“We’ve experienced great trials before… And with every test, each generation has found the capacity to not only endure, but to prosper — to discover great opportunity in the midst of great crisis. That is what we can and must do today. And I am absolutely confident that is what we will do.”— President Barack Obama
The Goodwill store stinks.
It has a pervasive odor that dangles somewhere between mustiness and pee. It’s not ‘eau de homeless’, more like ‘someone’s a bit ripe’. Honestly, after you’re there for a while you don’t notice it. What you do notice are the racks stuffed to bursting with clothes, some with tags still attached, all organized according to color; white to yellow to orange to red and so on. Your eyes sweep around the store and you see the jigsaw puzzle of discarded furniture, you notice shelves of shoes, the dismembered kitchen appliances, a wall of books and VHS tapes. Looking through the racks you take in the parade of promotional items, tees that read “We Be Ill’in at Children’s Hospital!” (I bet whoever thought that was a good idea is in the same unemployment line I’m in). The hope and promise in the row of satiny white and ivory wedding dresses and god-awful bridesmaid dresses alongside trees made entirely of handbags, purses and hats. It’s a study in all things that were at one time fashionable. The Goodwill store is a landscape portrait of consumerism at its finest.
It’s not the first time I’m here; I shopped here when I had a job too. We’re one month into this ‘unemployed’ thing and I’ve dropped a size. So I’m looking for a pair of navy blue pants in a size 6, suitable to wear to an interview. What I will be able to find are black pants in a size 8. It’s not a crisis. I’ll endure.
To the untrained mind and eye (cue Bedingfield’s Happy) it might seem as if I have few choices. That is not the case. I have more choices now than ever before. That I couldn’t find navy blue pants is a small thing. That I have the choice to write and to create is really big. I’ve made a choice to not just work a job any longer; I’ve chosen to work my passion. I’ve chosen to take a moment to appreciate my friends, those that have held me in prayer, the energy of their thought or simply in their arms. Work should make life sweet. That’s what I want, the sweet life. It’s too short for anything less.
Something spectacular is just around the bend…