As politics were getting so heavy last fall, I was feeling depressed for the first time ever in my life. I was telling my physical therapist, “Boy, I’m going to start seeing a counselor to try and find a way to deal with this depression.” I’ve never felt so bad before and there’s all this news that’s so negative.
She said, “Have you ever thought about calling Soft Landing and maybe seeing if you might find some work with the refugees?”
And I went home, I filled out the application, at her encouragement. And I went and volunteered to be at tutor. ‘Cause I was depressed. The decision we came to was if I could put my energy into doing things that were good, that I could change my trajectory of feeling depressed into one of feeling joy and happiness. So instead of being sad, I got to be happy.
Kristin Freeman is a tutor at Soft Landing Missoula. She spends her other hours tending to her garden, helping raise two grand-kids, knitting and crocheting, and writing.
Photo and interview by Elliott Natz