sleep, justice, and cardboard

by hillarymay

cardboardI have not had success in sleeping since Monday night, nor have I had a shower since Sunday. It is Social Justice Week here at Taylor, and I made the decision to partake in all SJW activities, which has included nightly speakers, worship, a minimal intake of food, and, the most effecting, cardboard box sleeping. The weather, however, has been a challenge, and I’ve had to stop myself from complaining. It has been raining since Monday, without fail, and it has proved difficult for sleeping. Me and the girls constructed a seemingly solid cardboard box structure, only to evacuate the fort around 4 a.m. due to the collapse of our ceiling. There we were, five girls crawling out of a hole the size of my thumb, only to be greeted by the laughter of our closest guy friends. Of course the girls wouldn’t survive the tornado-bearing conditions. We walked away, feeling a bit defeated. The rain totally kicked our butts. It poured all day Tuesday, and the temperature decreased dramatically.

After listening to our speaker for the evening and partaking in worship, I finally had to confront the looming thought of sleep. I quickly found out that all of my comrades had intended to abandon me on my sleep quest, and I sadly layered up for a sleepless night. I dragged my sleeping bag underneath the library awning and settled in next to a few other people. Needless to say, it was a miserable night and sleep was hard to come by. I’ll be sleeping outside one more time tonight to finish up SJW. I pray that my tiredness will overcome my discomfort.

This week, however, has proved much more than the trials of outdoor sleeping. Superficially, I really want to take a shower. My hair is matted underneath my Cubs hat, and I keep spraying myself with a little perfume. I’ve worn the same skinny jeans and gray t-shirt since Monday, and I’m getting tired of the way I look. For a girl who relies heavily on her nightly showers, it has certainly proven a stretch.

This has also been one of the busiest weeks of the semester. With two more weeks of school, things are beginning to get tight. Projects are suddenly due, exams are popping up like daisies, and campus ministries are suddenly becoming more demanding. I have had very little down time, and I feel as if I have not seen any of my girl friends this entire week. On the other hand, I have interacted on a much deeper level with those participating in SJW, and it’s been a blessing. Even still, it doesn’t erase the fact that I’ve had a back to back schedule, and it has begun to wear me down. I tried to describe it to my friend Cade tonight. It’s as if I live my life along a solid line and when simple things such as a shower and lack of sleep disrupt the flow, I don’t feel complete. As if I’m lacking something. Certainly gives me something to think about.

Despite such feelings, I’m being humbled. These little acts of social justice do not even touch the surface of reality, but it’s a start. Everyone has to start somewhere. My view of life is widening, and I’m doing my best to absorb it.

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