Year 2 | A Week in Greece #11: BIRTHDAY PT. 2 and WORK BURDENS

On Sunday, I skipped church to meet up with Rosie and cheer on Kendra as she finished the Athens half-marathon.  Sometimes I feel the urge to want to want to be a runner, but that’s only ever as far as it goes.  I was much more excited about the second part, which was when we got lunch at Avocado, a vegan restaurant in the city center.  I was spoiled with pretentious food in Dallas, and I’ve missed it!  Yay for niche markets!

Monday was a loooong day.  After a full work day, I had two hours of Greek lessons, and then I had a Skype meeting with our supervisors/bosses in Vancouver.  I’m starting 12 Steps with them, and it is SO GOOD.  By which I mean, SO HARD, because pretty immediately he got to my core issues “You fear losing your purpose and your safety, and when people threaten those things, you react by either controlling them or more likely, by withdrawing from them.  Why are these coping strategies doing for you?  In what ways are they failing?”  I was left making faces at my webcam, desperately unhappy that I couldn’t come up with pre-packaged answers.  But I think that is exactly why it will be so good for me.

On Tuesday, I had my second birthday party!  Luciana was out of town over the weekend for Beauty and the Beast/food, so she and Giorgos threw me a littler party at their apartment.  My two gifts were champagne and lemoncello, and combined with ordered pizza and homemade tiramisu, we had QUITE the extravagant evening.  Especially when they revealed their Super Mario World setup and we played video games to celebrate my birth.  Perfect!

On Wednesday, I did some hard work things, and then crashed at our weekly K-Drama Club.  I’m so happy that this is actually a consistent thing!  I’m realizing more and more why k-dramas are so wonderful for me at this time of life in particular.  I’m pretty stressed most of the time, so watching a show in a foreign language with silly or emotionally heightened plots is just the sort of disconnect from reality that I need.

Let’s talk about that stress, yeah?  So on Friday, Anthi and I had a meeting with a woman who wants to attend our Day Program.  We talked before and were prepared to tell her no, we can’t really offer that to her now, but after she shared her story, we both were just heart puddles.  We wound up offering a week trial so we can see how seriously she will commit to the program, but here’s the thing.  THIS IS TOO MUCH RESPONSIBILITY.

Last year, when people asked if working with women who had been trafficked was difficult, the true answer was, “Not really.”  Life sucks, and I was content to sit with people in their suckiness.  But now that I’m the Program Coordinator, I’m making decisions.  I’m not just sitting with people…I’m telling people where they can sit and for how long.  Is that metaphor falling apart?  What I mean practically is, the stakes are too high!  Should I enforce punctuality rules, even if that annoys women so much that they leave the program?  How can I be the one to decide whether or not a woman can join our recovery program or not??  I’m just a baby!  Why is everyone treating me like an adult?

I’m looking forward to returning to America for training/visa renewal.  I’m starting to feel the burden of the job too much, and I think it will be very good for me to see that HD will continue just fine without me.  I’m useful and necessary, but I’m not God.

In that same vein, I was purposefully as lazy as possible today (Saturday).  It’s the only day all month that I had zero plans, and the eagerness with which I anticipated staying in my pajamas was honestly ridiculous.  But it was SO GOOD.  I finished a book, I played through an entire computer game (The Silent Age – a really creative puzzle game!), and I had a deep conversation with my roommate over food that we ordered online so that we could avoid a phone conversation.  Now I’m blogging with a cat on my lap!  Self-Care Complete.



One thought on “Year 2 | A Week in Greece #11: BIRTHDAY PT. 2 and WORK BURDENS

  1. Tommy Meisel March 25, 2017 / 9:17 pm

    ” I’m starting to feel the burden of the job too much, and I think it will be very good for me to see that HD will continue just fine without me. I’m useful and necessary, but I’m not God.”
    You are gaining more wisdom. A little story from my life where I learned two lessons:
    At Cat, another fellow and I were very close, we shared confidences, we drank coffee together, we griped, we helped each other. I worked with this fellow for some years and admired him very much. He was a prolific inventor, and had a ton of patents. He could see things in ways that others could not, and envision changes to machines that would make them more desirable. Many of his ideas went into production and he was responsible for a lot of profit. Then one day he had a heart attack at his desk and died while I was holding him and trying my best to remember my resuscitation training and to save him. That was lesson #1… we are all mortal and everything here is temporary. But lesson # 2 was the one which gave me some wisdom.
    As his best friend, it became my job to go through his work things and parcel out the inventions he was working on to others. But lo and behold, nobody wanted his drawings and blueprints or his sketchbook, or any of that. Eventually I had to throw it all away. It was hard for me, but that was when I learned that all your achievements that are important to you are not necessarily important to others. When you die, your death is like taking a drop of water out of a big bucket, the bucket is still there and still full. After he died, Cat continued on as if he had never existed. If I had died at work it would have been the same thing. If you were to die tomorrow, you would be mourned by some, but the House of Damaris would continue on without you. You are valuable, your contributions are valuable, but you are not God. You are human. Don’t fall into the common trap of thinking that you are indispensable. I see so many former Cat folks who thought they were indispensable and shorted their families and community for Cat, and now they are out of a job and wondering what happened. No one is indispensable.
    Tricia, you really do make me think and that is a valuable talent!


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