What does one say after a massive hurricane comes through and destroys thousands of people’s homes, removes them from life as they know it, and starts them on a physically and emotionally draining journey?
Nothing. There is nothing to say that hasn’t already been said.
If you, your family, and/or friends are suffering any sort of losses or inconveniences as a result, I send a big hug to you and them. You also have an invitation for some home cooked, plant-based goodness.Looking for a night to take a break from worrying or wondering about your next meal? Come out to Restaurant Del Catie (or request delivery!) on the form below. I would be honored to cook for you and hopefully take one thing off of your brain for a night.
I spent a good amount of time wrapped up in my own thoughts of guilt. As family called and texted me from NJ in disbelief that I am in a miraculously dry apartment I had what a friend described to me as “survivors guilt”.
Other people have just had their lives turned upside down and water logged yet I was busy “battling” the demon of guilt and feeling like I am not doing enough. YAWN.
After a swift mental b*tch slap (okay, it took a few of those, and I still find times where they need to be doled out) I stopped with these selfish thoughts. Just thinking about how guilty I feel and how I am not doing enough is straight up selfish.
Who do these thoughts help? Nobody. Why am I thinking them? Because in a dry apartment, my basic needs are met. So I have the privilege of enough mental space to get caught up in the non-essentials like comparison via social media.
As I see friends, acquaintances, and people on social media giving back and getting to work, I felt guilty for not being one of them. For not being out there enough. For not showing my support enough. For not being good enough.
So what’s your point? The point is that it is okay to feel a sort of guilt after this storm(I don’t think I am the only one). To see others suffering around you and feel this internal yearning to do more and be more for them. It’s not something to battle. It’s not something to make wrong. It’s something to look at and see how that bodily sensation is calling you to serve.
I found cooking for a group of friends demoing houses, visiting women at Santa Maria Hostel who were unable to have any of their classes or normal activities, ripping out some dry wall, and keeping my eyes and ears peeled for post-storm recovery efforts is what my part to play in the recovery is (for now). As the “freshness” of the post-storm recovery efforts fades, it’s time to kick it into marathon pace to address what is needed and how you can be of service.
And then get off of Facebook if it is making you feel bad about yourself. Or see everyone out there doing all of that good work and think, “good for you, I am so thankful that you are who you are for this city”. And then stop thinking about yourself (I am talking to myself, really, not trying to sound preachy :P).
Sending hugs and thoughts to everyone because it’s hard to see your city like this.
Contact me for a no-hassle, delicious plant-based meal on the eve of your choosing.
And tell me what you believe people like me don’t quite understand about what you are going through. I would like to have a better peak into your world to the degree that I can. Xoxo.