Let Me Tell You Something…

I’m going to be completely honest.

And I don’t plan to leave anything out.

 

It’s time for me to start writing about my Occupy Wall Street stories.

 

I have successfully abandoned Facebook and committed myself to a few months of solitude while I get on my feet in the world again.

…I was really good at this. This society thing. I had a nice serving job for three years. I was paying for my 99 Mitsubishi Galant.

Then, within one month…

Four years and two days ago…

Everything changed drastically for me.

 

I was quarantined for two weeks from work because I got shingles.

I used to work seven days a week, so with all this new time on my hands, I went through a handful of books and movies.

I read “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn.

I read “the Little Earth Book” by James Bruges.

I read “Radical Simplicity” by Dan Price.

I watched “An Inconvenient Truth”.

I fell madly in love with one of my best friends.

I became a vegetarian.

And my brother was killed by local police.

 

I was out of work for three weeks and when I returned, I wasn’t the same person anymore.

I was beginning to question everything I’d come to know.

Society, the state of the world, the environment, the government, corporations, animals, my job and my own impact.

I felt useless.

 

Like, I was just existing until that moment and I had no direction with a purpose.

I was just at twenty-four.

An insignificant female working every day at a serving job making enough to pay off my car, gas, insurance, food, and a few nights out with friends. I’d realized that I’d stopped doing music completely and would sing karaoke a few nights a month to get the taste of music in some form going through me.

I had no plans beyond any of this because I knew that I was at the horizon with unlimited potential in all directions.

I’d been reveling in my own freedom since splitting up with my ex-fiancee in 2008 and I never made plans for my future.

It was at my brother’s funeral where I had a few life-changing conversations with my cousins.

They were always asking me my plans about going to college when we talked.

I never really thought that someone like me, coming from my family and my past could ever get into college so I always threw the idea out of a window. This time, it was different. They talked with me about grants and payment options and my best friend/boyfriend made me really feel like it was possible.

So, I made up my mind.

If I was going to go to college, I wouldn’t settle for less than my first choice.

I’d always wanted to go to Georgia State University since we took a tour of it in eighth grade.

I began the process and my beau and I decided to move to Atlanta so I could be closer.

 

My boss didn’t like the new me and told me not to “get too involved” in that stuff. “That stuff” being critical thinking and questioning the world around me. He started to treat me differently to the point where he had me crying each night at work.

We were really good friends before, so it hurt that I had to leave and stop putting up with his change in attitude towards me.

I quit my job.

 

A month after finally paying off my car and getting the price of my insurance dropped, it was totalled out by an impatient driver pulling out into the road from a gas station.

I used the settlement money to buy a good commuter bike to get around Atlanta with.

 

Within a year, I got into GSU, we moved to Midtown in Atlanta, I went from car to bicycle and I decided to declare a double major of Art and Anthropology.

 

The only negative thing that I can say about this entire transition and experience is that my beau had to work two jobs and be away from our home way too much. He was a firefighter and paramedic so he was usually gone twenty-four hours at a time.

I was very much intimidated by the big city and kept to myself for the most part when I wasn’t zooming to and from school on my bike. I just stayed in our apartment with our lovely kitties, Pepper and PookyLips. Most of the time, I was reading, doing art, studying, journaling, or doing schoolwork.

 

When I look back, I can see so many things I could have changed then and there about myself that would have been a major improvement, but none of that matters now. Only the lessons I shall keep with me always.

 

For Summer, I took my first Drawing class and Scientific Perspective on Global Issues.

I was just entering my second semester in Fall when I saw the video that set me on fire.

 

 

I don’t even know where or how I saw it.

I just remember tears streaming down my face and being appalled at what I was seeing.

I could literally feel the vulnerability of each individual that was being abused by the police.

I was arrested on false charges and harassed by police on my birthday only three months before and all of the feelings of being violated, humiliated, vulnerable, and helpless came rushing back to me.

I could feel it for each individual in the video like it was happening to me and I felt even more helpless as the onlookers and citizens could do nothing to help their friends and fellow neighbors.

I thought about how defenseless everyone is against the police and how their word is always above your own no matter what happens. It made me feel so angry, so helpless, so useless, so sad! I wanted to go straight up to New York City and stand alongside the protestors. I wasn’t even entirely sure what they were protesting. I was just so enraged and pissed off that the police would, could, and do treat people this way. All the time.

 

I started looking things up to find out more about Occupy Wall Street and wondering how I could get up there.

I slapped myself in the face, though. I’d JUST started Fall semester at the school I’d been dreaming about for years.

I was in the school I never thought I could get into.

With the man of my dreams and the most wonderful life.

I couldn’t just go up to New York on a whim and what the hell was I going to do there anyways?

I didn’t know, but I had this urgency in me to be a part of it somehow.

I felt needed and like my heart was being pulled by some incredible force beyond me.

 

I found out that there was a local occupy group in Atlanta starting up and their next meeting was at Hurt Park right next to GSU.

This made me feel better about not being able to go up to New York, so I invited a few conscious friends to come check it out with me.

 

This is how it all began for me.

{To be Continued…}

~Kimlee

 

 

 

 

 

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