I'm feeling nostalgic already. It's been almost a month since I've been back in the great white north but it feels like just yesterday I was basking on the beaches of South East Asia.
Being home has been nice, although I seem to have sunk into a winter-related depression. Motivation is down, vision is grey, and nightmares are rampant. Self love and care are almost non-existent as I've been too scared to confront myself in this difficult time. It's Christmas Eve and I am looking forward to family time. I am putting off fully dealing with this identity crisis until the festivities are over.
Anyways, here is a little story from Thailand with a message that kind of relates to my current struggle...
We’re walking down the street of Koh Phi Phi, Thailand, and Brooke (my travel buddy), stops to pick up a kitten. This kitten, she says, is sick and needs our help. It has goop in it’s eyes, and is skinny and shaking in the sun. She wraps it in her sarong and off we go to buy some cat food. Chelsea (our savviest traveling buddy) buys some kibble on our way to the travel agency to book ferry tickets. None of us really know what to do with this little animal as there is no veterinarian on the tiny island and no pets are allowed at our hostel.
We are all hesitant to continue this mission, but Brooke is adamant that we cannot leave the creature alone on the street. She sits on a bench outside the travel office while Chelsea goes in to book tickets. The kitten is squirming in the sarong, and she tries to settle it. Her efforts are futile as the once seemingly lifeless kitten escapes the purple entanglement and hops down from the bench. It trots away, and we laugh as Brooke sits, watching her rescue animal having regained its strength enough to make its way down the street to the front door of a spa where it proceeds to squat and begin to defecate the front step.
The Thai ladies sitting out front begin to yell in our direction, angry at us for letting “our pet” soil their front step. Brooke hurries over just in time to scoop up the kitten before it can actually produce any feces, and we decide that the kitten was not, in fact, dying and in need of our help after all.
Taking it back to where we found it seems like the best course of action, so off we go. Our group pokes fun at Brooke the entire way, and she mock cries as we “bully” her. I capture a perfect photo of Cutter (another travel buddy) laughing beside Brooke who holds the kitten and pouts on our way back to return it where it came from. We find the spot, deposit it on the sidewalk, and head home.
If there is a lesson to be learned from this experience, it is this: you can’t save everyone/everything. Brooke just happens to be one of the most sensitive, empathetic people I have ever met, and it is agonizing for her to see hardship and not do anything about it. Despite her best intentions, it is impossible to fix everything wrong in the world, and this is a difficult realization to discover; however, it is necessary if we are to make it through this life without being burdened by the collective injustices and sufferings of the world.
Do what you can, when you can. Be kind always. Keep an open mind. Know when a situation is beyond your control, and then let it go. The world is a better place because of people like Brooke, and even though she can never solve all the problems of the world, she sure can make a hell of a difference. So can I. And so can you.
Lots of love,