Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Anxiety, You Suck: Reflections from Rock Bottom

I’m tired of following my dreams. I’m gonna ask them where they’re going and catch up with them when they get there. - Mitch Hedberg

At the age of six, I was asked to leave an etiquette class because I refused to stop shoveling cookies into my mouth. My budding logic determined that since I didn’t know when I would next have the chance to eat cookies, I should eat as many as humanly possible before the tray was taken away and something less appetizing put in its place.

So while the other little girls sat in their starched dresses primly holding plates with one cookie neatly situated in the center, I shoved one cookie after another into my mouth. The instructor, initially dumbfounded, quickly regained her senses, grabbed my arm and deftly threw me out of the class. My mother found me sitting outside a closed door picking at the scabs on my knees with chocolate covered fingers.

Twenty-two years later, I still have difficulty restraining myself when trays of cookies are presented to me. Mostly because that while I believe in love and sharing and all of that, one must draw the line somewhere. I draw it at sharing cookies. Beyond this however, I am reluctant to relinquish even the smallest of pleasures out of the simple fear that because change is inevitable, my joy can be swept away at a moment’s notice. So I hoard it, shoveling it into my mouth without really tasting it because I am afraid there is a finite amount.

Read the rest at www.nikkitravels.com 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Advocacy Project

As many of you know, I am currently in Palestine and Israel as an Advocacy Project Peace Fellow working with the Alternative Information Center.

The postings on this site will likely decrease for a few months as I concentrate my efforts on writing for the Advocacy Project Blog as well as for the Alternative Information Center.

I'd like to encourage you to stop by the AP blog and subscribe if you're so inclined. I'll be writing about my daily life there and anything else that catches my interest. I'll be cross-posting here as much as possible!

Links to my last three posts:

Back to Bethlehem: It’s been a year and a half since I left the West Bank after living and working there for 6 months. As I prepare to head back to Bethlehem to work with the Alternative Information Center as an AP peace fellow, my mind pulls images from various scenes of my last visit. Waiting outside my apartment for the Arab-Israeli taxi that will take me through the checkpoint and into Jerusalem, my host family stands around my packed bags as my host mother scurries around trying to fit a few more items into my carry-on: the Arabic coffee I love, some Palestinian pastries, a bag of spices. I hug my friends good-bye and tell them I will see them again. Inshallah, they say. God-willing.

The Swing of Things: A slight breeze ruffles the stagnant summer air that has settled heavily into our office space. I found a powdered mix of Oregon Chai sitting neglected on a dusty shelf in the market across the street and I am happy to relish the creature comfort of sipping out of a normal-sized mug. The minuscule cups of Arabic coffee are perfect for a social gathering, but I am habituated to the American ritual of sitting down to work with a gargantuan mug of coffee…or in this case Oregon Chai. I’ll take what I can get.

Just Another Day in the Office The Alternative Information Center is a joint Israeli-Palestinian activist organization focused on political advocacy, grassroots activism and an end to occupation. Here you find news of resistance within Israeli society, settler violence against Palestinians, the economy of oppression, and the daily struggle to carve out a life within the fissures of a long-standing conflict. It is within this organization that I am beginning to find my place. After my morning run where I keep an eye out for wild dogs and taxis zipping too quickly around the corners, I head to the office.
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