Tonight, I attended Mass at one of the wealthiest parishes in town. It was natural that the priest was insistent that everyone take a paper bag for the food drive – it has a list of items on it for one to purchase and then return to the church in the paper bag.
I did not take a bag, though I did consider it. I am not financially stable in a way that I can safely sacrifice the money it would cost to get all the items. Because it would be that for me, a sacrifice. I have barely been able to afford my own groceries and life bills lately. I cannot safely provide them for others, not right now, no matter how I may want to do so.
And so, as I was leaving Mass, the priest asked if I had gotten a bag. I told him that I hadn’t. ‘Why not?’ ‘It is not something I can do right now,’ I reply with best coming to my eyes. ‘Why not?’ ‘Because it requires money, which I do not have at present.’ ‘Ask your parents!’ he declares jovially, but allows me to thank him for Mass and pass without a bag.
I was fully crying by the time I reached the curb.
I immediately evaluated what was happening, of course. I was equating my financial situation with my personal worth, as well as my success as a person and adult and one worthy of being loved. And it sucked. And that was okay.
I reminded myself that being in my present situation isn’t bad. It is just what’s so, and my discomfort is merely a clear sign that I want to change something about it all. And so, what do I want to change about it all? Well, I want to teach. And at this particular school. If I need to wait another six months or hear and a half before I get to do that for real, that’s okay. Until then, I will continue to make myself better for my work, as well as make a difference in the world in my daily life. And I will make true efforts to have more money coming to me and reliably so. I can do this. And, as I mentioned to someone else today, failing at something doesn’t mean I am bad. It just shows how I can improve and allows me an opportunity to do so. Alors, let’s do it, Banana. We can do this.