Friday, October 22, 2010

Showing Up

Yesterday, my sky was falling.  I was haunted with some thoughts and feelings I'd thought I'd worked though last year. The day was colored melancholy, and I couldn't seem to work it out.

But I had a water polo game at 5:30pm.  So, what to do?

Last year our swim coach, the very motivational Justin Finney, spoke a phrase to us that has rested in the forefront of my mind ever since.  He said, "Losers show up just to say they were there."  We had a strenuous swim set in front of us, and he wanted us to understand that we could get through it or we could give it our all.  What was our mentality going to be?  If we were only showing up to get through it, it was better for us to go home.  Don't show up just to say you were there.

So, yesterday I was sitting in my apartment asking myself why I was even going to go to my game?  I would only be getting through the experience, which is such an ugly way to live life.  So, why show up, Rosie?  Be true to your loser state of mind and stay home.

And then I remembered I was captain of my team and probably felt a little pressure to be awesome, so I went to the pool, still feeling soupy.  

It was probably about the second quarter of our game when it all changed.  The combination of a few nice shots I had, a few sweet shots by my teammate who was down about her shooting that morning and the best player of the other team getting kicked out of the game for talking back to the ref that made it!  My mood switched, and I was present again.  

What would have happened if I stayed home and sulked?  A gradual mood change, yes, but perhaps a lack of confidence in my ability to be mentally tough?

What I realized yesterday is that sometimes showing up is enough.  I remembered that having faith in something greater than myself leaves a little room for...drum roll, please...grace! If this story of life on earth was centered on me, and I was completely in control of how every star aligned, then there is that pressure to be absolutely perfect and present all the time.  But when I believe in a God that does extraordinary things with ordinary people and creates beauty out of mess, it changes the way I view 'showing up'.  

My friend Don explains it by saying that we are trees in a story about the forest.  And the story about the forest is better than the story of the tree.  I matter,--I am a pretty, lil' tree, folks!--but I am not the center of the universe, with all things resting on whether or not I can manage to have the best attitude in all moments.  I am human, I am flawed.  I will do what is needed to continually refresh my perspective; however, on days that I can't quite pull it together, I can still show up.  And you never know when something greater than you is at work, willing to magically pull you out of a melancholy state of mind that is rocking your entire world and causing you to reconsider all of your motivations and beliefs about yourself and life.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Young Women, Is This True?

You’re a girl.  You’re in school.  You watch Glee.  And you admit you watch Jersey Shore because everyone else seems to.  But you’re stumped because your life doesn’t seem as fun as Rachel’s.  So, you smoke a little, drink a little, experiment with drugs and mess with the wrong dudes.  Gotta pass time somehow.  Satisfy your curiosity.
Or maybe substances and Snooki don’t do it for you, but you feel stuck.  You don’t love math, you love English.  But then you don’t love English, you love math.  But then you don’t love either and ask who am I?!
Your family situation is a bit messier than most of your friends'.  You’re not sure you can amount to anything when you’ve come from what you’ve come from.  No support, no example.
And then there’s romance.  If only you had some, maybe your life would have purpose.
You retreat to your iPod, and sometimes it happens.  You love it and you hate it, but you can’t avoid it: you catch yourself dreaming. You catch yourself wondering if you were supposed to be somebody. You see yourself somewhere, doing the unthinkable.  You totally lose track of time and where you are because you’re caught up in a story that you’ve imagined for your life.  
The story you’re supposed to be writing with your life.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Birthday Request

It's my birthday today, and I am now 26.  Since today is about me!!!, I have a request.  Let me explain.

I have this friend named Michael Muniz, who I met while living in Los Angeles a few years ago.  We used to talk about our aspirations, both of us wondering what we'd make of our lives in the future.  He was about to finish his Master's degree and, well, I was jumping in pools all over the world.  Today, I'm happy to say that Michael has figured it out (and, yes, I'm still jumping in pools).

Michael is the General Manager for Generosity Water, a non-profit organization that builds clean-water wells in third-world countries.  The truth is, one billion people don't have access to clean water, and a child dies every fifteen seconds due to water-related illnesses.  (Just stop and think about that for a sec!!!)  In the past two years, however, Generosity Water has built over 120 wells (151 are currently funded) in 15 different countries, and the impact is amazing!  And tangible!  Michael has traveled afar to see some wells and the changes they've brought to entire communities.

Michael and a sustainable, clean-water well in Uganda!

So, my request: What I want for my birthday is for 24 people to join me in raising the money to fund a well in Liberia, the second poorest country in the world.  If we each give $10 a week for three months, we can raise $3,000!  It starts this month and culminates on December 25th, Chrismas day!

In case your inner skeptic has come out to play, I wanted to tell you that Generosity Water is legit!  A bunch of celebrities are on board.  And the process of donation-to-completion is fully explainable.

I know the problems in the world seem really overwhelming, and sometimes it's easier to turn a blind eye to it all.  But here is a way that we can understand and measure a difference we'll make.  No one is expected to do everything, but we can do something.

And once we do, it'll be exhilarating!!!  And we'll get video footage.  And I'm going to throw an epic party.

Who's up?  I need 24 friends to be crazy enough to think they can change the world with me.

Here is a link to our profile page, more information, and where we can keep track of how we're doing.  I just donated my dough for October, so add your name!