So, its been awhile. I can honestly say I have been avoiding my blog for a while. there hasn't been a whole lot going on. Yet, there has been, but I have had a negative attitude and chose not to write about such things.
Its been pretty quiet at the center. Not a whole lot going on, yet there is. Programs starting up; theater, air-brushing and screen printing sessions. In collaboration with the Peace coalition (a group in Back of the Yards that works with all the non-profits in the area) these programs are "brought in" and we provide kids for the programs. Some pay the kids to attend, and some may lead to jobs for them. Overall it provides a skill for the kid. A skill they can use, or a skill to help them apply for a job or simply a commitment that they can achieve. The afternoons/after school hours are a little hectic with people running all over the place using our center as their classroom. It can be fun, and it can be... honestly a little annoying as well.
I sit back some days and still think... what am I doing... what should I be doing right now? Earlier this week, like clock work one of the boys came in (3:00, as usual), to come back give me a hug and sit down to talk about his day. Every day he does this. And everyday I sit there and wait for him. This boy is probably one of my favorites (good thing none of the boys know that this blog exists because they would be so nosey to know who my favorites were haha). But this boy in particular has a life that I can't even sit and image how he keeps going each day with this smile and spirit that makes everyone around him happy. I don't think I have seen him in a bad mood... ever. He came in earlier this week and needed someone to take him shopping, for his senior year picture. (The area where the stores are at, he cannot walk to by himself because it crosses into the Hispanic gang lines. Though he is not affiliated with a gang, it doesn't matter, he's black and they would shoot or mess with anyone and just assume.) So, I took him. No one will mess with me, a white girl haha. So off we went... to the local Forman Mills in search for some swag (new clothes). As we went off in search for a new outfit, together we put together two good lookin outfits, I was dubbed a "God-sister" (you know... we aren't blood brother/sister, but we are brother and sister by God). And I have been given approval of having good taste and good style. Bravo! As the boy checked out and payed, I stood off to the side and waited, making a quick phone call. As we got into the car, he began to tell me that the lady checking him out thought that I was his music manager, helping him pick out new outfits for his tour we would be going on, he is an upcoming rap star. I looked all important on my phone, waiting and I was white. So... I am a God-sister, a great stylist and a music manager... can I add those to my resume?
That whole experience got me to think about my role at Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation. That day I felt like a mother, helping her kid pick out a senior picture outfit. Some of these boys come to me just to talk. I haven't tutored in a long time, but those boys still come by to tell me how they are doing in school. They don't really need a tutor because they are keeping up with there studies now. Times are slow, and I don't have a whole lot to do anymore. Is that because maybe I have made an impact on these kids? At the beginning when I first got there, did I put something in there head? Maybe a thought, or hope or drive to achieve their goals? I would like to think that just maybe some of this is true... heck maybe I am totally off and I'm just crazy? (ok, no I know I'm crazy.. but, maybe its different this time?)
There are a lot of things that I do or maybe stand for that I don't notice. Physically I am not doing a whole lot. But maybe my presence has made more of a difference than I think? (lets think positively and go with YES!!!) My next task is to figure out a possibility of how I can make that last longer, after I leave? I feel as if my time here in Chicago may be done. I am not sure what more to do... what more I can do without living here indefinitely and getting involved in projects that will last longer than just a month or two? Are there any jobs in Kansas City, home, that can amount to the work I am doing here? I mean, eventually, unfortunately I have to make money at some point and pay off those nagging school loans. I have to grow up and take on some responsibility right? So the next step... when do I take it, and which step do I take? (This is just a battle I have been having in my mind for the past... oh month or so....) possibilities are endless, yet not quite in reach. We'll see... that's what your 20's are for right? Being confused and trying to figure yourself out?
Well, I have some wandering to do... tis the weekend!