I think I am writing this for Every One but maybe especially the Lovely Hard Working People of the Service Industry:
On a summer day 2 years ago, I promised myself I would never become Jaded. I was riding my bike from a lunch shift serving Pitruco Pizza at Love Park to go cover for a sick friend who needed to leave her shift serving coffee at the Rocket Cat before going into my Monday night bartending shift at the Barbary. It was a Beautiful Hot Day—my favorite kind. I was sweating, and I was smiling, remembering the winter before when I was crying and shivering, stripping down to take a steaming hot bath— the only thing that truly warms me. Back then, I had promised myself I would smile, bask and feel grateful every time I was sweating in a few months. And so in that moment of bliss, between service jobs, I put into words what I guess I had felt for sometime: that I would always believe in the Good In People. That I would always understand. If a customer was upset or unhappy, it was because they were uncomfortable. They didn’t know all the information they wanted to know. They felt misunderstood, unheard. It was my intention at that time to look everyone I met in the eye, and figure out why they had been put there. To figure out where they were coming from, and meet them there. That no matter what, I would give each person the benefit of the doubt, and I most important of all: I would never stop doing it. It would become my daily practice, my inhale and exhale. People and the Good Within Them were going to be my religion. I am writing all this down to tell you that my plan did not last. That I became Jaded. Here is how: I was taken advantage of. Hollered at. Honored for my looks above my Smarts and my Heart. Lied to. Cheated on. I myself did Lying, Thieving, and other Cowardly Acts, which honestly probably jaded me the most. And so! Cue: Anxiety and Depression. Cue: Self-hate. Cue: Bottling It All Up. Cue: Taking It Out On the Ones You Love. Cue: Ignoring Adult Responsibilities and the Resulting Lethargy. Cue: Vanity. What do I do? Do I leave Philly? Do I run away? Do I quite my job massaging? Do I give up art? Do I talk to someone. Who do I go to. Who looks at you when you cannot look at yourself?
Here is when I tell you that I am not Jaded anymore. And that you can also not be Jaded, if you want. It takes time and commitment, everyday. And its hard! Because honestly, being jaded is Easy. Everything sucks, and you don’t really have to feel any other way. Not Being Jaded is diverse! Its full of a whole spectrum of emotions. I think i feel them all every 3 minutes and 30 seconds of everyday. Anyway, here is where I get to the point and share with you some ways I think its fun to Not Be Jaded:
Move your body in a way that makes you Sweat. You can choose whatever way that is, just make sure you Sweat and Sweat Hard. Not only will you feel good, but I promise you, you will hardly ever get sick.
Walk to the place where you work. Every step you take is for you. You can work out a lot of things in your mind while walking. It is like your mind is on a walk too: you approach thoughts, you might stop and look at them. You move past and on. As soon as you are at work: you are ready for the Everybody Else. You took your time, you’re good with you, and You Are Ready for Them.
Seek out therapy. I’m talking full on Go See a Therapist and Talk About Your Life with him/her. If you don’t like your therapist, find another one that you do like. Or, stick it out for a few more weeks and see if you come around to them. I am lucky to have been born into a family that not only works in the Mental Health field, but also Really Really Needs Mental Health services and uses them religiously. There is nothing to be ashamed of here. I would love if more people talked openly about their actual lives, their way of thinking and living, and how their therapy got them there and keeps them there. If you need help finding a sliding scale therapist like I did, please message me.
Make something. I don’t care what it is, but Move Your Hands in order to do it. After you make it, Show Someone What You Made. It’s cool if you’re Proud of It. Ask them to tell you What They Think.
Touch a body. Make sure its someone that wants to be touched! It helps if its someone that you love. But touch them! Hold their hand, or rub their shoulders. Ground yourself in the physical human connection. Give them a hug or put your hands on their face while you are looking at them. Do it softly, but firmly and with intention. Touching bodies & moving muscles is what I do for my job as a massage therapist. I like it. I like helping people to realize they have bodies. I like helping people to feel more comfortable in their bodies. I like helping service industry people feel better after putting their bodies to work for so many hours.
Get a massage. From me if you want. I do all kinds of bodywork, but for you I’d do exactly what your body needs. I’m very good and I like what I do. I also don’t like to do it too much. In fact, I really only like to see one person a day. Is that something you can understand? I really like to see one person, to have my day be focused on what that person needs. To give them the therapeutic massage, and the energy that I am supposed to give them. So, if you’d like to book with me, you might Know and Feel Happy that you are the only one I am seeing that day.
Regardless of what you do, I think you read this because you are my friend, or at least you know who I am and maybe you like me. I hope that you liked reading this, and maybe we could talk about it sometime. I think that is it: I’m not jaded anymore, I’m trying everyday to make sure I have practices in my life that help me to Stay Not Jaded, Sweat, Move, Talk, Make, Touch, Be Touched. Oh, I guess Listen too! But you are already pretty good at doing that if you read this whole thing. Love you! Bless Bless.