have altered the course of this journey I am on. I am thankful to them, and with each piece of writing I do as part of this project, I’m finding deep and amazing emotions that I have been unable to unearth until now. It is these nuggets of gratitude, and the impact of expressing them, that has made yet an even greater impact upon me.
Kindness is at the heart of it all. I have learned to be kind, be humble, and most of all, see that I’m not just a lonely spaceman on this planet. I’m part of something larger. I have a role in it all, and once my house is in order, I will gladly take up the reins.