a story about trash, or; how to start fixing up our stress

 

I want to tell a story, about a friend of mine

 

I spent a couple days with her

When I went down to LA at the end of March/early April, for court

 

There were a couple things that were transformative for me, directly related to my interactions with her

The one that I want to tell everyone else about, right now

Has to do with trash

 

Superficially

 

Really, it is about an incredible coping mechanism that she taught me, through her actions

I think without even meaning to!

 

We sat in this one little grassy park in Koreatown, one day

 

It was nice

But it was kind of at the start of the pandemic ramping up

And there was trash, everywhere

 

I hadn’t even noticed

But she looked around at one point

and just stood up

and said “I’m going to go pick up some of that trash!”

 

And then she did!

 

It was incredible, guys!

 

I joined her

and we had so much fun

And felt so good about it!

 

I’ve been trying to find other ways to do that kind of thing, since then

 

To be more conscious about that process

that process of noticing when I’m bothered by something

and instead of letting it turn into blame, in my mind

which I’ve started to view as wholly counter productive

in my efforts to Build a Better Brooke

 

instead, to try to make things better

for myself, and everyone else!

But in small ways

(usually! Big ways, like that day with her, are awesome, too! Just not generally practical!)

 

Like, when I’m walking near my house, to continue with the trash example –

I sometimes, but not always

pick up one or two pieces of trash that I see, that don’t seem like too much trouble to carry back to a trash can

 

And the feeling of seeing Not Trash

on a later walk

where for who knows how many walks prior to that

I saw a piece of trash, and was mildly bothered by it

is surprisingly awesome

 

I talked about stress in one of my videos

and how the effects seem to be cumulative

 

Stuff like this is a great example

 

I think one of the pitfalls I continually find myself falling into

is that of identifying things I am bothered by

within myself and my own behavior

or within the World at Large

and simply

getting 

overwhelmed

at the magnitude

 

Knowing I don’t have the time/ability/emotional reserves or whatever to fix it completely, right then –

I give up even trying

 

all the fucking time

 

But one or two small steps, towards a larger goal

at a time

One or two small pieces of trash picked up on a walk, every so often –

and the street I live on now is spotless

(I take a lot of walks, heh!)

 

But back to my friend, and what she did

Instead of letting the trash turn into thoughts

about how awful littering is

and therefore how awful are the People Who Litter

 

She made it about her

and what she could do, right then

to fix that problem

 

Which helped both of us feel Not Bothered, anymore

Not just Not Bothered – but actually really good

brooke

I spent three years living on the street in Los Angeles. I came out of that, changed. This is my story.

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