Muslims, Fireworks, Doctors and Money.

This is what’s been on my mind this week: Muslims, fireworks, doctors and money.

My address to the Christian World.

Obama made his speech in Cairo. And while I’m one of many people who are very excited about the potential shifts in foriegn policy that may happen over the next few years, I just want to make one point.

The use of the term “Muslim World” is highly problematic. Most statistics show than less than about 10% of the world’s Muslim population is Arab. Who are the rest? Oh you know that continent full of people, Africa, that no one in the west seems to care about. And maybe you’ve heard of this place called Indonesia? Yes, he acknowledges some of those countries in his speech, but still goes on to perpetuate the orientalist notion of tensions based solely on relgion.

Let’s be honest, who is he REALLY talking to? (Hint, our good friend Ahmadinejad is on the list.)

So I’ve decided from here on out to address all my communications to Americans as a message to the “Christian World.”

We finally got invited to the cool kids’ party!

Speaking of Ahmadinejad and the Iranian government, guess who got invited to the White House’s Fourth of July party?

Maz Jobrani or Robert Karimi if you’re out there reading this, you really need to write material about this. Or maybe I need to become a comedic performer myself. Are there any Iranian American female comedians yet? Well I just googled and found one, Negin Farsad.

Back alleys.

When I was 19 I took an extended leave from college (at the time I called it quitting) and moved back to the small southern town I grew up in. I was hired as the office manager at a women’s health clinic. Well, lets say office manager-walk in pregnancy test administrator-decision making counselor. Among other things.

When I heard the chilling news about Dr. George Tiller’s murder in broad daylight I thought back to my time there (the clinic ended up closing for financial reasons after I worked there for two years, after more than 25 years of providing sliding scale health services).

The clinic was the only in the state, and one of the few in the surrounding five states that provided second term pregnancy terminations.

We used to have to prep all our patients, and then have them all sit and patiently wait for the doctor to arrive and do all the procedures back to back then quickly leave and let the nurses follow up with the rest. Our doctor had another prominent role in the town that I don’t want to mention here in case he wishes to still be anonymous. So we would call him when all the women were ready and then he had to come and sneak through the back and administer the procedures.

To this day I still have such admiration for that doctor for literally risking his life to do something totally legal.

The last temptation.

After so confidently declaring I was going to risk it all and devote myself to starting my small business, I was tempted this week. I had applied for a film teaching position at a career and technology center. I was called in for an interview. Once I went through the interview it was clear that the job was way more of a committment than I had anticipated.

A well paying one with great benefits.

Though also a significant commute away (60 miles) for someone like me who hates to drive.

My interview went fabulous. I was selected as one of three final candidates. I agonized the rest of the week.

Scarcity vs. dreamer battled it out something like this.

Scarcity: It’s a severe recession. People would kill for a well paying an exciting opportunity like this one, even with the hour long commute. Take the job.

Dreamer: But it’s not what I said I was going to do. I was committed to launching the screening series and doing other things on the side to make ends meet until it all came together.

Scarcity: Those are just crazy dreams. Sure, we’d all love to be happy. But working sucks. It’s the price you pay for your play time the rest of the time. Your crazy dreams are why you were underemployed all through your 20s, why you only have $300 to retire on right now. Don’t make the same mistakes again in your 30s.

You get the idea. In the end, the dreamer won.

Here’s the clarity I finally came to (after hours of talking friends’ ears off): Not taking an “established job” because I have a specific plan (now) is very diferent than just not wanting a “normal” life and avoiding a 9-5 job (my 20s).

So I declined the job today, and instead I called the local bank in my neighborhood and made an appointment to go talk about a business loan.


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