Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Some things in life ARE FREE


"You have to do what interests you first......then, hopefully, the money comes."
Richard Branson

Doing what interests you means that a lot of the time, you're doing it for free. Nothing comes from free? BULL. My labor is coming for free....For the first time in my life I am volunteering, doing shows for FREE and writing for free, and coincidentally I'm also the most BROKE I've ever been in my life and have more debt that I've ever had. Actually, I NEVER had debt until I decided to parade myself around Europe, which I have to remind myself was totally worth it every time I have to turn down dates with friends and stay home and eat rice cakes and drink four day old wine/vinegar instead.

But I haven't quit anything. I haven't said "NO" because the dollar sign wasn't attached to the opportunity and even now when I'm struggling to pay a single bill, I'm reminding myself like Richard Branson said, that success comes when you are thriving in your work. When you are doing it because you LOVE IT. Such a simple concept that's easily thrown out when you're swimming in a pool of desperation.

Because of my trip, I knew that I needed to CONNECT more with people. I wanted to offer more of myself and my time. I wanted to do something that wasn't a means to an end, I just didn't know what would be a good "fit." My heart would be too weepy to work with children or people that were really sick...so what else? Funny, as I was getting my annual pap-smear, STD testing (keeping it safe) birth-control refill, that I sat spread eagle in front of my Doc and asked if I could start volunteering. I figured, Doctor's office's are scary, Planned Parenthood is "taboo," condemned by many and at the same time imperative to women's health issues. When I was a teenager having sex and afraid get the proper preventative needs in order to not pull a Bristol Palin, the mere thought of PP made my hands sweat. As I sat in the waiting room I saw mini-me's feeling the same way....all they needed was someone that they could talk openly with, ask questions, feel safe and not feel judged. Women's rights and women's health has always been important to me and giving people the proper education, so that they're SMART, not careless, but informed was what made me make my decision. I wanted to be an activist for THAT.

So the other day when I went for my volunteer interview at Planned Parenthood I had to remind myself as protesters ran up to my car and forcibly offered to "SAVE ME" while waving banners of dead fetus' in front of my face that I was there to "do something good." Not to run over a bunch of Bible thumping radicals. Though, when a woman in her late 60's climbed a ladder to peek over the fence and yell over a bullhorn at patients, I crossed my fingers and hopped she'd fall and break and hip- that her baby carriage full of plastic dolls missing appendages, covered in fake blood wouldn't break her fall.

Screaming at people going in to pick up a pack of birth control, or volunteer (like myself) that they're, "GOING TO BURN, YOU AND THE SINNERS OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD ARE GOING TO BE CHARRED IN THE FIRE-Y DEPTHS OF HELL FOR KILLING YOUR BABY. YOU'RE GOING TO BURRRRRRNNNNNNNN...........Come talk to us, we'll "SAVE YOU." is certainly not something that I think "GOD" would deem at non-judgment and tolerance. It simply crosses the line and uses the Bible as a way to instill fear, which from my understanding wasn't the prophet's intentions at all.

It would have been easy to be intimidated by them, but their bigotry made me that much more passionate. People are entitled to their opinions and I certainly wouldn't WANT everyone to think the same way as I do, but to use your Bible and your faith as a means to threaten, bully and frighten people isn't what any higher power would call RIGHTEOUSNESS. To assume that the people walking through the doors aren't just as devoted to their faith as you are is pure ignorance.

So when I picked my hours to work, I signed up for the proper orientation, etc. there wasn't a single ounce of myself that begrudged the fact that I wasn't going to get a paycheck every two weeks, because I knew what I was going to do would just help bring AWARENESS and acceptance to something that shouldn't be thought of any other way.

Sometimes life tests us; "So you LOVE singing so much.... then we'll give a show, where you'll sing for FREE." Do you take it? Me, of course. "You're passionate about women's rights, well how passionate? Are you willing to give up a few hours....for FREE?" Now, more than ever. While certain things have fallen out place for me that gave me some security, enjoying the new things that have stepped in is the only way for me to be thinking on a level that generates more good.

Which, is sometimes a hard thing to remember when you're driving around on empty.

All in due time, all in due time......

What is it that YOU'D do for FREE???







25 comments:

Becky said...

I would work on a movie or tv set any day for free. It's what I LOVE to do more than anything. I hope one day to get paid for it, but until then I will spend every waking moment doing it for free.

Camels & Chocolate said...

I wrote for free for YEARS before I started landing the paying gigs. Now, I just can't write for free, as I don't have the time (and I need to pay the bills). I mean, I guess technically I write for free as I blog frequently, right?

But after covering the world premiere of Milk last night, I thought about volunteering for Prop 8--too bad there's only 6 days left until the vote, 6 days in which I'm working and can't volunteer. Because that right there is a cause I would devote my free time to. For free.

tmamone said...

Well I'm not getting paid for most of my freelance writing jobs, but that's not really by choice.

Even though I consider myself relatively pro-life, I never understood the point of yelling in front of PP or an abortion clinic. I'd much rather find a way to reduce the number of abortions, like advocating better sex education for kids, y'know.

ChasingParadise said...

Wow. There you go, putting us all to shame again! First Europe and now volunteering?! You go girl!

How in the world did you manage to keep your lip zipped at those crazies outside Planned Parenthood?! I could never maintain my dignity that well.

As for what I'd do for free -- I'd volunteer for the campaign trail and voting awareness. Alas, I'm not allowed to because of my job (must remain impartial, at least in public!)

Jane said...

I love working with kids, especially ones with learning difficulties. I don't think I could handle the bureaucracy of teaching, though, so I'd like to start volunteering.

The thing I hate most about the people who picket in front of Planned Parenthood is that they're intimidating girls away from getting the information and birth control to PREVENT abortions in the first place. It makes me think the picketers are not concerned about unborn fetuses; they're just against any woman who wants to have reproductive freedom.

Jen R. said...

I think you are awesome. I just consider it paying your dues. I don't know what I'd do for free. I guess what i do is free...the whole mom thing :) But it has its rewards as I'm sure what you're doing does too.

just me said...

Planned Parenthood needs someone like you to punch the protesters if they get too stupid.

Rachel said...

I take pictures for people that can't afford to (or dont want to) have them professionally done (senior pictures, family pics, dog pics) and do all the touch ups and a set of prints. I try to go to the Humane society a couple of times a week and play with the animals too. But that is more of a way to let my inner child out to play with the cute puppies lol.
I salute your choice of volunteer spots! I don't think I could do that...I dont have the patience to deal with the ignorant protestors, someone would get hurt lol.

sequined said...

I've taught and done work with kids for free, and I'd continue to do that. I'd do various writing activities for free, like grant writing, editing a book for a friend, blogging, whatever. Some of those things fall by the wayside when time and needing to pay bills come up though.

Belle said...

I'm glad you chose Planned Parenthood! We don't have a Planned Parenthood in our area, our local office was forced to close its doors a few months ago due to lack of funding. They slowly had to phase out services because of increased costs, starting with abortions, then moving on to cancer screenings, until they just had to close altogether. Of course, the protesters were overjoyed and taking credit for the clinic's decision to stop providing abortions.

I'm glad that people have basic healthcare available to them, thanks to people like you, who are willing to do things for free!

Trixie Firecracker said...

Major props for volunteering at PP, that's one gig I would volunteer for myself, since I also find women's health issues to be pretty important, especially given our current political climate. PP has always been there for us in our time of need, I think we should support them as much as we can.

P.S - I think those protesters don't give a hoot about "respect for life" or anything of that stuff - they just don't like the idea of women having control over their own bodies. Remember ladies, our bodies are owned by greybeards on Capitol Hill!

Ugh.

JessWrites said...

Chelsea, you are right on with this post. Amen to everything you said.

It is sickening that those protesters will verbally attack every single person who goes to planned parenthood... when in reality, most of the people going there are just getting birth control or annual exams. That's a GOOD thing... they are trying to PREVENT unwanted pregnancy. Planned Parenthood is helping prevent unplanned pregnancy so that there will be LESS abortions.

Why don't people get that?

I love you and your blog.

sarah marie p said...

Wow! Go you! Congrats for volunteering at Planned Parenthood! That's such a great cause ... I should put my volunteering where my mouth is and give some time as well! Man, I went to Planned Parenthood for years and I never saw any protesters. That is freakin nuts! Seriously -- great Christian behavior, guys. Intimidating innocent people! And it's stupid cuz 99 percent of what PP does has nothing to do with abortions.

Jessica said...

That's so awesome and admirable that your going to do that. I didn't even know they took volunteers there. It's definitely an intimidating and scary place to be, so it's awesome that you want to help people feel comfortable there.

transienttravels said...

In college I did a lot for free - built houses for families in Kentucky, tutored adults and children in Philly. Right now, I do PR and I do happen to love PR. If money was not an issue, I would combine the two passions and do PR for a non profit for free.

sid said...

1stly it's weird that you're supposed to be the "free nation" and you have protesters in front of PP. We don't have this in SA. Hmmm for a long time now I've wanted to help out at an orphanage. Maybe its time I got started volunteering instead of thinking about volunteering?

nicoleantoinette said...

Make cupcakes. I'd definitely make cupcakes for free.

teabelly said...

I'm currently looking into volunteering options, because I think it's an excellent way to give something back and learn new skills. Plus it gives you great perspective. Well done! Also, having to go through all that is crazy, I don't think we have anything like that here, or protesting isn't as well known.

step right up said...

What I'd do for free:

I'd help my family members out without asking for anything in return but the love they always give me.

Suz said...

I would work with dogs for free (and do! I volunteer at the SPCA.) I would also do vacation reviews/traveler's guides for free (assuming I could afford the vacations) because I love traveling!

Those people outside Planned Parenthood don't really understand the Bible or Jesus. If they did, they would not be doing that. I hate that a few "crazies" give Christians a bad rap.

missBee said...

I act and raise awareness against human trafficking. I figure, if you're passionate about it, the satisfaction pays for itself. Working for money is great, but it kills the little bit inside of you that truly cares about something.

Meeks said...

Sing. All day, every day. Play with animals. Hug young girls that need a hug - because most of them do - and tell them that it sucks now, but it does get better. Write. Oh, and sleep. I could definitely get on board with sleep volunteering.

bringyourownbaggage said...

I would love to help disadvantaged young people. I started with nothing and am proud to say have made a lot for myself.

Interesting you write this. I'm getting ready to move up to SF to work for a non profit. SF-super expensive city. Non profit- not very much money. But its what I want to do. You're right, if you love something, you'll work really hard at it, become awesome at it, and eventually will get paid a decent amount for it. Thanks for the inadvertent pep talk!

Princess Pointful said...

I guess it is just a Canadian thing, but we just don't have that in front of our Planned Parenthoods. It is a relatively mellow experience-- which it should be, considering all the shame and misconceptions wrapped around women's sexuality.

Me? I would work with animals, or in mental health advocacy. Oh, how I wish for time...

Anonymous said...

Are you bored and don't know where to go for your next vacation? Then check out Branson vacation and see what it has to offer!

 
ss_blog_claim=1c43e45eb4927c96edea5f154138fe95