Friday, June 8, 2012

Hunger (Or 'Things to Remember When You're Feeling Sorry for Yourself')

Sherlock illustrating 'Monday Comes Too Soon.'
This week was like many weeks I've had--like we've all had. You know, Monday comes too soon. Feeling under the weather. Can't seem to find the right stride, wonder what the shit is going on, and then throw hands up in the air (or flip a table) and call it a week.

I grumbled for a lot of the week. I complained and found I was making myself miserable. I had a ridiculous headache, and I whined about it to anyone who (never had a chance) asked me how I was doing.

It's so easy to get caught up in the drama--even the mini-drama.

Thursday, I went out to lunch with my fiance, and we found ourselves with half-eaten plates of delicious Mediterranean food. We considered throwing it away, and then considered getting to-go boxes which would sit in the refrigerator until we threw it away, all while we were lamenting about the week and how unfair (I hate this word) it all was.

Hollywood is full of homeless people. It's kind of a fact. You can't go far without finding someone curled up in a sheltered corner or walking past an outstretched hand. After a while, these things just become a part of the scene. A part of something that we all are accustomed to, which is a sad, sad thing--to be accustomed to suffering.

In the middle of our decision making, we noticed a lank man with a large black trashbag in one hand--presumably filled with bottles and cans for recycling--angrily shaking the nearby trashcan. He pulled out a plate of half-eaten Mongolian noodles and started kicking things and slamming the trashcan around.

"Do you think he's hungry?" I asked, still unsure what was happening.

George turned to look and called to him. "Hey, are you hungry?" George gestured to our plates of virtually untouched food, and the man turned around and his entire demeanor changed. His body went slack; the relief crossed his face.

After we gave him the food he looked at us, took a bite of chicken, and said, "Thank you so much. I'm so hungry." It was interesting to me--he didn't say 'I was hungry' but 'I'm so hungry.'

"I am so hungry."

He quickly disappeared from wherever he came with his plate piled high with chicken, potatoes, beef, and pita bread.

We were utterly humbled and reminded in mere moments how far we had come in our life and how much we had--how much we could take for granted. There were times when we weren't sure where our next meal would come from. There were time when we weren't sure if we'd have a place to live.

The uncertainty of everything was enough to drive us crazy.

But here we are with everything we have, and it's so important to remember how things could be and how immeasurably lucky we are even when we think things aren't going our way. It's really tough sometimes to remember these things, especially when it's all relative to the current situation. What is important and worrying now isn't what was important and worrying last month.  Last year.

When you're feeling down, yeah, okay. Remember those who are unfortunate, remember those who are actually, truly hungry, but also remember everything that's good in your life and celebrate all of the tiny victories you have every single day.

Remember all of the tiny things that make you happy that fold together into your complex and layered life. Things will feel less overwhelming... things will be put into perspective, and you'll be a lot happier for it.