I was praying. I am not religious. But I was desperate and had to speak to someone. Someone who wasn’t my mother. Her advice on love had worn on me. Not because it was bad, on the contrary she was always enlightening, but because I never paid attention to her. I needed a higher authority…
I was in love. His name was Sam (not his real name) and he was the 3rd guy in as many weeks who I had fallen in love with. He (like the others) had trumped all those before him and I had decided that he was THE ONE. But he didn’t share the same opinion.
So while in fetal position on the kitchen floor of my hotel room, crying, again, because I had fallen in love, again, with someone whose role in life it turns out was not to fulfill my dreams and fantasies – I felt helpless, angry and confused. While the sun shone out of Sam’s ass, I was a dark cloud. And I started to pray:
Dear God, Firstly, I don’t like you. Secondly I don’t like myself. I’m needy and self-absorbed, desperate, unsatisfied and scared. I don’t want to be like this anymore. I want you to show me you are there and show me what you want me to do. I don’t want logic to tell me. I don’t want my therapist to tell me. I want you to reveal yourself. Not in the romantic details of a flower petal or a leaf swaying in the wind. I want you to make it obvious in a way only you can. Hit me with it. Throw it at me. Show me.
I continued crying.
Within a day, I was over the guy who was going to be the savior of my existence. Life became normal again – a state I abhor, but had decided to come to terms with.
I cried for another few days. I wrote half a play, edited half a film, read half a book and binge watched re-runs of The Voice. I continued my discourse of dissatisfaction with the creator of the universe. He said nothing, because “He” doesn’t exist, and once my eyes were no longer functional, I stopped crying and got on with my life.
And then my friend Maya, who I had been planning to visit in Nepal in June, contacted me asking for help. I don’t watch TV, so I had no idea there had been an earthquake. Maya’s village was destroyed, and members of her family had died. Could I help? They needed money. This was her message:
My 3 family member and 2 relatives are die and my house also gone not only me all my village no house and no food no medicine! And you can help anything food, cloth, medicine and money! Thank you. There is a massive loss in Sindhupalchowk area where I’m trying to collect relief efforts. We need tents, basic medical aid boxes, dry foods as much as we can collect. Thousands of people are injured and they have no food and shelter. I have team of volunteers but we dont have much equipments to help them. Please help as much as u can from your side. Death troll is highest in this area. So we need to manage dead bodies of human and animals. Situations is worse. Please do help. Thank you
I met Maya last year in LA with 5 other women who were part of The Seven Summits Women team from Nepal. I snuck Maya, who didn’t have her ID, into a bar in so that she could watch a play I was in. She and the others stayed with me for a night – three in one bed, two in the other. I had never met people more humble. They never asked me for any help even though I know they needed it. They shone with life force and gratitude and devoted their lives to empowering women across the globe. Not many people recognize it, but they are some of the greatest athletes in the world. They are real life heroes. And now they needed help.
Being asked for help is a gift. It brings with it a sense of belonging and a great awareness of responsibility. I wanted to help far more than I was able. I sent as much money as I could, probably more than I should. I was unable to hold on to my savings knowing that women who had stayed in my home had lost their own.
Two days later, I received this note from Shailee, the coordinator of the group:
Hey Bojana, are you in touch with Joel (Edgerton)? I’m wondering if you/him could help us organize a call for support in LA. My idea is an evening dinner. Something like ‘an evening for Nepal’. and try and invite celebs. What to you think? Maya and Nimdoma are currently in their home districts. Maya reported her village is 100% destroyed. no houses standing, no hospital, no school, nothing. it will be a long road to recovery. we are supplying food and tarps to ensure people survive. But soon we will have to look into a lot of issues. Govt hasn’t reached there nor has any big aid orgs like Red cross or anything. Let me know your thoughts.
My thoughts? My thoughts are YES, ANYTHING YOU NEED. Luckily, I was as inexperienced with fundraising in LA as Shailee was. Otherwise I would never have started…
It’s not as simple as one imagines to help people understand that parting with their money in order to help another human being is one of the most satisfying experiences you could enjoy in this lifetime.
Fortunately the very characteristics one needs in order to persist with a task like this, are the ones I was running away from in my time of heartache: idealism, stubbornness, a bit of ego and lots of hope. They were my enemies in love, but here they were assets.
It wasn’t until about a week later that I realized, that with my prayer, I had put myself directly in the universe’s path. I had asked to be guided. It doesn’t surprise me that people believe in God as a parental entity with human traits. I still don’t, but I can say that cosmic forces somehow aligned. Or maybe the opportunities are there when we stop crying and open our eyes. The universe has brought an opportunity for me to do something for others. To learn how to ask for help from others in an effort to help those in need.
I emailed Shailee, and said that I would do everything I could to help. That is a promise I intend to keep. I’m going over there. We’re raising money for specific re-building efforts in isolated areas that the government can’t fund. I’m working with Martina C.Fuchs and setting up an incredibly effective way to donate through Real Medicine Foundation (will post a link about how to donate in the days that follow) and I’m committing to this long term. So here we go. I am off to Nepal.