“Come and sit with me”

Doing outreach is one of my favorite parts of working with OIM. I love walking the familiar outreach route, meeting new people, catching up with friends, and helping out whenever possible.

But there are some days that I am feeling so exhausted that outreach is the last thing that I want to be doing. Not long ago, I was having one of those days. It had been a really rough week, full of disappointments and frustrating interactions with people. I was feeling physically and emotionally drained and was starting to lose my faith in humanity.

Even though I was feeling discouraged, I put on a big fake smile and went out for outreach (after all, who needs a sad outreach worker?). I could see Danny panhandling up ahead and was happy to see him. I usually run into him a few times a week and I always enjoy our conversations. As I approached him and said hello, he said “Are you okay Moira?” I was surprised, because I thought I was being pretty convincing. I smiled, and assured him I was fine. He said “Really? Your eyes look sad today. They don’t have their usual sparkle.” It was all I could do not to start crying right there, to release all of that buried emotion. But I held it togeth