Meeting report: 13 August 2011

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Sometimes it feels like we’re not doing enough. When we started, we wanted to reach young and teen moms and give them a place to feel comfortable and safe. I’d had ideas about who they’d be, what their lives would be like, what they’d need.
Turns out, I was mostly wrong about all of that. The people we’ve met are not the people I thought we would.

I’ve written before about the people we’re not reaching, and it’s easy to feel despondent to know that there’s so much we’re not getting right. I worry about the ones who come a few times and don’t come back. What is it we’re not doing for them? I worry about the ones who I’ve heard want to come and never do. I worry about the ones who know  we’re here and don’t want to come because they perceive it as something for “other people” – not like me, I don’t need that. I worry about the girls who see themselves as too different to fit in. I worry about the ones who keep coming, and who need more than we can give them.

It’s also easy to feel overwhelmed by how much need there is  – not just financial need, not just food and clothing and school fees, but emotional need. People who need someone – anyone! – to give a damn about them. People who don’t even realise that’s what they need.

We try. I try. But it’s not enough and it never will be. That ol’ cliche gets rolled out glibly at times like this – mostly by people sitting in their comfy houses on their comfy butts – “Well, you know you can’t save the world”.   Obviously.

I guess what I’m wondering is are we actually doing any good? Does it matter?

Today I had to tell an overwhelmed, scared and depressed mom that she has to take it one day at a time. One minute at a time. The future is too scary and uncertain to look at right now. If you look too far ahead you might think it’s impossible. So don’t. Look at this moment, and manage that. Then the next, and the next. Make your plan, chop it up into tiny minute by minute chunks, and go with that. Before you know it, it’s tomorrow and that means you’ve managed today. I don’t know if it was the right thing to tell her. Right now it seems like good advice to take myself – or else drown in a massive attack of the inadequacy virus.

Right now, in this minute, looking at the photos from today – all I can say is that we had a good time. Sometimes, that has to be enough.






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