Why Being Really Pissed Off Can’t Help

The whole world is in a funk.  The Man is keeping us down and it isn’t our fault the system is broken so the only thing to do is…apparently get really pissed off.   That seems to be the running theme since Occupy Wall Street started.  Get really pissed off.  Minimum wage isn’t high enough? Get pissed off!  Health insurance is too expensive? Get pissed off!  Government listening to your phone calls? Get pissed off!

The Pissed Off People say they are just raising awareness but I’m pretty sure everyone is aware at this point.  Lack of awareness isn’t the problem here.  It’s lack of caring.

The people on top do not care about the people on the bottom and I’m pretty sure that being really pissed off at them isn’t going to make them care.  Think about it. Why would anyone want to help a group of people that are rabidly angry at them?

Imagine you’re walking through a parking lot and a homeless person runs up to you screaming “Damn you! You’re the reason I have to live in a box by the river because of people like you! Driving around in your car! Having a roof over your head and a bed to sleep in!  Buying GROCERIES! I don’t have any GROCERIES! I don’t even have a REFRIGERATOR! Fuck you! Give me some money and a sandwich NOW!”

Are you going to give that person anything or are you going to be scared, get in your car, and drive away? If you’re not afraid you’re probably at least upset that somehow this homeless person thinks their situation is your fault when you’ve never even met them before.

So why be pissed off?  Because it’s easy. It’s easy to say that this is The System’s fault and demand that they fix it. It’s easy to say that we are powerless and act accordingly.

And before people that don’t know me start saying that I don’t understand: I’m 27,000 in student debt, 9,000 in medical debt, my car doesn’t run,  I haven’t had health insurance for 7 years, I have several pre existing medical conditions and take medication daily.  I get it. 

But I also know that for every country in the world that has better government funded programs than we do there are five where 80% of the population has AIDS and there are flies crawling on newborns and minimum wage isn’t even a thing. 

I realize that since so many people are in this boat together that eventually things will get better.

I understand that while having student debt isn’t ideal no one can take my education away from me.

I appreciate that even though medical debt is terrible, at least I’m alive.

And I know that anger is toxic.

“Holding onto anger is like holding onto a hot coal with the intention of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha

“People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining” – Stephen Hawking

“The Opposite of Anger is Not Calmness; It Is Empathy” –Mehmet Oz

Most homeless people know this already. That’s why their signs say things like “Homeless Vet. God Bless.” 

I’m not saying I have the answers but maybe if we spent more time projecting compassion and humanity into the universe maybe people that don’t understand would be more likely to.  If they understand, they are more likely to care.  If they care, they are more likely to help. 

Even if they don’t it will be a more pleasant existence for you and me and everyone else and together maybe we can find the answers and make the change.

 

 

 

Reasons I Hate the Bus

Recently the transmission of my car exploded…or something. My husband took me to work for a while but then they changed his schedule due to short staffing and now…now I ride the bus. I hate it. Which I realize makes me sound like a prissy spoiled WASP. Which I’m not. Mostly. Here are the reasons I hate riding the bus.

1) I’m a control freak. If the bus is late there is nothing I can do about it. If there are sketchy people on the bus and they want to sit next to me there’s nothing I can do about it.

2) There are sketchy people on the bus. I realize that 95% of the people on the bus are just trying to get to work or the store, dr, etc but it only takes one sketchy bus rider to fuck up your day.

3) Sometimes the sketchy bus people are violent criminals. In the last month there has been a stabbing, a shooting injuring 4 people, and a crazy lady that showed her fellow bus riders with gasoline then tried to set them on fire.  The shooting was actually on the bus I ride on a day I was sick at home.

4) the bus thinks I’m stupid. Seriously there are all sorts of ads on the bus about healthy living. Smoking is bad for you. Salt is bad for you. Fat is bad for you. Sugar is bad for you. Thanks bus.

I would like you all to know I’m blogging from the bus. Right now its just me, the bus driver, and one other lady and we’re about 6 mins behind schedule. And the woman asked to borrow my phone. And I let her. Because I’m nice or stupid. But she gave it back so that’s good. But I’m giving myself motion sickness trying to do this on a moving bus.

A shout out to Alex, who rode the bus long before me and who’s tweets inspired me to document this shittiness and Kelley who loved the bus: I still think you’re insane.

Our Generation – The Non Trad Family Generation

After our wedding my husband and I decided it was time to stop with the “roommate thing” we got our own tiny apartment on the edge of the suburb where I’d (mostly) grown up. Like a salmon I had returned to my “home” to spawn. Except we didn’t spawn. We realized apartment life with two dogs is not ideal however it was about all we could afford on our measly little budget. So nearing the end of our lease we decided to move in with another couple who were our friends.

My father warned me against this. I generally listen to him because he has far more worldly experience than I do. This time I paused and considered and realized…My father had never had a roommate. Nor had my mother, my aunts, uncles, grandparents they’d all gone straight from their parents home into their own homes.

Since leaving my parents home (not by choice) at 18 I’ve lived in somewhere around 20 places and had god knows how many roommates. Seriously, I’m curious but I’m blogging from my parked car and have no way of even trying to count them. 60 maybe? Anyway, I figure I’m more capable of speaking with authority on the subject of cohabitation than my father is and I figure out will be ok.

Upon further reflection I’ve realized 80% of the people I know that are “my age” have had the same experience albeit to a lesser extent. Maybe it’s because we’re in a recession. I’m not really sure why but that is how it seems to be. Maybe it’s because we wanted out of our parents house and after college…we still weren’t married and very few people want too line alone. Your roommates may drive you crazy but they are like a temp family.

As I get closer and closer to child rearing age I’m starting to wonder…why couldn’t it just stay like this? After all: it takes a village.

The word of the day is: community.

Fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, oh my

So today I got to work on time by bus. I thought that it was going to be an ok day. I got through lunch and took my lunch time pill (I’m bad at remembering that one) and went back to work.

Then my back started hurting. It felt eerily similar to kidney stones. I told myself it was probably just the ol’ fibromyalgia and since I’d taken my pill I would be fine in a minute.

For you lucky persons that have no idea what kind of pain I’m talking about: imagine someone trying to stab through your skin and into you mushy parts with something dull, blunt, and round and just digging and digging. Meanwhile, some other sadistic bastard is trying to scrape your muscles off of your bones with some sort of super heated fork. It’s bad. And I’m trying to press something I’m sewing. And it won’t work. And im getting really hot and fuck I just need a break. So feeling vaguely like I might vomit anyway I head to the bathroom. Where someone already is. Its a  2 stall bathroom and one is out of order.

I lean agaist the wall. I breathe. I need to sit down. I go to the break room to sit down. People start asking questions. And no I’m not ok…but I’ll be fine in a minute. I just need a minute.

But they all insist. If you feel bad you should go home. I’m crying.
Or panicking. Its hard to tell when a well meaning people are telling you to go home…and you’d like to but…what about the money? What about my job?
They keep telling me that they can’t fire me for being sick. Can’t they? This is an “at will” state. They can fire me for literally any reason.

I am now panicking. I can tell because I’m biting my hand.

Shame.

This is what I’ve been fearing. They can now see that I am a basket case. I’m biting my hand and they know because they want me to stop.

But this is how I’ve dealt with stressful situations since 8th grade. Algebra. Shitty teacher. That’s 12 years. Its a reflex.

I need to leave.

Fuck…everythings unraveling like I’ve dropped a bobbin…down an elevator shaft.

A friend agrees to come get me. I sit inside to wait…until I can’t. I’m told no one is talking about firing me. Not reassuring. That its a pretty good day to be sick. Not reassuring.

Outside I take pictures of random things to keep my mind still.

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I don’t know why that truck was there.

The fibro-beast is trying to loosen my shoulers from their sockets with forks. Always with the forks.

I get a ride.

Im grateful and ashamed.

Now I’m home and I don’t know what to do.

There’s nothing I can take. No amount of  breathing I can do. No warm or cold compress will dull the rage of the fork beast. Stretching makes my arms cramp into bizarre positions rendering them temporarily useless.

I can’t think. All I can think is that I’m to young for this. Somehow this is my fault. I did something wrong. If I could figure out what…but there’s nothing. No rhyme. No reason. Just angry fork beasts and a disgusting thought that it’s not real. I’m just weak. Or worse that it is but there’s nothing to be done.

Maybe if I could see a rheumatologist or a good psychiatrist or a therapist. But I don’t have health insurance…right.

So I guess I’ll try to take a nap knowing full well that this shit isn’t going to be any better when I wake up.

I’m an 8 year old adult

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A friend recently posted that as of today she had successfully kept her son alive for 8 years.  Which is really what celebrating a kids birthday is all about isn’t it?

So I thought about it some more and I feel like maybe when you reach adulthood maybe you should reset our age-o-meter. Then you can celebrate how long you’ve kept yourself alive.

It will give more zest and celebratory fervor to your birthdays.

So even though my birthday was in March I would like to say “suck it world! I’ve kept myself alive for 8 years! I’m an 8 year old adult!”

The Greatest Thing You’ll Ever Learn

Has nothing to do with loving or being loved in return.

What it is as far as I can tell is accepting the fact that: you might be wrong. Not that you are wrong but that it is a possibility. 

You are not infallible.

This is something I’ve learned from being just a little crazy. I’ve had to learn to accept that people aren’t always judging me, the world is not ending, people aren’t inherently bad, or good, or anything. 

In the darkest hours when it doesn’t seem like things will ever get better…I’m wrong.

In this acceptance of my potential wrongness I’ve realized that no matter how much you really believe something…you might be wrong.

I know people are going to take this the wrong way but the logical conclusion here is: religion. 

How ever much you believe in your religion (or science, for you atheists) the fact of the matter is that other people believe just as strongly as you do and given the nature of most belief systems that means that at least half of the human population is wrong.

I’m not trying to convince you not to believe what you believe because beliefs generally make people better and happier. What causes war and hate is the inability to conceive that you might be wrong…which means they might be right. If you can wrap your mind around this concept it opens a giant door for compassion.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Maybe we’re all wrong.

Aquatic Theatrical Trash

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In the booth
At a show
RJ handed me some trash
And when the curtain fell
It was still clenched in my fist
He says “You see? That’s her way
She’ll hold a scrap of trash all day”
I’d never even realized
I’m so bad at letting go.

Down with the ship
Though I’m not the captain
The show must go on
And sometimes shit happens
Break all your legs
As you trip on the foot lights
Fall into the pit
Crush the cellist
The maestro
Play on my darlings
While the water is rising
Choking on brine and crescendos

I can’t hope to swim
While I’m holding his garbage
I can’t even float
Weighed down by my baggage
So I said with a wink and a smile
“That explains everything. All my friends, all my exes, all my homes and my hopes. My love and my scars. Take it back. I dont want it”
He says “why don’t you just throw it away?”

If only.

If only.

If only I could leap from the ship
Abandon the captain
Call of the show
Let it not happen
Out through the stagedoor
My legs moving faster
Into the sunlight
(It’s blinding. It’s blinding)
Swim to the storm drain
Where I’ll meet the cellist
We’ll kiss and we’ll sing
The maestro will curse us
We won’t hear a thing
And we will play on
Because we survived
And we will play on
Because we’re alive
Choking on laughter and wine