A lot of changes have been happening for me in the past month. Good, bad, exciting, scary, confusing… I’ve been feeling like a completely different person the last little while and I’m not sure what’s bringing it on. I’m more aware, more focused, and more self-determined than ever. Maybe it’s Manhattan or maybe it’s my distance. I’ve changed my living situation, twice, my aesthetic, my site, my goals, my friends, my outlook, my… life.
But more than anything, I feel more than ever. And by feel, I mean I am more aware of my surroundings and in touch with my emotions. I went my whole life without feeling very much. Guilt, pain, excitement, conversation; I carried through life with an autopilot sense, nothing ever really affected me in a major way. Whenever I was sad I would sweep it under the rug and mask it with alcohol, surround myself with people, or avoid anything that was upsetting, but lately I have let myself truly feel all of my emotions.
There is so much pain and sorrow going on in our world right now. 9/11 just passed, Hurricane Harvey & Hurricane Irma, the Caribbean’s food shortage, I recently learned from Selena Gomez about lupus, and the heart-wrenching story of North Korea, and the Rohingya Muslims.
I never wanted to educate myself on worldly matters because I was the kind of person who said “ignorance is bliss.” But then I thought, how lucky am I? That I even have the option to shut it out when so many around the world don’t. How ignorant of me to allow myself not to feel and be aware of these things because it makes me uncomfortable. How selfish.
The last while I have allowed myself to learn, feel, and reflect on a few of these worldly matters. My heart truly aches for the things happening in our world. It’s impacting me so greatly and so intensely that I can’t help but want to give in any way I can. Today I am joining a community dedicated to helping, educating, solving, and bringing awareness to the people of those in need. An International movement of people fighting injustice and promoting human rights.
Here are a few places you can volunteer:
- Join me at: Amnesty International, Amnesty Brooklyn
- New York Civil Liberties Union
- Human Rights First
- Canada: CANADEM
- UK: ATD Fourth World
- Italy: COOPI
- India (volunteer abroad): Sambhali Trust