Today I faced the scariest moment this far of The Garbage Challenge - I went to a job interview. This morning I traded in my previously used tattered garbage bag for a new one. As I was getting ready I realized that no matter what I wore, the fact that I was carrying a garbage bag was going to be glaringly obvious, especially in a professional setting such as a job interview.
Evidently I was nervous as most of us are when being interviewed for a job, yet my nerves were even more frayed by the presence of my garbage bag. In the back of my mind I could hear the echoes of professional advice I have been given on the importance of making a first impression - a firm, but not too firm handshake, make eye contact, nod my head in understanding in what is being said and to dress in business appropriate attire.
I recognize that a garbage bag doesn't even remotely come close to conveying a message of professionalism, yet today I felt that my garbage bag expressed a message of activism. I am consciously choosing to carry a garbage bag with the belief that this simple action can create change. This is who I have chosen to be and what I am about. No matter where I am and who I am with, the message that foster children and youth deserve suitcases - not garbage bags- goes with me.
As I finished up the interview and was preparing to leave the woman who had interviewed me asked me about my garbage bag. It was a question I was more than happy to answer.