So for a year now I have been trying to get work as a volunteer. Who knew it would turn out to be such a difficult feat? Having been out of the workforce basically house/bed/hospital bound for fourteen years this was a completely terrifying mission and I don’t use the word terrifying lightly. I was petrified. But Little did I know just how tough and intimidating the reality of this pursuit was going to be. Probably just as well I didn’t know or I would have stayed firmly on the couch. I seriously thought the process would entail me making a phone call, offering my services and then I’d be told, “Great can you start Tuesday?” No this was not the case. Rejection after rejection; I was not qualified to be a volunteer, I did not have the right insurance to be a volunteer nor the experience to be a volunteer. One organisation asked, “Who do you think you are phoning up asking for a work? We only have paid positions here!” How silly of me. Do you have any idea just how humiliating it is when all your friends and family have jobs and you can’t even get one when your offering to work for free…. yep exactly! Could someone please find my self esteem and return to me ASAP.
Well a few weeks ago I received a phone call from a lovely man named Stewart, “Melissa, we would love you to come and work at our soup kitchen.” I immediately lost it and squealed with excitement, poor Stewart was so polite and laughed nervously, probably unsure how to respond as I hysterically cheered asking, “So I’m really in? You really want me?” It’s a wonder he didn’t renege on his offer there and then, but he didn’t and I am so grateful. You can’t even begin to imagine how excited I was driving off to work that first day. Ok not my first ever job in my lifetime but after being so close to death I feel like this is a new lifetime. I guess it’s true that you treasure more after you have lost and then found again. My first day I smiled so hard all the way as I drove. I relished it. You see when you get to 44 there are not that many firsts. This felt like a first. I felt like a viking standing on a mountain with her fist pumping in the air claiming new ground. I know this probably sounds ridiculous to many of you. I’m sure there are those of you thinking, what’s all the fuss she got a volunteer job in a soup kitchen? Whoopy-doo! But for me it represented so much victory! It was me sticking it to all the doctors that said I couldn’t and to all the voices in my head that told me lies.
So I’ve been working at the soup kitchen a few weeks now. The people I’m working with are amazing and so are the patrons. I love it. I would be there every night if I could. But for now two and a half hours is all I can give. I’d like to say I came home looking like that viking on the mountain – truth is – I looked like this….
Whilst I was face planted down on the couch my beautiful Son came into the lounge room and lovingly said to me, “Mum, look at you. You won’t be able to keep doing this. Your just too sick to work at the soup kitchen.” So did I go back? Yes I did and will continue to. Because although I have no choice over whether I have the body of a sick person, I can choose whether to have the spirit of one. My body is weak but it cannot touch my spirit. I may need more rest than everyone else. I may be in bed the whole next day after the soup kitchen but I refuse to see myself as weak another day longer. I am strong. I have the spirit of a viking warrior.
Now keep in Mind that each of our viking warrior moments are different but no less important or triumphant. Some days the facts and circumstances might tell you that your sick or inadequate or that you’ll never amount to anything. Today might even be a face-plant on the couch kinda day for you but thats just the facts not the truth. The truth is you have the spirit of a viking warrior and you were born to conquer!