I broke my foot and then became homeless

I don’t even know her name…

The girl who is the reason I broke my foot. She was German, and very sharp thats all I remember.

I was WOOFING, which is willing work on organic farms for those who this is new to, and is very popular in New Zealand. I was working at a hostel, cleaning the rooms, making the beds and tidying up the kitchen, I only lasted three days.

WOOFING isn’t usually a stressful job, you roll up, clean, build, care for, grow or harvest something for a few hours then you are free for the day. It’s usually quite funny and you get to mix with awesome folks. This time I’d rolled bad dice. I was placed with a girl, who was merely WOOFING herself but took the job (which you are not paid to do) very seriously. She had an order she did everything in, high standards and wanted to be done at exactly 12.00pm. I felt a lot of pressure to do things exactly right and not upset her, but I’d been there for two days so worked slowly. I hadn’t got the kitchen floor mopped by 12.00pm and saw her doing it for me. “Why did you not clean the floor?”, “I was about to”, “Well now that you didn’t do it I feel I am to do it and it is past twelve?” I go over, thinking I don’t mind what time it is really, take the mop (calmly and smiling I might add) and go to fill up the bucket out back. Once outside I hear huffing and puffing and angry-German (which is truly terrifying). Even though I thought she was acting in an over sensitive way I speed up to show her I respect her, to acknowledge her frustration and because I felt bad she was way too upset. I didn’t need to do it, but I felt her anger about me working slowly, not doing things in her order and it looking as if I didn’t care. Simply because I was in a good mood I looked like I wasn’t arsed.

Really trying to seem friendly and ‘hard working’ I went outside quickly with the mop, misstepped and walked too fast right in to a wooden bench that it would take three men just to move one inch.

My toes went up and backwards while my foot went down and forwards

I heard and felt a snap deep in my foot, my body went very hot then very cold, I saw lightning around me and then I started sweating. There was obviously no sympathy from my new best mate there and I managed to continue to mop the floors, change beds, iron some pillow cases and then go to the Pak n’ Save Supermarket with some other girls. Whilst in the store, clinging to the shopping trolley my foot turned a nice blue colour. I asked one of the girls is she would drop me off at the hospital, where I was x-rayed and told my foot was broken and given crutches.

When you WOOF, you need to work to earn your bed. Now that I couldn’t work, I couldn’t have my bed, so I became homeless. Having planned to stay at the hostel for three months or so whist I looked for a job in Wellington, I had to think fast.

I’ll tell you what happened next later, what matters here is the lesson.

I let someone else’s fear, anger and frustration break my bones.

I felt fine that morning, I knew I had done no wrong by working slowly because that was my top speed as a newbie. It was her issue with needing to be done exactly on time that caused her anger, she took my speed as an insult and burden. I had a different perspective which was that I was working for free and it was going to be a nice sunny day no matter what time I got done cleaning. But because I was felt that I needed to show her I cared by putting my own positive attitude down below her negative weight, I absorbed her negativity.

So whilst trying to make her feel less angry, it threw me off balance enough to leave me on crutches and homeless.

From then on I really knew the meaning of ‘you can’t please everyone’, and sometimes it’s easy and even seem right to put others happiness above your own. But this can leave us in a bad situation and unable to help other people only needing to be helped ourselves.

If you trust that what you are doing is honest, respectful, authentic to you and peaceful, then you can work at your own speed and work lovingly.

Anything forced is just that, forced, not natural and can be even painful.

To healthy bones.


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