Okay... I just have to put this some place, and since this is the only place I can speak freely about my experience, this is where it's going.
I've had a TERRIBLE week. I am exhausted.
I'm not sleeping.
Because I apparently now live in "the hood" and no one told me!
How do I know?
I have not had one night's uninterrupted sleep in a week due to fighting, yelling, drunkenness, property damage, and emergency vehicles screaming through AT.ALL.HOURS!
Many of my immediate neighbours are dysfunctional at the least, dangerous at the most (Mr. and I were attacked by a golf-club-wielding punk a few weeks ago, when we took a stand against property damage to a public building... we were the only ones, BTW... we weren't hurt), and utterly self-absorbed otherwise. They have no regard for anyone, for the law, for decency, for pride or self-respect.
Everything this week culminated with me having to call Mobile Crisis Services (our local Social Services emergency response agency) at 2 A.M. Friday morning. There were LOUD drunken minors ALL OVER the yard next door... one as young as 10... and no adult supervision in sight. Third night this week, though this is the first time I could say for certain substance/alcohol abuse was involved. Took the police and MCS 2 hours to sort out the fracas.
It's been silent as stone over there since, but why does it always have to come to this?
I DETEST having to play the role of 'big brother' but I just cannot stand by and watch this sort of thing happen, nor am I willing to be so significantly impacted by another's poor life choices. Most importantly, I have a 13-year-old daughter for whom I need to be an example. How does she learn to be a good citizen, or to stand up for herself, if we never do?
We live in a working-class, blue-collar neighbourhood (when we married almost 18 years ago, I'd say it was closer to middle class): latch-key kids, both parents working to make ends meet, strong ethnic overtones, but decent people... yards kept well-enough, you can go to anyone for a helping hand, and chat on the street or over the fence to pretty much anyone and everyone. Little kids take direction, if required, from all adults. I love all of this. I don't want to live in a neighbourhood where every lawn is perfectly manicured, no one ventures out of the house to interact with the neighbours, and I am surrounded by people but isolated just the same.
Our neighborhood has gone up and down over the years... mostly up in quality, if not economic status:
-- high level of diversity - every country of the world is represented (I love it... and the increase in ethnic markets!)
-- wide range of ages and stages - it feels very vibrant (I love it!)
-- lots of new housing development at a variety of income levels
-- new businesses, and lots of activity
-- more people biking and walking (I love it!)
...but something has changed drastically in the last year. Things have become dirty, and callous, and intrusive. I feel bullied by the atmosphere around me.
I don't know why, and I don't know how to be part of the solution (yet)... worse yet, I'm becoming too worn down to figure it out... possibly even too angry to even care to try... I think this is what scares me most. I'm starting to inadvertently "let the current take me."
Uh oh. There's the magic moment... the moment my blog becomes something I never planned for. This just hit me right. between. the. eyes.
#1. a body of water or air moving in a definite direction, especially through a surrounding body of water or air in which there is less movement.
#2. belonging to the present time; happening or being used or done now.
"Let the current take me."
It doesn't matter what the issue: whatever is happening in the moment doesn't have to take over. It is 'current'... defined by NOW... not tomorrow, or even a minute from now, when you can choose otherwise.
Further more, 'the current' takes you because it has more MOMENTum than what came before, or what follows.
'The current' can only take you, if everything around it is stagnant. The way that one prevents oneself from being carried off by 'the current' (cross-currents, undertows) is to be actively engaged beyond the moment... and momentum is what happens BEYOND the MOMENT.
Suddenly I feel much less angry, set-upon, trapped, hopeless. I actually feel energized, LOL. It's funny... I wasn't going to talk about this stuff (I find it a bit embarrassing... it feels personal, somehow)... I saw no point (I prefer to not be negative)... yet here I am, now in a better place.
The way I find my way out of the neighbourhood situation is to create energy and life beyond 'the current'... I need to find ways big and small to bring MOMENTum to my neighbourhood. The solution isn't to withdraw (or get carried off by the negative.... and perhaps I'm simply being distracted by what are, in reality, simply cross-currents and undertows), but to engage more fully in the positive process of my neighbourhood... look for and embrace opportunities to bring healthy, functional, and connective dynamics forward, so that 'the current' noise and dysfunction is carried away by THAT.
How do I know?
Because I feel a sense of forward movement within my own heart... MOMENTum!
I'd hazard to guess that the same applies to any journey, or battle, in your life... even to weight loss, perhaps.
Thanks for listening... it means so much more than you will ever know.