23 June 2009

my list

a coupla years ago, i made a list of 20 things i really wanted to do in this life. some of the things on the list are pretty random (e.g. (#18) sit on the inside of an igloo and (#16) hold a really cute monkey). some things are probably on other peoples' lists (e.g. (#19) climb the inca trail and (#14) sail the indian ocean). and some things are uniquely me (e.g. (#5) spend a year with no address and (#4) make love in the rain).

but number 11 is the one that matters most to me. 'make a difference in someone's life'. since making the list (i have one copy on my fridge and another on the bulletin board in my kbd office), i have been told by more than one person that i can scratch number 11 off the list. but when i put number 11 on paper, i meant more than _just_ making a difference. like, it's not enough that a great friendship, an intense series of conversations about life, love, politics and bullshit, or helping someone get a job or a lover, makes a difference in their life. i'm talking about having a major impact in the way someone chooses to live their life.

tomorrow that opportunity arrives. by design. my 16-year old niece is coming to spend the rest of the summer with me. she's having a tough time in her life, is not making productive choices, and needs an intervention of sorts. i'm it.

when i signed up to take her on, my nearest and dearest (all of whom have since signed up to partake in teen-friendly summer activities with my summer kid and myself) touted me a saint for sacrificing my lively single-girl summer plans to play mentor and hostess to a troubled teen. but i'm no saint.

i'm motivated by self-interest as much as anything else. i may be dedicating the next eight weeks to helping my summer kid recognize how wonderful life can be by making the right choices and believing in herself. i want to empower her to be the best she can be, while showing her that she must forgive herself when she makes her many mistakes. but i'm doing this as much for me as i am her. because if i can accomplish my goal, i can scratch number 11 from my list, satisfied that i achieved the best possible number 11 outcome.

see, i'm no saint. i am a selfish asshole like everyone else. there's just a slightly different method to my madness.


1 comment:

  1. I would definitely agree that you can cross off #11 from your list many, many times over. Good luck over the next several weeks! I will be sending you good vibes!!