You want to be like WHO?!

I’m a thinker. I call it my gift and my curse. I have to admit that some of (OK, most of) the posts you see here were rolling around in my head for days before I started to write on them, and then I kept them on my computer before they hit this blog. I wanted to make sure they said what I wanted them to say, so I got some feedback from some trusted folk and tightened them up. With my life picking up (FINALLY!!!) I don’t know that I will have the luxury of doing that anymore. I’m not sure how often I wlll be posting, but I digress…

The thing that has been floating around my head for the past few days is something I’m sure we can all relate to. At some point, we likely serve as an inspiration to someone, even unwittingly. It might initially because of the things that we have (money, job, etc.) but it might eventually go far beyond the superficial if we are willing to share what we had to do to get what we had, . I feel the last couple days have given me a little insight into how other people see me. Let me give this disclaimer before I relate this story: I’m not feeling myself all like that.

What’s that you say? What is BOOBOO talking about? Let me explain. I was talking to Momma Booboo as I was walking home from volunteering (If you think you got problems) I gave her a call. She has been volunteering in a similar program that is on a much bigger scale. Rather than offering food two days a week, the food is offered Monday-Friday for eligible seniors. They provide activities for the seniors as well as food. The way the program was explained to me, the center where the food is served is more like a :middle man” than anything else. They cook the food for a pre-determined number of people, they get 2 deliveries together for meals on wheels, and if you didn’t get preregistered for the meal of the day you could only eat if there was enough food left over for you.I don’t want to get into the things I’d like to change about the program (but trust me, there are some) but I do want to get into the convo I had with Momma Booboo.

*after talking about the details of the volunteering we both were doing*

BB: Can I ask you a question?

MBB: Sure.

BB: What are you getting out of volunteering?

MBB: I feel so good feeling like I am making a difference. I went initially because I had to go (and that’s a story for another post) but since I’ve been there, I feel like I have a new purpose. I get up everyday like I am going to a job. While I do hope this turns into a job, I can honestly say I go because I get so inspired, I get so many ideas about how to make things more efficient. I mean, some of the people who come to the program get their ONLY social interaction of the day here. I have seen people take a single bite out of their food and ask for a to go container because that’s the only nutritional meal they get. I’ve watched chivalry die. On the days when we have extras, I have seen men almost knock women OVER to get to that last meal. I thought to myself. What can I do to make this food we have stretch?

*Let me let you know, Momma Booboo can stretch a meal..4 men and 2 women in a house with one budget will make that happen.

BB: I’m so glad that’s working for you. It’s giving you sometime to organize around, and it sounds like it makes you feel good, too.

*we talked about the changes she is making/the structure of the program, the things I would think about looking into if I were in her shoes*

MBB: I’m so proud of you. I think about all the things you have done and I see how determined you are. I know you had to get it from somewhere and I think that’s what helps me push forward sometimes.

I didn’t have anything to say back to that. In fact, I’m just now pulling my thoughts together about it. I never wanted to be any one’s role model, and I never would have dreamed of inspiring my mother (or any other adult for that matter). I’m not sure anyone ever wakes up and is like ” I want people to want to do what I’m doing” (but that could well be the case), but I know that I don’t. I just try to live to make me happy. When I look at my life, I don’t think I have done anything remarkable. I just tried to live how my parents taught me to live. I’ve tried to apply the life lessons I heard from my grandparents, from my family, and my friends. I know how to make due (a house full of siblings and 4+ years of college will do that).

At the same time I know I don’t see myself like other people see me. I know that what looks sweet on the outside isn’t always that sweet. I know how frustrated I’ve gotten with life at time, how I’ve played out many a “what if I just say F**K it “ scenario in my head. Then I think about how even though I don’t WANT to be a role model, I am.

From there, I can’t say. I don’t continue on a course of action because I want other people to be proud of me, I do it because I’m not a quitter. If I change course, it might be because another course of option is better for me at the time (because sometimes you have to do what you NEED to do instead of what you want to do).  Even though I might not do sometime to make people proud of me, I always hope I’m not doing something that will make them disappointed in me.

I’m just a regular girl. I can’t IMAGINE what it must be like to be a celebrity. I caught the tail end of the Ms. America pagent and one of the contestants said that she felt celebrities should be role models and that they have a responsibility to act a certain way and blah blah blah. I think it’s a role they fall into (like my man ‘Pac said) and I know it has to be an INCREDIBLY heavy burden to bear. I can’t fall but so far from grace because I don’t have to be someone I’m not to get sales or endorsements or because someone thinks I will be more marketable that way.  I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone to want to be “just like you” when they have no idea who “you” are…

Thoughts?

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3 thoughts on “You want to be like WHO?!

  1. Wait was MBB saying that you got your “do-gooder” attitude from her?….

    i think role models aren’t role models because of the position they are in but because of the characteristics they DISPLAY emphasis on DISPLAY

  2. my computer just posted that before I was finished….so anyway

    I put emphasis on display because they could be a totally different person behind closed doors..but the characteristics they display whether at work, on the court, on stage, be it confidence, skill, charisma, whatever it is something that the other person seeks to hold in themselves….

    thats my 2 cents…i could type more but my brain is being flatulent (sp?) right now…

  3. Thanks for your thoughts. Flatulence of the brain though? HA!

    To clarify, MBB was saying that she was inspired by me. That she was inspired to keep getting up when she felt life was knocking her down because she saw me do it.

    I think the that position allows you to be on display for a wider audience, but I don’t disagree with you at all. For some though, I think it is less about who they think think the person is and more about what they think the person has. Not wanting to be like someone b/c they work hard, but feeling like the person has some sort of instant celebrity. Not really taking into account the work that went into the person getting to where they are, but liking/coveting the apparent benefits without thinking of the possible downside.

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