Thursday, July 12, 2012
My Time of Service
So, I got a job! It's for a non-profit, and even though I am going to be wicked poor, I'm really excited. I've mentioned how much community means to me before. Well, I think I have found a strong community at this organization. I will be canvassing neighborhoods and events to raise money for Planned Parenthood and OxFam. The organization for which I will be working works to raise money for left-leaning political organizations, which is definitely more aligned with my politics. I am excited to be actively working for things that are important to me, even though it will mean a poor existence and I will continually be challenged by having to persuade strangers to donate their money. When I walked into their office, I was floored by how passionate, warm, friendly, and open the staff was. It just felt right. I felt I had found a beautiful community. Then, I was offered the job immediately after my interview, which also felt like kismet. In all honesty, I'm nervous about the money. But, as I told my mom, I think everyone should be poor for a time. It forces one to be creative. It forces one to be empathetic. My poorness will push me toward doing all of the things I've talked about doing like buying my clothes secondhand, growing my own vegetables and herbs, foraging for food that grows in the city, fixing my own bicycle, and making my own shampoos and household products. I'll have to go to free events and buy beer on the cheap. I think it will be amazing! And the people in this office! I am so excited to get to know them. They remind me so much of the radical community with whom I was involved in college. I believe that I was meant to take this journey and, evidently, I was meant to do it all the way. What I mean by that is that I came here for the Portland experience and I have been handed the Portland Experience on a platter,starting with my service job. I will work for a non-profit, I will not own a car because I can't afford one, I will not eat meat (mostly because meat's expensive and it's easier to find roommates that way, not because I don't like meat), I will make my own laundry detergent, I will live in a house with four other roommates who host punk rock shows and poetry readings in their house, and I will go for beers with my co-workers after a day of being shit on by the general public. Basically, by taking this job, I am saying yes to a lifestyle that I've been afraid to embrace. It's not a secure lifestyle, but I want to be insecure. It's good to be uncomfortable. Plus, I just want to fight for something that I believe in. I talk about things that I believe in, but I rarely actually do anything. This job is doing something. I want a strong sense of community. Well, the first step is to be a part of one and the next step is to work for a better community. Raising money for what I believe in is a great way to better my community. So, I'm putting in my time of service. I do not know how long it will last. I just know that I believe I was meant to do this.