I have given you this letter because I have seen you giving of yourself to the world. Your inner beauty is obvious.
Many times, many places one might wonder - Why do I matter? You've received this letter because perhaps you picked up garbage off the ground, you helped someone across the street - be they blind, elderly or just wobbly, or maybe you paid someone's fare on the public transit. Whatever you may have done, you have proven to me and many other on lookers that there is good in the world. You are a role model to each and every one of us and therefore, you matter.
I truly believe it is important to make sure everyone is given the praise that they are worth. I give you not only my praise, but I give you my heart, my mind, and my soul. You have demonstrated that there is certainly a way for me to help others and it may not be obvious. You have demonstrated that we each make an impact in our own way, be it small and isolated or broad and often.
The greatest part is that you did not contribute because you had to. I truly wish that I could personalize every letter I give out so that your individual impact could shine, but trust me, your impact lives on through each person that has met you and seen you in the act of good.
I want you to know that you are contributing good to this world - most certainly, you put a smile on my face. I want to thank you for all that you have done, do and will continue to do into the future.
You are an inspiration by the little things you do.
Forever and Always,
Joshua L. Wright
Operation Rich in Beauty
Monday, May 24, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
In the past year, I have experienced so much. No doubt, my emotions have been everywhere.
To those whom know/have known me closely over this past year, they'd probably say at some points I was off my rocker. Looking back, I'd have to agree.
Starting last summer, I needed to figure some things out. My roller coaster started with a job I hated, or rather, a job where I hated my coworkers. If you can't enjoy the people you work with, you can't enjoy your job. Going home everyday and despising people was not pleasurable. I love people and I love working, so to feel anger towards others was not a suitable environment.
I've always been a person that feels if you are unhappy, you need to change something in your life. Well, I adhered to my motto and I transfered jobs part way through the summer to become a Front Desk Agent within the same department. I felt so much happier with the people I worked with. Everyone I worked with was a lot less immature and a lot more friendly (hence why we worked at the front desk). This was a great change for me, but little did I realize my summer emotions were hardly done with.
Next thing I knew, I was making a new friend. To you, my reader, he will be known as Thomas (quite odd because I do not know him as such). Thomas was someone that I didn't really want to meet, but someone my best friend Emily prodded me to know. So, the first time I met him was at his apartment where he lived with his boyfriend, his boyfriend's twin brother, and his boyfriend's twin brother's sister. Thomas invited Emily and me for dinner. I was hesitant but willing. Sure enough, I got along great with everyone.
Although I denied any interest in Thomas, each time he facebook messaged me or texted me I'd roll my eyes and then continue the conversation. I had accepted any offer to hang out with Thomas and I began to enjoy his company. No, I didn't have an interest in dating Thomas or the like, but I really enjoyed spending every minute of my day talking and hanging out. I really felt like I had met someone that I could relate to on levels that many people don't understand. Throughout the whole development of our friendship, I was highly suspicious. I hate being seen as an object and I surely hate being thought of as someone whom is available on the market.
Slowly but surely, I began to know the ins and outs of Thomas. Runs, walks and in depth talks taught me a lot about who he was, how he thinks. Our texts back and forth grew in number, hardly to my dismay. I really wanted Thomas to figure things out for himself before I got involved, but I couldn't help feel that I was confusing him. There was no way that I could back out of the situation. I was not about to ignore him and I was not the person who was taken. All I could do was be there to support someone I considered a best friend.
I'll leave out all the emotional mumbo jumbo that goes really deep because this is supposed to be a reflection and not an intensely nostalgic story. To speed through, I developed feelings for Thomas and he claimed to have felt them back (if not a little stronger than I).
Toward the end of the summer, I realized that BU was too expensive and that I needed to help myself by taking a leave of absence while taking night courses and working full-time. The original plan, Worcester State College -- the plan after my mental breakdown, UMass Boston. Surely, I needed to stay in Boston to be as close to my friends and beloved school. My addiction to BU took me to great lengths.
While volunteering as a staff member for the First Year Student Outreach Project (FYSOP), the week before BU classes started, I became encased in a bubble of insecurity. I didn't know where I was living, I barely knew what classes I was taking and if they'd be approved by BU and lastly... Thomas. I often felt disconnected from my FYSOP kids because I was so lost in my world. After the end of the program, my FYSOPers assured me that I was an awesome FYStaff... making everything worth it. But, I was still homeless?
Yup, I was homeless. BU expected me to move into academic housing after I lost housing for my summer job. But surely they have housing for those whom weren't continuing at BU during the fall -- wrong. I spent hours on craigslist looking for an apartment. I had gone through a whole ordeal trying to get ahold of my loan check which kept getting sent back to WellsFargo, and I had finally secured funding for an apartment. On the night before my friend was kicking me out of her StuVi II housing, I found the perfect place. Right next to 1019, a BU dorm.
A load was off my shoulders having figured this much out so far. The next stop was finding a full-time job that would allow me to take night courses. I applied at several hotels and banks, I had many interviews and I got a couple offers. Century Bank offered me the best pay and benefits, so I started the job at the end of October. At this point, I had already started feeling that I wasn't where I wanted to be... I truly missed my world-class education at BU on a normal schedule (if you can call college class schedules "normal").
Work was great. I loved my coworker, Selam; we would just sit all day and talk. Few customers came in, making the job pretty easy, even when I was left to tend the teller line by myself. Without a head teller, I was given a lot of responsibility. Having had two years prior teller experience, I felt comfortable with the amount of responsibility and sometimes I felt that I didn't have enough.
As I struggled through this transitionary phase of school and work, my days began to blur together and once again I wasn't truly happy. I decided to fight to get back to BU. I applied for more financial aid, and although I didn't receive much more, I worked out my finances so that I could pay my way back to BU.
Of course, you're probably wondering -- "What happened to Thomas?" Well, he's still there, but we were on rocky waters. His boyfriend and him had gone through a break up, but then got back together. Somehow I stayed involved and kept up with the two of them and somehow I got involved even more closely with the two. None of the Thomas situation was fair to the boyfriend or me, but neither of us protested because we both wanted Thomas and we were both afraid of losing him if he didn't get what he wanted. Many nights were spent where I wasn't able to think straight and many evenings were spent running through the streets of Allston to clear my head.
Work suddenly became unbearable because I desired to be back at BU, I didn't want to be talked down to by my boss and I just wanted more time to be a college student.
Sure enough, I re-enrolled in the spring semester at BU. Ecstatic I was. I decided to remain on staff at the bank for a little longer to help out since the head teller (the one that wasn't present earlier) had been struck by a car. Many months had passed without filling her position, so I felt obligated to stay around till they could find another suitable replacement for one of us.
The first two weeks of classes at BU were really tough. I didn't remember how challenging classes were at BU. I forgot about all the outside work and the never-ending obligations to groups, organizations and future planning. This was the point where Thomas and I probably took out biggest plunge, but it was when I decided once again that I needed to make progress. So, I did.
I decided that the best way for me to move forward was to get myself excited for BU (easy task) and to accept that I couldn't have Thomas (harder task). I worked diligently toward both and after the first month of BU classes, I had it down. I could see Thomas with his boyfriend and still be okay. I enjoyed waking up and going to class because I felt like I was learning something worthwhile and I enjoyed the material that I decided to challenge myself with.
Thomas stopped talking to me (he even said flat out he was ignoring me), but I wasn't going to take it personally. My door was not shutting, and he is always welcome back in my life as a friend (and a dear one at that). But I moved forward, more motivated to do well because college is about self-fulfillment and discovery. I realized what I want to go to school for and how to obtain my dreams.
I really think I can say that I've never worked so hard in my life prior to this semester and year. I've finished this year strong. A B- in WR 150 was not a happy moment, but the A- in micro -well received, an A in SM299 - well received, and an A in macro- definitely well received.
Throughout all of this, I've learned that I am human. I have my flaws which cause me to go upon these adventures of self-discovery, to travel down a dark path of unknown emotions and yet as a human, we all have the ability to rebound from it all.
There is so much more that I could expand about from this past year; new friends (Timothy, especially), great memories (never-ending with Emily), team-building (SM299 Team 4 Representin'!), more about Thomas, watching my roommate grow and plenty plenty more. But I'm happy with the things I have accomplished. The emotions, skills, grades and all the junk that I've written about and much that I haven't is just part of learning.
The world has been my oyster, but surely my future is the unknown ocean bottom with much to be discovered.