This is a lifestyle blog, hopefully you know this by now. But there is a lot more to my lifestyle than where I eat or travel or what art shows I go to. So today, I am going to introduce you to one of the biggest parts of my lifestyle, my life philosophy.
There was a point last August when it seemed like the world was ending: Ebola was ravaging West Africa and had found its way to New York, planes were being shot down out of the sky, Isis was being wretched (to say the absolute least) and on a personal note, my grandfather was dying. You could feel how nervous everyone in the city was because disaster seemed to be imminent and I, personally, was feeling isolated and useless. No joke, the day after the news broke about Isis planning to bomb the subway I got really panicked and had to get off the train and walked like 20 blocks.
It was on that walk though that I realized what was really causing my panic. It wasn't the fear of an Ebola outbreak in the city, or of having my subway car blown up, it was how completely helpless I felt in the face of horrible tragedy and personal loss. The world seemed to be falling apart and my grandfather was dying on the other side of the country and there was absolutely nothing I could do about any of those things.
Somewhere around Chambers Street I had an epiphany. I couldn't help with Ebola, or global terrorism, or my grandfather's death, but there were like 12,000 things that I could help with right here in New York City. They might be small things, but they were things that needed to be done. So, I put my connections to use and called up my friends at local NYC animal shelter, Animal Haven, and volunteered to foster an animal for two weeks (my living situation at the time prevented anything longer, otherwise that little beast would be sitting on my lap right now).
I told them to give me the animal that need to get out the most, and they gave me a wee little Rat Terrier mix. Her name was Miss Moo and she was the coolest little beast who just needed some love to help her be her best self and find her forever home (which she did just after she parted ways with me).
And this was the beginning of my life philosophy: When you feel helpless, be helpful.
So one recent Friday, when I woke up in the pit of despair because jobs are hard to find and dog fighting exists, I decided to practice what I preach and made an appointment at New York Blood Center to donate some blood.
As you can imagine, donating blood isn't the prettiest of activities, but I did the best I could to get you some pictures.
The staff were delightful, in spite of the fact one of them kept telling me I wasn't bleeding fast enough (there are a lot of situations where that is a good thing), and the process went very quickly. It took about an hour start to finish and I left knowing that I had done something someone somewhere would benefit from.
And, as an added bonus, I got some pretty kickass snacks.
Donating blood and fostering animals isn't for everyone, but there are plenty of other ways to be helpful: donating to a food bank, helping someone carry a suitcase or stroller up and down the subway steps, babysitting for a friend or family member who can't afford a babysitter so they can have a night out. Whatever is close to your heart and whatever you can do, just make up your mind and do it.
So, the next time the world seems like a terrible horrible no good very bad place, do something helpful. It doesn't have to be big, it doesn't have to fix the problem, it just has to help. And I guarantee you will feel good and the world will be a bit better because of you!