I can honestly say I grew up in a bubble. My parents raised my brother and me in a small town in Orange County where every house had a big backyard and a pool. There was no crime and my biggest concern growing up was having the name brand jeans so I would be cool. I remember in elementary school we went to the La Brea Tar Pits in LA. It was a popular hangout spot for some homeless people. I was intrigued. The idea that someone had no home, no food and nowhere to bath was beyond my understanding. I gave one man part of my lunch and got in trouble for giving away my lunch and talking to a stranger. After that there was a small leak in my bubble. As I grew up, I learned the world around me wasn’t perfect. People struggled but I can honestly say I had no idea what that felt like. I was very blessed growing up and I’m thankful my parents raised me so well and in such a safe place.
When I became an adult I started exploring the world a little more. A trip to an orphanage in Mexico was the first eye opening experience. These kids were happy with their 1980′s, totally not safe, playground and old beat up toys. Yet, it was still heart breaking to see that they didn’t have parents and had to burn their trash (yes, the smell of burning trash is what I remember most!). After that trip, there was a bigger tear in my bubble. Next I headed to New Orleans to help with clean up after the hurricane. The level of poverty and damage I saw in my own country was a wake up call… another tear in my bubble. Then after the Haiti earthquake, I headed to the Dominican and Haiti. We went to drop supplies off in Port Au Prince and we drove by an elementary school that was completely collapsed. School was just about to get out when the earthquake hit and parents were waiting outside to pick up their kids. They were all still buried and dead in the rubble because they didn’t have the equipment to clear it. Nobody should have to see that, let alone live it. After that trip, my bubble was gone. Since the first Haiti trip, I went back one more time and it was an equally heartbreaking trip. I’ve met people in Cambodian villages with disabled children that might be able to live a semi “normal” life if they lived in the US but will die because of where they are. And now, I’m fostering and hearing the saddest stories about kids in my own backyard. There are horrible things that happen in this world and I voluntarily have put myself out there to see it, meet the people and hear their stories.
The question is, why didn’t I just stay in my bubble? Living a naive and innocent life is not a bad thing, right? Unfortunately, I wasn’t made that way… although there are days I wish I was. Being single and on my own, most of my time is spent on me and I have to say, that is probably the most empty, unfulfilling time in my life. We weren’t put on this earth to live for ourselves. I think that’s why we get married and have kids. These things fill our lives and make us complete. Daily, you get to fill your life with others and do for them… how amazing is that?!? Personally, since I’m not married and I just got my foster baby, I have to reach way outside of my comfort zone and since I no longer have a bubble and my heart is in a million pieces for our fallen world, what do I have to lose? I honestly wouldn’t want to leave this world with my heart in one piece. What a boring life I would have to live. 🙂 I have to remind myself that even though I’ve seen horrible stuff in this world, I’ve never had to live it. I visit these people, do what I can and go back to my comfy home. Their lives stay the same. When I think of that, I don’t care that my bubble is gone. If I could bring happiness to one person for one minute who is going through a rough time, it’s all worth it. So, if your are still in your bubble, I dare you to poke out of it! 🙂