Today was one of the hardest days of my life. Eclipsed only by last night, which is what led to today being the Worst Day Ever. (Last night doesn't count, because it wasn't a full 24 hours). Heartbreak has a way of creeping up on you. More on that later, probably in poem form. To give a bit of background, think back to your first love and the way your heart felt after it was mashed up, put in a blender, and walked across with ice-pick shoes, then handed back to you in a bloody, unrecognizable mess. Picture that. Remember? Then take that feeling and shift it forward about 10 years, to your young adulthood. Seems a bit out of place, right?
Anyway, today was fairly like that. An odd mash-up of extremely strong emotions, confusion, annoyance, frustration, and a good bout of self-pity. All in the context of a middle-school-young-high-school-girl heartbreak. But I'm 21...Odd. Indeed.
So I ranted and raved and spilled tears and then ranted and raved that I didn't even have a right to be ranting and raving (or spilling tears) because I was never official with this guy. I baked. I let my friend distract me with stories. I paced the apartment. I raised my voice and waved my hands, then laughed at my pacing and hand waving. I said bad words. I went to biology class and made jokes with my professor and lab group. I convinced my lab group to ditch the lab and leave early. And then I went to see "My Name is Rachel Corrie" at SLU Theatre. And everything changed.
My Horrible Evening and Day is nothing compared to what most of the world have to deal with every day. They would probably trade their misery for a lifetime of what I consider a "bad day." Civilians trapped in the middle of a war, fearing for their lives and the lives of their families. People who watch their neighbors get shot, who must stand aside and allow soldiers and people who have other beliefs or a different skin color bulldoze their greenhouses, fill in their wells, smash their gardens. People starving, with no way to build shelter, let alone find clean water or food. My Worst Day Ever is the epitome of luxury, what millions will never be able to experience, or even dream about. Who has time to dream when you worry about surviving the next 24 hours?
The second thing that struck me is how parallel my life is to Rachel Corrie. She loved to write. She was always falling in love with someone who was perpetually leaving her. She cared deeply about people, wanted to make a difference, didn't just want to sit and let life pass her by. She was a young 20-something with a giant heart and a desire for change.
After a lovely talk-back, Elisabeth and I braved the rainstorm, and emerged soaking into our apartment. I'm snuggled up in bed, nursing a mike's hard and listening to Jim Brickman and similar musicians on Pandora (what a fantastic website, by the way--I highly recommend it). My Worst Day Ever has been significantly placed in check, I'm feeling artistic in a non-emo way, and just might--if the next song strikes my fancy--find the words to write a poem.
Nothing like a good, social reminder in the form of fantastic piece of theatre to put everything back in place. To re-center your life and focus, remind you that your heart is not only here to serve yourself, to worry about only your own privileged-upper-middle-class-white-American-girl heartache, but here as a gift. I refuse to keep the joy in my heart to myself.
I am Rachel Corrie, and I will make a difference.