Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Thursday, August 14, 2014
This morning, I couldn't sleep, so I turned on the TV. After channel surfing for about two minutes, I stopped on local news to see what the weather was going to be. What I actually saw was completely disturbing.
Tear gas, riots, military-esque fighters, fires, gun shots. It appeared to be a scene out of the Middle East. Until I realized that it was here, on American soil.
It seems that we are at war. Not against some foreign invader, but with those who are sworn to protect and serve. Our own police force has turned into terrorist militias, forcing the American public to live in fear. As the details came rolling in, it turns out that some poor kid was executed on the streets of an American town. By a police officer. Allegedly for being a black male.
Even as I write this, the governor of Missouri is deflecting the media, talking about pictures of himself. There are rumors that the police force is trying to create a media blackout so that the truth cannot come. The family of the victim have not been talked to by the police as of this morning. And it appears chaos is ensuing.
But what's even more baffling and appalling to me is what Anonymous is doing. I understand releasing the name of the officer and the recordings of police chatter, but I'm very concerned that they are threatening to release the officer's address.... What about this man's family? They did nothing wrong. Why put them at risk? Even online, the threats, trolling, and uncivilized replies is enough to make one afraid for their own personal safety.
I am not an aggressive person. I consider myself to be very peaceful, but even I am considering purchasing a hand gun. If the government continues to arm our police like militants, and hidden people continue to put innocents at risk, I fear that I will not be able to protect myself in any other way. I hate guns. I think that so many issues are caused by guns, but I'm at the point where I see no other way....
The protestors are very contradictory to their end results. While they want justice and awareness for the victim of police brutality, their violence and the assumed media reports are overshadowing what they want to achieve. I feel that everyone is looking to extort this situation, to bring about personal gain. On Instagram, there's a trending hashtag #ifiwasgunneddown in which people are putting two contradictory pictures up of themselves trying to determine which the media would use.... And I just can't help but shake my head.... This is such bullshit.... Yes. We know the media can be biased. But honestly, if you didn't take such idiotic pictures, you'd have nothing to worry about. My social media is very limited to those outside of my friends circle. If my photo was needed, the media would get me in big sunglasses, making silly faces, or participating in a color run. Because that's what I choose to let people see.
Take some damn responsibility.
Sunday, July 6, 2014
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
I love this show. It puts a nice spin on everything happening in the world. But this episode really spoke to me this morning. While surfing the internet, and goofing on Facebook, I kept seeing news about Halle Berry being ordered to pay child support to her ex-husband to take care of her child. Why is this news?
Looking through the news feed, I can see a ton of stories that are way more important than Halle Berry's lawsuit, like the five soldiers who were killed by friendly fire, or that the FAA has approved a commercial drone to fly over Alaska looking for natural resources.
Why are we as a society so obsessed with the lives of the rich and famous? Why do we watch shows about Honey Boo Boo and a bunch of idiots in Jersey Shore, but don't watch the news? Friends of mine think that I am weird because I make sure to read the news every day, from different news sources, to make sure I understand what's going on. Half my friends don't even watch the news.
With all the technology that allows us to watch, read, and listen to the news, and have news delivered to our phones, I am completely baffled over some of the breaking news articles that come over my phone. Who cares if JB is getting deported, or if Lindsay told Miley to calm her roll.... I certainly don't.
Do me a favor: Google "World Cup" and look at the news articles. People are trying to get FIFA to go elsewhere, for fear that it will collapse its economy, much like what happened in South Africa. Google "veteran affairs" and you can see that delays on medical treatment for vets are causing huge issues.
Education is supposed to show the advancement of a society. I feel like most of our society are becoming drones, eating whatever is fed to us, through reality television and faux news programs. People really need to start thinking for themselves, and questioning everything.
"Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life." -- Irvine Welsch (Trainspotting)
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Anyone who knows me knows that I will give you the shirt off my back to help you out. I have gone to pick up friends because they put their car in a tree (no joke) 30 minutes away. I have given friends money and bought them things, simply because they needed/wanted it. I even help out complete strangers if I feel they need it.... and yet, I rarely see this act returned.
Some friends had valid reasons as to why they couldn't help me to move -- injuries, work, children.... but out of those that offered to help, three showed up (2 if you don't count my brother). One of them was a girl that I rarely see, but she was willing to drive almost an hour to come to my old apartment, and then 20 minutes farther to my new apartment (twice).
My friend, S., sent me a message yesterday, saying that if I was in NY, I would have had a ton of people show up, and we could've moved that place in one trip. While I know that she would've shown, and maybe a couple others, I do not feel like that would have been entirely true.
Friendships, to me, are very important. Being a middle child, I definitely want to be the center of attention, simply because I was starved for it as a child (just kidding... or am I?). I am a social being, and need to have people around me on the regular. Don't get me wrong, I love being alone, at my house, vegging out, but some nights, I just need a semi-busy place with people I adore.
Now, I'm wondering if I am just too friendly.... if people see me, and know that they can take advantage of me, because I say yes a lot. Even as a teenager, I would take friends to the mall (even if I didn't want to go), or drive them to the swimming hole (shoving more than legally allowed in the car), just because they wanted to go. I rarely asked for gas money, and when I did, suddenly, people didn't want to go.
I know that I have some honestly true friends -- those that will let me call them at all hours of the night to cry (or scream); those that would come get me on the side of the road if my car broke down; those that I know no matter what I choose to do, they have my back, even if it is 3000 miles away.
I just struggle with the idea that we, as a species, are becoming too individualized, and selfish. Those same people who bailed on me this weekend, will be the same people pissed when I don't want to hang out with them. But, friendships are two-way streets. You gotta give to get.
"Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down." -- Oprah Winfrey
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Why do people fear death? It's frightening for a person to think of complete nonexistence, of just stopping to live, of.... nothing. Even as I write this, I can feel that weird pressure associated with anxiety welling up in my chest. But why be afraid? We know that death is inevitable -- so why worry about it?
I remember the first real experience I ever had with death. One of my dear friends committed suicide when I was 17. I walked up to the casket as my friend laid there, completely motionless and colorless. It was so surreal. I kept expecting him to wake up, like it was a big joke. Two years later, I watched my grandmother lose her battle with a brain aneurysm after an accident and three days in a coma. She was laying in that hospital, completely motionless, as the machine started to slow before finally hitting the single tone. A tear rolled down her cheek, and I knew that she was off to wherever we end up next.
From there, it's been a long list of friends who have committed suicide, overdosed, and lost battles with cancer, but those two experiences will forever be burned into my mind's eye. Maybe because of the severity of the trauma related to the experience, maybe because I was so close to them. Who knows....
But why do we fear death? We know it will be coming... we know that at any moment, we're done.... so why the fear? Is it because we have so many things that we want to do with our lives, but are forced to live mundane existences? Is it the suddenness of it? The fact that we have no way to determine where or when we will go? Is it because we don't know what happens afterward?
Maybe it's the fact that death is so abrupt... it's like a little ninja, randomly sneaks up on you (unless you have the unlucky fortune of getting a terminal disease), and bam.... nothing. Or at least that's what we know for a fact. The heart stops, the lungs stop, the brain stops, and the bowels let go. Other than that, no one knows. There's theories, ideas, suggestions... but nothing substantial.
My biggest issue is that I am conflicted... I am a spiritual person, with my own beliefs about what happens after death, but that little scientific scholarly voice in my head keeps asking, are you sure? But we can never really be sure 100%, can we? Hell, even birth control medication only has a 99.9% success rate.
Some day, I will experience this next step in life (hopefully not that soon), and I will, for sure, know what happens, and finally be free from the fear. Until then, I can only hope to live each day to the best of my abilities, and hope that the sun rises for me the next day. Maybe the fear will subside...
"The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time." -- Mark Twain
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
I came across something that really spoke to me tonight. I had no intention of writing today, because I spent the majority of the day packing my things for the move, but when I came across this, I decided that I needed to share this.
I think this fits in well with yesterday's post, about wanting a community and more connectedness, to feel like I belong to something bigger. This spoke to me... we are all just walking each other home....
We spend a finite time on this planet, and no one really knows what happens after we move on to the next life (I'm sure we all have different theories). While we're here, we are meant to connect, gain knowledge, and then "go home" (whether that means a heaven, decomposing in the ground, whatever). It's a sad and lonely road, if you're walking that road alone.
It's like when I was a child. I once lived about two miles out of town, and we didn't have a car, but I would hang out in town until it started to get dark, then start the two mile trek back home. The times where I have friends were less scary and more enjoyable. We would tell each other ghost stories while walking by the railroad tracks in the moonlight, and just connect with each other. We would share secrets and life stories, talk about our hopes for the future, and really get to know each other.
The nights where I was alone, I was definitely alone. I was more cautious, I walked faster, and any noise, automatically a serial killer or monster coming to get me. I was alone, letting my mind go crazy with ideas and scenarios (and this was before I had a cell phone) about how if I were to die, it would be a while before someone found me.
As adults, it's easy for us to get wrapped up in our daily lives -- schooling, careers, kids, families, bills, company trips, deadlines, you name it. Just going to get coffee on the weekends at the coffee shop, barely anyone is talking. Everyone is on their phones and laptops, trying to meet the constraints of life. People look at you weird if you try to strike up a conversation, and even if you get one to talk, the conversation never really lasts. I think some of the best times I have had in public is sitting next to a random person, striking up a conversation, and continuing until we both decide it's time to go home (or we're being kicked out because the place is closing). Regardless of sexual attraction (because let's face it.... it's a common misconception that if a woman strikes up a conversation with a man at the bar, she's just looking to get some), great conversation is my favorite thing in the world. The way people connect through said conversations.... it's so amazing and inspirational.
I wish people could see the world through my eyes -- how beautiful the woman reading a book at the bus stop is, or the electricity that comes from a couple who have been together for ages, or the beauty in a man showing gratitude for his son. Simplicity at its best -- the world is beautiful, if only you know where to look.
My challenge for you is to put down your phone, and just look around. Notice the warmth of the sun on your face, the smell of flowers in the air, the laughter of people --- notice life. And once in a while, just look up at the sky, smile, and be glad to be alive.
"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open." -- Jawaharial Nehru
Sunday, May 25, 2014
The last couple of days have been quite eye-opening for me. I'm in the process of packing to move out of the first apartment I have had by myself, which I obtained after one of the most devastating moments in my life, and it's been bittersweet. The apartment is full of unbelievably negative energy, and has caused me much pain and torment in the last two years. However, it has become my sanctuary, as after my rock bottom, it was the first sense of stability that I had. So already, I am hypersensitive to my environment because it this, and the last couple of days I have noticed some things that irk me. My closest friends are only interested in hanging out at the bar, and we definitely do not have the same values in life. I'm all for people having their own opinions, but there is a point when ignorance is just ridiculous. Educate yourself.... I don't want you to think like me; I just want you to think, and regardless of your views or my views, please do not tell me I'm wrong, especially if I lived it. I don't tell you that you're wrong, ever, because you might have a different perception than I do.
Which brings me to today... my friend is experiencing a rock bottom moment, and I was trying to talk to him about it. I started with my lovely self, being supportive and suggesting, but nothing was working. So I took a tough love approach. And it was this post that ended our conversation. What's so wrong with kicking life in the balls sometimes?
We spend so much time with people, without actually being with people. Last night at the bar, my friends talked about how they take their phones EVERYWHERE with them -- from their room to the kitchen, from the kitchen to the bathroom.... everywhere. Even as we were talking and having said conversation, one person was checking Facebook, another would look at her texts every time her phone vibrated, and another was so involved in their phone, they didn't even converse. My phone went of several times, but I didn't look at it until there was a lull in the conversation. I played darts with some friends, talked with the bartender, had a conversation with a complete stranger, all while my friends sat on their phones in the corner of the patio, unaware of the life that was going on around them. Let's be real -- if I wanted to sit in the corner on the internet, I would've stayed home with a bottle of wine. It would've been cheaper, that's for sure.
I'm so amazed at how unattached everyone is. And that's when I realized, I probably have a higher calling. I was meant for another lifetime, in which communities work together for the betterment of their environment; in which you know your neighbors, and spend time at each other's houses; in which I can walk down the street without some dickhead telling me that it doesn't matter that I don't know his name because I will be calling it later (true story... happened Friday.... I walked back to him and basically made him piss himself because he was scared... I'm not your toy). I dream of backyard gardens and community bartering, of not needing to worry about how I'm going to survive, because I'm doing a job I love that doesn't pay well enough for me to live the so-called "American dream" (paying my college loans, paying my car loan, paying my bills, GROCERY SHOPPING).
I know that there are others out there like me. And I know that we are few and far between. But my soul is calling out for you...
“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”
― Kurt Vonnegut