Food And The Future And Other Things

Today’s Happy Note: I’m currently snuggled up in my bed watching romantic comedies (does anyone else love Julia Roberts), dreaming about falling in love and just feeling generally content with the world.

No pictures today; my camera died just as I left the house this morning.

I did an easy 3.5 miles this evening, with 4×100 meter strides (fast pick-ups) and another mile or two of walking.  I worked from 9-5; for some reason that always just drains me completely and I don’t want to do anything else.  Good news though: I convinced my favorite bagel shop to donate their leftovers to me for Second Job, which is a non-profit. We don’t have much money for food, so this was very exciting.  There will be 50 happy high school students tomorrow morning with bellies full of bagels.

I wish I could give them fresh fruit and vegetables and almond butter and oats and Greek yogurt.  But this job has taught me that good, healthy food is so expensive. It’s quite unfair.  In my mind, it borders on discrimination: I work very hard, but I also have the luxury of having two cushy jobs and two well-to-do parents who give me money all the time.  For a single mom who has to choose between paying for an ER visit for a sick kid and vegetables from the farmer’s market — well, you can guess what the priority is.  It saddens me greatly.  At the beginning of the summer, I asked a few farmer’s market vendors if they ever have any extra apples or carrots at the end of the day and they said they really don’t.  It is so sad that farming has become so difficult; I don’t blame them for our national healthy eating crisis.  I guess I don’t really know who to blame, but I know that it isn’t fair.  And I see the victims of this every day in my neighborhood and at my job.  I am no more deserving of cage free eggs and free range beef and fresh chard and organic cherries than anyone else.  Yet, quite simply, I have it and other people don’t.

Some days I just want to move to the prairie and start a totally new life that has nothing to do with money or power or my fancy Ive League education and everything to do with connecting to the land around me and producing for myself.  The array of options at the farmer’s market never fails to astound me — everything from blueberry jam to goat cheese and chocolate milk and sunflowers and sweet potatoes. You could live off of it.  And some days, I want to.

I’m kind of trying to say a lot of things at once here, so perhaps I could be more clear: there is something terribly wrong with the way our nation produces and disseminates and consumes food (or in some cases, you might say “food”).  And the victims of this crisis are those who are already most vulnerable.  Poverty and obesity (and, I would imagine, a host of other life-shortening factors) go hand in hand.

Another thing I’m trying to say is that I have had a realization.  I know whole-heartedly that I want to be a lawyer — I have to be a lawyer.  Why?  Because I want to be able to advocate for a variety of organizations that help people.  I have fallen in love with Second Job this summer.  It is the second non-profit I have worked for.  I guess I want to be a legal advocate for non-profits.  Is that an actual career?  Who knows.  But I’ll make it into one.

It’s kind of exciting to have a slightly more concrete idea of what I want. At the same time, I am open to change and other directions.  I can see myself in a human rights or civil liberties organization, or a group like the UN.  But again, I think that all comes back to advocacy, non-profits, and helping people.

I have every intention of having a high-powered and powerful career in which I get to boss a lot of people around and Do Important Things. But I also have a heart.  A big one. More and more, lately, I am realizing that that’s what defines me.

In a weird way, I’m getting a little bit excited to take the LSAT and apply to law school…

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14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. It All Changes
    Aug 06, 2010 @ 22:33:17

    You speak with such passion about this and I whole heartedly agree. I do my best to provide healthy food to our food pantry clients and children’s programming but it is expensive and I often suffice on what we can get from the food bank…cookies, granola bars, and fruit in heavy syrup.

    Reply

  2. Sarah
    Aug 06, 2010 @ 22:36:10

    Sounds like you would be a brilliant advocate for the issues you feel passionately about, and I think it’s wonderful that having this ambition is firing you up for the future.

    🙂

    Sarah x

    Reply

  3. Linda
    Aug 06, 2010 @ 22:37:45

    You can do it, babe! 🙂 All it takes is a willing attitude, a loving heart, and strong willpower and you have all three of those qualities, so you’re all set. Go out there and change the world.

    …But of course, leave some time for the spontaneous things in life, like falling in love with a man can manage your strong intelligence and passion to serve others 🙂

    Reply

  4. sarah (the SHU box)
    Aug 07, 2010 @ 06:24:16

    very exciting! sounds like you are about to embark on a great journey.

    i TOTALLY agree with you about food – i feel like i am trying to tackle it from the other side, the micro level, family by family, as a doctor. but it can be extremely hard this way when i feel like the infrastructure is just not there! we need more lawyers like you!!

    Reply

  5. Erin
    Aug 07, 2010 @ 06:36:28

    Passion is the most important thing, by far.

    Reply

  6. Katie
    Aug 07, 2010 @ 09:05:56

    This post made me so happy! I love how excited and passionate you are about your career plan, and you’ll do what it takes to make it happen.

    I wish healthy food wasn’t so expensive, too 😦

    Reply

  7. Hayley
    Aug 07, 2010 @ 11:42:04

    If you want it, go for it!! I for one am behind you 100%. 🙂

    Reply

  8. Ameena
    Aug 07, 2010 @ 15:52:10

    Good for you that you’ve found what you want to do with your future! I think your decision to be a lawyer is an awesome one and since you feel so passionate about it you will be a fabulous lawyer!

    Reply

  9. Joanne
    Aug 08, 2010 @ 06:29:03

    This is such an inspiring post chica! The healthy eating crisis in this country NEEDS to stop because we eat ourselves into one obese hole. I am so glad you will be working towards fixing this. We need change!

    Reply

  10. Liz M
    Aug 08, 2010 @ 07:30:32

    I recently stumbled upon your blog…just want to give some love to this great post! I’ve worked at several non-profits (currently at one in NYC, actually!), and I know that a lot of them employ lawyers to take care of organizational legal stuff (clearly, I’m not a lawyer:)). Just some career food for thought.

    You’re dead right about the food system in our country, too…so frustrating and unfair.

    Reply

  11. couchpotatoathlete
    Aug 08, 2010 @ 08:20:18

    It is so nice to read about someone with passion! You truly seem to want to make a difference. You will make a great lawyer!

    I agree about the eating crisis. It really makes me sad, to be honest!

    Reply

  12. fitandfortysomething
    Aug 08, 2010 @ 11:01:02

    Oh I can hear and feel your passion! How exciting to know so profoundly what you want to do.

    Reply

  13. fitnstitchin
    Aug 08, 2010 @ 18:43:12

    That was a beautiful post, and very true and very sad that sometimes parents have to make that difficult decision “food” or the “bills”. Feeding my family healthy, but still having that choice to feed them that not so healthy food sometimes. I really enjoying reading your blog! You will make a terrific Lawyer!

    Reply

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