A long time ago, I wrote a journal entry called “Love is Not Enough”. It was focusing on the idea that when you find love, you tend to stop caring. You tend to stop showing. You tend to just say “I love you” and think that is all that is needed to keep a future going. But to me it was about the idea that when you finally say “I love you” that is the beginning of the relationship, the turning point in which you have finally obtained part of the “dream”, LOVE, Career, Riches… or so defined by society.
So to me, saying “I love you” is the beginning of the relationship, not the end.
But until just recently I didn’t know why…
I just had a conversation with my girlfriend over the past week, and we are extremely communicative with one another. She tends to say I love you to me more than I to her, as I have a subconscious aversion to it as do the French.
That being said I am still from America and I still have a need to say it and like to hear it back. But check out this conversation we had.
And so here I am, writing chapter II to my “infamous” “Love is not enough” article. The article I shared with every potential girlfriend I ever met, but didn’t understand why, until now.
That article alone, make some sense, but it is missing the center of the puzzle, the heart of it all!
It isn’t that Love itself is not enough but it is how we express it. Saying “I love you” covers too much. Is too much of a blanket for all our feelings and thoughts that we may feel subconsciously insecure to share, or introverted to express. I love you, is for lack of a better term, a safety blanket from actually having to express your feelings. So over time, you continue to say I love you, you even change the inflection of how you say it:
I love you.
I LOVE YOU
I LOVE you, SO MUCH.
Maybe you scream it, maybe you whisper it, maybe you just say it as you hang up the phone. But only the person saying “I love you” knows WHY they said it. And the worst part, is it becomes so normal to just say “I love you” that perhaps over time it loses all meaning, and it is as similar as hello, talk later, or even goodbye: three things “I love you” should never mean.
But if you break down the “I love you” and say what it is that you are feeling at that moment in time rather than just blanketing it in this ambiguous phrase, I think we have finally figured out what “I love you” means. The ambiguous definition of LOVE, comes down to the simplest thing: what you are feeling at the moment you say it.
“I Love you” (Right now you are making feel very comfortable and cared for)
“I Love you” (Your eyes are sparkling in the moonlight and I find them beautiful)
“I Love you” (You listened to my words, and made me feel heard)
“I Love you” (I will miss you when I get in this Taxi to go home)
“I Love you” (Have a good day at work, but also know I will be thinking of you)
When “I love you” just means (have a good day at work) then we are in trouble.
This causes “I love you” and its actual meaning to become distilled to nothing more than a string of words, that society tells us to say in order to “be in love”. But being in love and continuing to love are two very different things. Now I understand why the French don’t say it. The more you say it, instead of actually expressing your feelings, the less it means, the more it loses its impact, and the more we brush it off as “just a thing to say at the end of a sentence”, similar to the use of punctuation. That is not what anyone should feel when they hear or say I love you to one another.
So perhaps, the best way to say “I love you” and to make sure “Love IS enough”, is to say what caused you to feel the need to say “I love you” in the first place, and skip the generic “How was your day?” “Good, you?” “Good” generic application to something very important to making your significant other understand why you do indeed love them.
Me and mine have been doing it more and it feels amazing to hear the actual reasons why they are motivated to say such a powerful statement such as “I love you” instead of actually hearing “I love you”. I would say, “I love you” made the moment feel less loving, where as the reason behind it, truly warms the heart and helps to build communication and reasoning behind the love for one another. This also helps you both to understand each others motivations a bit more as well.
So, I think, after all these years… Love actually is enough… as long as you don’t forget to express why you wanted to say “I love you” to the person you love in the first place.
As your relationship grows, and the “love” grows in your relationship, as difficult as it may be or as uncomfortable as it may feel to communicate the meaning behind “I love you” itself, perhaps your partner will appreciate and feel more “love” from knowing why, in that moment, you wanted to say “I love you” by communicating the actual meaning behind the elusive and often cliché phrase “I love you”. Perhaps, societies emphasis on the phrase itself, is actually distilling the long term joy and growth a relationship can benefit from actually hearing what it is, in those moments, that makes you “love” someone.
Doing this Pandemic alone has been one of the most trying things my mind has ever endured. Having no one in my home for almost a year is mind bending rough. For those similar, I respect your struggle. Not all quarantines are the same.
To lay next to someone and sleep. To hug someone as the tv plays. To make decisions of what store to go to and what protective wear to bring. To watch the news and talk out loud about the issues. To find places to escape together. To motivate one another to workout. To bake and clean and cook together. To cry at night when it gets too hard together. To fight over space and being together too much. These are things I feel as if those who are not alone so not understand.
There is a huge difference between the claustrophobia of it all alone and having at least one person there to support you and you them through this. It leads to animosity towards others who do have another person. Or that backyard. Or the privilege to have space for a home gym. Or live in a place that feels safe to walk out into the sun in the morning without having to bring a tissue to open door handles. Or wash your hands profusely just for stepping outside. Or needing a mask to leave your front door.
So yes some days I am Ok. And others it all adds up and I’m not. These last few weeks I’ve been in the not category.
Watching my fitness levels plateau due to my limiting situation.
Watching my stomach get upset when I go to my moms like clockwork because my body can relax in the backyard without a mask and walk around freely without 100 people I don’t trust near me. So even my getaway I get a night on the toilet — every time — because of the calm it brings me(the irony). Only to be taken away when I drive back home after and sit in my apartment with the windows that don’t let in quite enough light, a strange smell from the streets that I can’t quite place, or just a lack of human interaction. I search daily for a new place to live but realize I can’t afford an upgrade because my current deal is ridiculous and everything is a downgrade from what I have. Plus when you are currently Uh sure if your employment status you tend to not want to start paying more. So I look until my apartment hunting anxiety is in overload and not looking brings me calm.
My car often feels like the most free place for me. Wind in my hairless head, music playing, no mask needed yet still out and about. I’ve tried walking around my neighborhood. I make it about a block before people make me uncomfortable. My OCD is on another level now. And I don’t have OCD. Walking with my hands out further than normal because they brushed the metal of a doorway and I don’t have a sanitizer. The relief when I can lock myself back into my apartment, the problem in the first place.
I want to make more films with the iPhones and google phones I’ve been sent but struggle with the new city and the fact that driving in and finding parking is near impossible. Ideas that normally would be inspiring feel restricting because of COVID and my inhabililty to act on them. Don’t get me wrong, I can still be creative and I can be artistic and create, but the difficulty due to the pandemic not being over but the country trying so hard to push us back to “normal” can be a crippling internal struggle.
My cats. They are my Loves. But even they can’t fulfill my need for touch. I feel like I am losing time from my already possibly half over lifespan, alone. I fear the virus. I fear death. And I fear not being able to express who I am and meet someone who understands me and loves me as I would them before it is too late to experience the magic life has to offer with someone else.
This is my pandemic. Alone, time the only constant. It is the loudest quiet I have ever heard.
A complete side note: I almost wish someone would read this, someone who is single, and would go, hmmm I too feel this, and am going to use this unique situation to explore the people around me, in these social media bubbles we have created. Huh… Tristan is a unique person who is more than the sum of his parts… writes his mind, is artistic, creative, passionate, and ungodly handsome… maybe I should message him and we can socially distance get to know one another and maybe just maybe this pandemic can create a bond not feel like it is locking them all away. Use the slower pace of the world to create something meaningful. Then again I also think people will read this and see this as wow.. Tristan must be broke as fuck and not have his shit together to be feeling this way. When that is the opposite of what I am.
I save many things. Old conversations. Photos. Etc. but today it paid off. It showed me an inside into why a relationship never happened. I was sitting here going… huh this doesn’t make sense by all intensive purposes we should be married, laughing on our porch during covid happy as can be.
We were patient with each other.
We laughed at each other.
We cooked for each other.
We checked in on each other.
Both our parents loved the other.
But turns out we just made a really good summer rom com since the first time we met. And weren’t meant for each other.
Our summers were filled with memories and love. Adventures and experiences.
But when the summers ended our lives took over our ability to dedicate time to each other. And it ended as quickly and as fast as it began.
It’s interesting how over time we forget the reasons things don’t work out in relationships. But we remember the good moments clear as day. Either way I know this person will be in my top 10 friendships of all time regardless of how it all turned out. And for that I am grateful.
See my thing is, why does it take a pandemic to put these things in perspective? That is exactly when I believe people will make decisions that are perhaps hit or miss. I knew prior to the pandemic I wanted to move out of the city to greener areas. I knew prior to the pandemic I wanted to love as hard as I worked. I knew prior to the pandemic that facetime was WAY better than texting for a first meeting on a dating app.
I want the person I love to have to known these things too. So we are on the same page… for the next pandemic.
I have learned things too, but mostly past mistakes or paths taken that may not have been the best choices but lead me to where I am now. But it also gave me time to accept those paths as my choices and to accept them and be happy with them! Solitude gives you a lot of self reflection time. That is good though, to a point haha. Gotta also look forward. But alas, always a minute too soon and an hour too late.
I think the most important thing here is that we as people realize the person we marry or get engaged to should have aligned with us PRIOR to COVID. And for those of us meeting during COVID, we are going to get a very quick look into the inner workings of one another as we are forced not to “play the field” but to focus on that person in front of us for a bit. Which in my eyes, is a good thing!
It is incredible what a pandemic can do to your mind and how it can make your entire lifetime up to this moment feel as though it has only been seconds of time.
I think it is natural for us to all grieve the change of our lives for the unforeseeable future differently yet very similar as well. It is as if we lost something. But we don’t really know what yet. A sense of comfort? A sense of control? A sense of protection? Our normal has been flipped upside down and the new “now” version is not so attractive.
I wake up in the morning with no yearn to get out of bed, yet if I stay still too long I get a sense of hopelessness that getting up and moving about can solve temporarily. So I get up, I move around my home, but end up in the same seat, selling the same ebay items, turning a game that was relief into a job, because I have to grasp onto the idea that money may become an issue if this remains the normal for too long. Which is contradictory to my mental health needing it as a release, yet also important to maintain my long term mental health as income. Pandemics make things complicated.
But while I sit and do the mundane movements to pad my bank account, to which would normally inspire me to get a new camera lens or pair of shorts, instead I look back on my life and wonder if my choices that lead me to this place were incorrect. If perhaps I squandered the important years of my life. If perhaps I didn’t focus on the money enough and happiness is not the answer(against my own better judgement). Perhaps I don’t feel like a man, like I thought I would by this time, regardless of what my accomplishments may say. Perhaps I didn’t take enough time to heal the anxieties that caused pain in my life and changed my course, perhaps I didn’t take enough time to mourn the losses of love in my life to truly love again. Perhaps I feel like meeting someone is being taken from me as we waste months and months of my older life where I am still single and now unable to meet people. Perhaps I didn’t work out the trauma in my childhood enough to have been able to do any of the above successfully.
Yet I am also keenly aware of my successes.
The successes that now, make me want to showcase my life as a whole not as a singular “focus”. A picture I want to paint so that I can become the sum of my parts and perhaps go to new reaches. But again I am held back by others I must rely on to help me get there, who are also going through their own version of the pandemic. But these moments of excitement are often short lived as I struggle to stay above water.
I am desperately looking to get out of my current living situation and into a place with some land and fresh air, but I cannot buy now, as I do not have a flipping clue where I want to end up permanently. I can rent, but the process of trying to find a place to live during a pandemic, is similar to trying to build a life raft while you are already drowning in the sea.
I talk to my friends, family, loved ones. I realize my circle is very small. Was this a mistake? Did I covet the wrong friendships leaving me alone in times of need. I realize my pandemic doesn’t look like some, and my pandemic looks exactly like others.
I have gone through a few phases of grief already;
Denial: oh I will be fine, I am used to working at home, this is nothing, I know better, obviously the summer is canceled, all will be fine at home… then 3 months in, 15 lbs heavier, and watching as my pandemic didn’t look like others, no longer feeling together in or fight against this virus, I find myself begging my parents to accept my cats into their home as I begin to lose my mind and as a grown man want to live with them again. Almost 37 and literally pleading to be back under my parents roof. Even considering giving up my cats that I love beyond the moon(I would never), but the thought crossed my mind so that I could have that simple comfort for just a bit as my mind feels like it is disintegrating faster each day. I may almost be 37 but that comfort, that lifeline of my childhood, the way I grew up, the niceties I was afforded, feeling so familiar yet so out of reach now that the world has flipped upside down, or just made the realities a bit more clear to see and feel on a day to day. But even then I feel as though it would be selfish and possibly putting their lives in danger if I were to join the bubble.
Anger: being filled with anger at everything, at people, at those who cannot grasp this the way I do, at those who ignore it, at those who make my own brain more cloudy instead of helping to ease the pressure. This is less of it but a part nonetheless.
Depression: This one took even me by surprise and is what caused me to even consider getting on a knee and shoving pride up my ass to ask to live back home. The scary thoughts I have during the night, and morning, and throughout the day. The way I can’t see anything but black at the end of the tunnel of the thing called life. The feeling of hopelessness that creeps into my daily everything. This is new for me, and it scares the shit out of me. I don’t know how to fight it. I don’t know if it needs a hug, or a yard, or a change, or just an escape. There is no release valve for us here in the US, and the pressure builds up and up and up and causes this I suppose. And it is scary. My sleep schedule is non-existent. I can maybe get a good, 2-3 days of schedule before it falls to crap. My dreams are my only relief, when I am not having anxiety dreams of forgetting my mask.
Bargaining: I suppose this might be part of me now looking to accept the need for a roommate, or perhaps trying to look for a new place to live, or considering moving out of the country, or thinking that making a few extra bucks by turning the game that was my relief into a job will give me a sense of something more than the nothing I feel.
Acceptance: I feel as though I accepted what this would be a long time ago, and this was the first step, but I didn’t consider how the rest would hit me, I felt immune to that kind of thinking, that way of processing. I was above that reality. But turns out, we are all human and even I am not able to escape the scary depths of the mind. I should know this though considering at 19 my world was turned upside down by my first knowledgeable panic attack and how I had to pivot my life according to that. But no in my mind, I am the person you want on your zombie apocalypse team. I am the one who knows how to see the way forward, I am the one who jumps in front of danger and defeats it. I am the survivor. But I also hurt and bleed like everyone else, and right now the fight is like watching two sloths box at a slow crawl.
But these are five steps based on a world we know and understand. The world we are in currently is something we can not predict. So there are a few steps in here we don’t even comprehend or know how to define yet.
Then on top of a pandemic the cracks of society have been laid out bare to all to see. Things I would never have advocated for before, because I didn’t think anyone would listen are now at the forefront of people’s minds, mouths, and intentions. I sit here wondering if we will enter a civil war with those who are choosing to fall on their sword over a mask. If we will enter a civil war with those who throw their badges on the ground because they can’t use a headlock or kneel on a neck. I sit here and wonder if we will recover from an economic downturn that we haven’t even BEGUN to see yet.
The country is in this pandemic together, but the minute money is brought up, it is excuses and deflection.
I am actually truly worried about the extended benefits stopping. There is a difference between “Open” and “Safe”. And with the benefits ending that I was blessed to have (although once again in any other country it is your RIGHT), I can see the next few months to a year being really grim, I know I will not be spending at all on anything but necessities(which impacts the economy as a whole). Multiply that by the many others like me.
Imagine those paycheck to paycheck with families. They will be homeless, jobless, out on the streets. This country/state is going to see the worst economic downturn due to no spending, and defaulting on homes, apartments, and people going hungry. The streets are going to be ugly, people will die, people will get violent, and this pandemic will look like a kids toy compared to the damage done. We haven’t seen even close to what is to come yet. And that scares me.
Looking at houses and that market, opened my eyes to just how desperate and foolish we are all making decisions. We have created a culture, a country, where a human life is worth less than a dollar bill, and it is clear as day to everyone except us. Disney World is fucking open. WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO SAY?!
So no, I am not OK. And no there is no pill that will fix this/me. And yes, as the days go on, it becomes harder to get that feeling of reprieve from going outdoors on my mom’s patio or from my dad’s driveaway. I wish I could put a valve in my brain that I could turn to let out the pressure. It continues to build and the days become increasingly harder, even though everyday is the same. Nothing changed from today to tomorrow, and that is the problem.
Am I going to off myself, no, I am scared shitless of death and this pandemic has shown me how much more scared I am of it. The big issue is it won’t let me forget for a moment about my mortality for more than a moment here and there. Are other’s going to commit suicide, yes. This is going to be too much for many. I guess this writing is one way for me to just let out some steam in a new reality I am not familiar with and not sure what to do.
Do I need a sad face emoji for dopamine? No. A like? Nah, will probably just bring me back to anger at the pedantic nature of it all. As if a “like” will make it better. It won’t. Am i I intelligent enough to know there is a light at the end of this tunnel somewhere, absolutely. But when and how long I have to feel this pain is unknown. And how this will feel in a day or an hour from now is unknown, and that freaks me out.
I don’t even know what my normal looks like after this, do I fight for the civil justices that are more important than my “art” or do I go full steam ahead and try to create more art to balance it all out. I am sure there is a middle ground, I just don’t see it yet, at least not one that makes an impact. I watch as the younger generations milk social media “following” each other in this circle jerk of “influence” which goes in a loop not actually moving the needle anywhere. I wonder, why are my words considered less important or “influential” due to a number by my name or a checkmark? I watch as the kids question everything they say afraid of what they may actually mean offending someone else. And I sit here, feeling disconnected from the same people I see being the ones that can truly impact change in this country. But that is another thing for another time…
No way to really end this… July 21 2020 Covid19 Month 5.
I don’t suffer from depression. I do have anxiety. But that’s pretty under control. Since this pandemic has continued on and seeing how it is going to be continuing for a very long time from here has anyone been getting more and more.. claustrophobic about life?
It’s hard to explain but it feels like hopelessness filled with a difficult ability to breath at times. Like the need to cry a dry heave kinda cry. No tears.
Where you feel uncomfortable anyplace but home but at home you feel trapped and constricted by the life choices that lead you to where you are now, looking at how your life is going to change going forward without even having gotten your life together yet…
Wondering is this going to waste the good years of life here causing the future to be even more grim.
I tell ya what, I can’t sleep as much and I certain to hell cant sleep at a normal hour. And I can’t motivate to workout or do a zoom class. I’m fired up about our politics and reform the country needs but even that makes me at times just want to bail on this country and move elsewhere when I see how bad it is and has been and is getting.
But the main issue I’m having is more and more often my mind gets blanked and I just feel empty and hopeless laying in bed having difficulty seeing the next steps, scared shit of getting this virus knowing in this mental state I’d crack. Like I got 2 mental reprieves by visiting my parents over the last month but those were short lived and felt almost more depressing to me because they are “day trips” with masks and social distance. I know no matter what I’m stuck where I am. Unable to really move to the next steps of life. Questioning all the steps I took to get here. I can look for new apartments but making life changing choices where money is called into question and future job opportunities will be affected is kinda like asking a drunk to “just go to rehab”. It isn’t that I don’t want the help it is that I am crippled to the point of not knowing how to use the help when I don’t know if it won’t just fuck me in the future. I already get overwhelmed in a normal world when looking for places to live. But making it during a pandemic… I start mentally shaking.
So I am stuck in this apartment where I am surrounded by people which was fine until people became walking viruses. Stuck without an outdoors or yard. Which was fine if someone walked by me on the sidewalk until they became walking viruses without masks. And before I had to worry about who touched the front doorknob. Stuck with my cats that I love and have probably gotten me further without the feeling of being completely alone, but also are the reason I couldn’t quarantine with family and am alone during this pandemic.
Anyone in this boat with me? The question all of life boat with a side of hopelessness that feels extremely scary? It’s like the feeling that you are falling off a cliff and you can’t see the bottom so you will fall indefinitely until it just goes dark. Or the feeling of fear. Just irrational coming from nowhere fear. So powerful
It makes you want to scream or cry just to make it feel less intense. That moment right after a nightmare that jolts you awake. Yup. That is some depressing shit there. But I needed to say it out loud Incase I’m in trouble and don’t realize it. Thanks for listening.
My mom and step dad had me over for the Fourth of July. It was awkward and strange and alien like any other social distancing meeting since covid. Afraid to touch things they may touch. Washing hands constantly. Dodging out of the way of each other.
This is the first time I saw them. We talked outside on the porch, had dinner, and played a word games. We also talked about the world and the shit of the news as it is hard not to. Sitting outside is something I have only done one other time when I visited my dad for Father’s Day also socially distanced where I balled my eyes out being the first time I left the house because it was so overwhelming. Even here I had a lump in my throat for majority of the time like I wanted to cry just because this isn’t normal.
They bought some fireworks like we used to do when I was a kid. Little ones not the professional grade but non the less I loved them because they were mine to light as a kid if I was safe. They all said “emits showers of sparks” and we always had the running joke “oh. What does this one do? Emits showers of sparks..”
So we started to get ready on the driveway with our little baby fireworks (which I love) and I have never heard a fantastic display of pure explosive power around us like I have today. Hundreds of professional fireworks being lit off by their neighbors and people around the town. It sounded like a battle field.
It was a perfect exclamation of how everyone feels in this country on a day special to this country. It was like all the frustration being exploded at once in fiery glory. So we began lighting our little ones emitting showers of sparks, some where amazingly fun and some where laughable. But we watched and enjoyed each one for what they were. My mom and step dad sitting and enjoying the show. Me the maestro of the sparks!
Even the neighbors looked out their window at our show like they did when I was a kid.
Me saving the biggest firework for the end as a “finale”. They came outside and clapped as we finished and I danced around the driveway with a sparkler. As we turned the lights on and began cleaning up the dead fireworks littering the driveway my mom said “ya know, for the first time, I forgot about COVID”
And ya know what. It’s true. With the combination of explosions all around and that nostalgia of these showers of sparks. For that moment as small as it was the world was normal again. And the shit was washed away. So thank goodness for the little moments in these big moments of shit. I love you all and love ya mom. Thanks for having me today and letting me do my laundry too hah. It’s important to have these “breath” moments. I didn’t realize until I didn’t have them. Now I savor these tiny moments which are in reality the important “big” moments.
Now I am sitting on their hammock writing this looking at the sky before I drive back to my cats and apartment confinement again. But right now I feel relaxed.
I seriously want to know why my pandemic looks and feels so much different than others pandemics. I haven’t hugged or kissed anyone. I haven’t touched anyone. I have socially distance hung out with 4 people total…. MY PARENTS. But with masks or outdoors with a lot of distance so I don’t accidentally, I dunno KILL THEM. But here I see, beach bbqs, families partying, friends hugging. No masks and smiles shining. Am I missing something?!
I see Instagram story updates, in person studio photoshoots, etc… I am sitting here selling fucking digital items in a video game because I can’t do my real job, posting photo-shoots from before march to stay relevant(if that even matters in this new world).Why am I putting in the effort to keep you safe if you don’t seem to give two flying shits about me?
I mean I am even embarrassed to tell someone if I got too close or someone wrapped me in a blanket to give me a hug before I broke. When there are others who have no regard for any of it, denial maybe is their coping, but it has major consequences for the rest of us.
The significance of this flower is hard to explain.
Today was the first time since the virus I made contact (socially distanced and with masks) with one half of my family.
I seized up in tears within seconds of being there. The weight of the last three months crashing down and the next months to come.
This was a flower on their patio where I sat and just enjoyed the breeze and chatted. I didn’t have to worry about the people without masks bumping into me. I didn’t have to stare at the same walls again. I got to interact and be a semi human.
I ran around their driveway with my arms in the air like a little kid doing an airplane. Because I could. Because I don’t have a driveway. Because I felt free.
Sometimes I feel like, when I see these photos and videos of people going to bars and beaches that I am living a different pandemic then others. And it makes it hard. But today was a beautiful moment. Albeit hard and emotional. It was a much needed breather for the brain. Happy early Father’s Day.
If you think the protests are not fluidly expanding on #allblacklivesmatter you are deaf to the situation of the country.
For the last 3 months and continuing, we are facing a pandemic that our government is in charge of protecting the people from. The people are in charge of their own selflessness and ability to protect their neighbor of course(which is proving to be difficult for some however also adding to the strife). But because of the gross negligence of our government that has bankrupt and put so many people on the streets and in a disproportionate way based on income and race, the tinderbox that is currently the United States is burning. George Floyd was the spark in a very very dry environment.
It took a Pandemic to make people realize, the American Dream is a pipe-dream for most. Instead 99% are put on the hamster wheel that turns concrete for the bricks, paving the way for others dreams. That’s scary to awaken to. What started as a protest against Racism, turned into a riot against the monopoly on the American Dream. It allowed them to see the future. And the future is that they were lied to. In order to achieve the American dream they have to continue to be where they are. Because the American dream isn’t theirs to have but theirs to build for others. It has allowed these now pissed off Americans to see the injustice of race. It has allowed Americans to see the imbalance of power. It has allowed Americans to see the lack of leadership that our life’s depend on. Both from this pandemic and in George Floyd’s case.
So I plead with you, take all that anger, take all that new “woke-ness” and aim it toward a goal. Need a good target? The wallets and pockets of those in government that donor have our needs or best interests in mind.
I agree with Obama (https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/6/1/21276918/obama-statement-protests-george-floyd-president-trump) on this point: we need to make these protests more targeted. Right now it has the possibility to just go back to the way it was all for naught. But if you have specific goals for your protests it can enable change. There are a few places listed here in this article. But in general a protest should have a clear goal in mind. We do not want this to be an “occupy Wall Street” moment we want this to change things. Have directions. And be followed through with.
Aim it at the people who can’t form a coherent sentence yet someone who is voted into power. I.E.
Aim it at the education system needing to pay its teachers more so they feel rewarded to shape the world and not defeated for doing their jobs.
This is a monumental moment. We are shoulder by shoulder (hopefully with some social distancing) during a pandemic on the streets, unified for #allblacklivesmatter with the fire and rage of 3 months of being exposed to the cracks of our system with no true end in sight. Without a pandemic imagining this would be hard enough, but here we are; Together.
So my fellow human beings take this opportunity to enact change. Don’t let it push us back. Learn how much power you truly hold as an individual. Don’t wait for the next 3 generations of old white men with outdated ideas to die before you step up and change the world for what the current generations want. And the next generations need.
And while it may be smaller steps than we want with the only choice of leadership for the election hellish black or mediocre grey, take solace in the fact that as long as our president can make sound decisions and not tweet to instigate the anger and fear for his own benefit we can also vote for those around the president to keep the country in checks and balances.
But going forward we can also vote to change how the voting works in general. Moving away from the two party systems tug of war that accomplished very little but continues the cycle over and over that lines the pockets of those who work it. This isn’t a game where we pick teams and bet on the outcome. This is our lives. This is humanity. And for once we have a feeling of unity. Don’t let it fall to the side like it did after a few weeks after 9/11 and go back to hating each other.
Continue to fight for your neighbor and love your neighbor and work together with your neighbor to change the neighborhood for the better. Individually together, we can change that narrative and change the world. We just need to unite stronger than before and make the “demands” of our humanity loud and clear to those who are in power.
This can’t be solved with a voting booth in months, this needs to be solved like any Strike has been treated: IMMEDIATELY with Leaders of these movements sitting down with leaders of the country and making compromises and decisions. Each one bringing to the table a very concise list of changes to end this. We are approaching a very nasty tipping point. Why is our president escalating this, making this type of action the response, versus TRUE action and HUMBLING THIS COUNTRY BY ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT’S FAILURES AND GROWING BETTER BY CHANGING THEM.
But what IS being created is a divide bigger than before, it is fear, anger, and hatred being spread. And this is how it ends up.
When the President needs to take a casual stroll to the church during a protest, and the cops smash the protesters with their shields and fire onto them so he can puff his chest, people think this is OK to do. So the people weaponize themselves.
The only way this makes change is with a voice and message and someone who can head the table to bring all the voices together. Currently it’s starting to look too much like occupy Wall Street. It needs a list of demands and a sit down with those it wants change from. However our president would never allow that. And now that people have died overnight today is going to be a very violent day.
I posted this on social media because of what I have been observing. Some of the responses gave me hope, others baffled me. It did however inspire a much longer response as to why I would post this.
I wanna be clear I did not put this out there to ask for “permission” to break social distancing or quarantine.
I put this out there because as we get deeper into this thing, the “all for one one for all” that other countries have done feels like it is falling apart in america. It feels to me like everyone is out for themselves. And that is disheartening when you are doing everything you can to make sure others are safe even if I myself am lonely too.
I just can’t justify certain actions when it is obvious this virus is far from gone and this virus is far from normal and can have serious repercussions death being the most visible, but the unknown long term effects being the scariest.
“I probably have had it” is what I hear a lot, I get it. We all want to think we had it, we are the low percentage that will just breeze through it and won’t be a New York Times article.
But we really don’t know. We also don’t know what “having it” means for those around us in full yet.
So when I see a country that is being forced open now, throwing bodies at the virus in an attempt to save our economy, it freaks me the fuck out. And I have written about that: https://craftingworlds.com/unpopular-opinion-on-reality-covid19/
We are 1/3 of the worlds infections. We aren’t the WWII “allies” we are the worlds enemy. Not only that but we are fighting one another over stupid things like “I have to wear a mask”.
If you don’t believe this virus is real, look at Brazil right now. The mass graves will shock you into a reality check.
So I don’t mind being lonely, cooped up with my kitties, and gaining the covid 10. But I do mind feeling like I am doing it alone. That is why I posted this. To perhaps get some semblance of hope that I was not alone in a world that has shone a bright light on all the cracks and problems with the way we live.
The America our grandparents and parents grew up in is no longer great. There is no MAGA movement. There is just a lot of selfish acts that hurt not only our country but the world as we fail to move as a herd and end this quicker and efficiently. The self awareness to do one’s own risk assessment is muddied by “internet doctoring”, “conspiracy”, and “lack of self awareness”. This is a complicated puzzle and many people, like any highly critical moment, are frozen or ignoring the science behind the next steps. Instead of those who can navigate these situations better, being used as bridges and help for the gap of flight or fight, is it being looked at as weakness. We aren’t leaning on each other as much as we should, because it goes against the idea that we are the enemy to each other, even though the virus isn’t human, humans only carry it. Hard to wrap your head around what it means to contact trace someone and how you and their paths can lead to devastating consequences. So it is much easier just to assume you have had it and consider it over, when in fact, nothing really changed much from 3 months ago to today in terms of what is out there.
The graduating classes of COVID 19, I truly hope, this terrible experience makes them change the world for the better. Because right now, when human life < pieces of paper, there is a problem. When people are fighting to get back to the office where they complain 24/7 about how horrible it is because the government doesn’t help them, there is a problem. Where the world stage becomes a chess game of who will come out stronger after a pandemic, there is a problem.
So I sit here, I wear my masks, I social distance, and I just needed to hear from others, DITTO.
All the stay at home stuff we just did, was for nothing. Due to our economy being the driving force of not only our livelihood, but the global economy. We need a healthy economy, not healthy people, because we created our society to be that way. Without a healthy economy we fall to other super powers like Russia or China. We are at “war” with money. And the ammunition is our lives.
Without a cure or a faster vaccine, in order to win the battle we need to work, as much as it goes against LOGIC. Logic says we should continue the course, we should all shelter in place and wait until this disease kills itself(not so obvious for others who need their hair did…).
But here we are, a country, if you remove New York from the statistics, actually on the rise for new cases. We are poised to be the example of what happens when the virus runs rampant throughout an entire country. Sweden times ten.
So what does this mean?
– Like any war: the lower class is going to get hit the hardest, like the Vietnam War where they signed up first.
– We are going to lose many people to this virus. And that statement has a broader meaning: FROM THE VIRUS and CAUSED BY THE VIRUS. Those who die from infection and those who die from the side effects brought on by the virus: PTSD, Depression, Financial ruin, you name it. We have no idea the scope of how bad it really is yet. But it is bad.
– The United States is not currently becoming a fascist state or a big brother state, just look at what people will do to fight for their right to a hair cut on the stairs with their guns. We are a loud country, although complacent. (you want to see what we aren’t? Look at Russia currently and HOW China locked down Wuhan to begin with)
– We are going to take huge losses, economically, and in blood.
– Unlike other countries, we are admitting our infections, because we feed off negative news, the other countries hide this kind of shit.
– This may become like the flu and we will never beat it, and it will be the new reality. A vaccine is very important, especially with mutations, which could be positive if it breaks into weaker strains. We have to cut it off from our bodies.
– We are opening too soon, because the economy is more important than your life or my life and we will see a rise in cases. Especially for those states who didn’t get hit hard.
– It does feel devoid of an end.
– Our leadership is incompetent and it shows. We would need a president willing to jump on his own sword for the better of the country to make the hard decisions. Ha. Imagine that from our current one.
– If there was a divide before for political means, there is now a divide between back to workers and stay at homers. The economic divide is more obvious. We look at each other with judging eyes if you break 6 feet or don’t wear a mask. But we do it for the wrong reasons: Pride. Not well being.
– In certain states, there are speakeasy type businesses opening in locked down states. I have seen it myself with closed curtain salons being “open”. Because they will lose their business.
– Our economic relief is out of money, and the loops are nearly impossible to get through. So you can’t count on the government or your state to help you if you can’t work.
– You can’t change crazy people’s minds and because of democracy this faction of people are protected to walk off the cliff, problem is the cliff leads to the general population and more infections.
– There is no filter anymore and everyone is an expert or filled with anxiety due to a massive influx of information. The measles, parents told their children they would be OK, protecting them from the hard reality. But now we have Google to slap us across the face anytime we want to be a masochist.
– There is a huge discrimination happening between humans on social distancing and proper etiquette as well as mask use-age. You have people literally killing one another over disagreements on these two things. And since people have heard “we flattened the curve” they believe it is over and Spring has sprung, thus ending all needs to do any of the above causing more strife.
The ULTIMATE CATCH 22: There is an endless loop happening, the Government can’t sustain unemployment for the lockdown and makes it very hard to get help for 80% of people, so people are fighting to work so they don’t lose their livelihood, which in turn can mean their lives. The government wants us to lock down in place and common sense says to do so too. This is not an option for too many people. The loud protestors holding their guns, are fakers, and bullshit. They don’t represent the families going broke under the stress of lack of financial support. And then you have those, like in 9/11, trying to make their riches larger in time of crisis. Shitting on the little guy. And then you have those who are trying to follow the rules but see how the rules are impossible to follow, as the infrastructure was so cracked to begin with it just crumbles under this kind of pressure.
The takeaway: We are going to fight the economic battle, not the human life battle. Our entire society is based on it. And that, for a lack of a better word, sucks. We are about to throw many people at the front lines of the virus, and see what happens, good or bad, and make decisions based off that. We could end up in another lockdown, but most likely not as it would cripple the remaining economy. And as much as I hate that we are slaves to the economy, we built this system and now have to deal with the consequences, and for many that means with their lives or the lives of those around them they will infect.
Side Note: We as a country need to take a good long hard look at the Billionare world. We need to start handing out plaques at the 999million mark and everything after that is put back into the system to help it. But don’t try to take the hard earned money of those under the 1%. That is when we become facist. We aren’t throwing the old into the streets and infecting them on purpose, we are not fascists. So stop with that tin foil hat shit. Are companies tracking us harder now? YUP. Have they always tracked us, YUP, but now they are making it public. So now is the time to try our best to regulate what they can do since it is in the open.
We did this. This is our fault. We bred a society based off the simple idea that instead of taking action to better the world we take no action or only the actions that are perceived to run us up a corporate ladder that promises at the top you don’t have to worry about the people at the bottom forgetting your troubles and leaving them behind. The American Dream.
Problem is the Hamster wheel turns and turns and turns. But still doesn’t actually go anywhere until you realize; you have to get off it to go forward. But by that point you’re tired and have no energy to walk out of your cage. So you get back on and slowly turn the wheel as much as you can not because you want to, not because it’s right, but because it’s all you know how to do anymore.
The COVID19 pandemic didn’t create issues, it exposed every single crack and flaw in our system that we have been ignoring and sweeping under the rug for years, unintentionally or intentionally, for personal gain, or for denial. And not just in our system but in our humanity and societal built routines. On a normal day we convinced ourselves the rush to nowhere meant something. On normal days we ate the toll prices of exorbitant amounts of our salary because “one day we will make enough not to care”. On normal days we are too busy to care. On normal days we are too tired to invest a moment in considering our life choices and paths forward. On normal days we assume eventually we will beat the monetary game of life, and not have to take action now for our economic issues.
Guess what… normal life stopped, our brains got some time to breath, and we didn’t like what we saw in the mirrors. We are gluttonous stockpiling toilet paper for no reason other than fear. We are in dire need of that toll money we ignored and said nothing about as it kept going up and up, just to make rent now.
We have a system that will allow companies with millions and billions to apply for the same benefits as those small bodegas with one cat and one human running it.
We don’t care if that makes it so the small business dies because money runs out and the big company got it. I have been one of those people who applied for a business SBA loan as well as unemployment as a freelancer. I am also one of those people who has not received a stimulus, cannot lookup his stimulus due to the system not wanting to show me. I never do direct deposit because I always pay. I don’t get paid.
Then after the deal was written about the amount small businesses would get as stimulus, they changed it based on employees. So the guy with 9 employees gets the full 10k, 1k per employee, which destroys the impact of that check being helpful for a SMALL business in the first place. And on top of that the guy running a bodega who needs the whole 10k to even begin to cover the losses (if it is even enough) now only gets 1k because he owns it by himself. The logic is broken in so many way.
I did not receive business loan money due to it running out and when calling being told “we can’t lookup your claim number, we don’t have anyone’s” and being told to apply for pandemic unemployment by filling out normal unemployment which then denies you(rightfully so as a freelancer) and tells you to “click here” to fill out pandemic unemployment(which covers freelance) but re-routes you to regular unemployment. So for me, someone who was careful to have a saving, I can sit here and witness all the problems in the system and not lose my entire lively hood. I can take a huge hit but not go under. For those paycheck to paycheck, this is it. It is over for them. The government is happy to accept our checks for payments during tax season quickly, but when it comes to paying us…
Our own democracy is fucking us hard. Our representatives are fucking us harder. Our states are doubling down on how hard they can fuck us. When did the states get the right to overrule the federal governments? Because that is what they are doing here, taken federal bail outs for small businesses and changing the rules per state to fill their own coffers.
You should be as mad as Vic:
On top of all of this, instead of coming up with a plan to help those in need we continue to be lead by a leader who cares about his ratings and spreading misinformation and encouraging forms of disruption and action against what is considered “logic”, even if it is in the most fucked of circumstances.
I don’t understand how this of all things doesn’t strip him of his presidency.
It’s like having someone breaking your leg, then telling you to apply to be a surgeon so you can fix the broken leg when you graduate in 8 years, in debt. The broken leg is already here though, the pandemic is just making it clearer, we already ignored the cracks and problems in our system, so for now we are stuck with them to a point. But by god if we don’t learn from this and speak up now when people are trying to make sweeping changes to our countries that are in their own interests not those of the people. The wealth gap and poverty line is about to get 1950s NYC burning barrels, mugged on 5th ave bad. We are on the precipice of ending up in a dystopian future film where the streets are filled with adverts about credits and debt,
while above the smog and rats being skewed on sticks the flying cars park nicely next to the Hunger Games-esque rollers penthouse.
We can’t go back to the way it was. It is irresponsible to even do so. But our leader is telling people to break each other’s legs to distract from the already huge issue of not having enough doctors for all the other broken legs we’ve been hobbling on for the past multitude of years.
This insights protests from people who on a normal day are angry and bitching about going to work, but now are holding up their guns and yelling to get back to it. All while endangering the lives of themselves and others. All while yelling racial slurs.
This man summed it up better than I ever could have:
Meanwhile, other countries are fighting for change in their democracy properly, and with true purpose. Not the lack of hair salons open or their Starbucks name on the cup misspelled.All while maintaining social distancing.Trusting science but also believing in being heard and stopping the pandemic from creating an opportunity for corruption. Make masks. Make real changes. Help the country!https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/20/middleeast/israel-protest-social-distancing-intl/index.html
When a news anchor goes off on a rant like this, you know we have reached a new tipping point for what America even stands for, and I could give to shits if it is CNN or FOX, this is a HUMAN saying HUMAN emotional reactions to the current situation and that is real, that is what we the people feel. More people need to get this mad:
We see parents trying to get their kids through new online schooling only to realize how the education system we have was already the brainchild of a 1st graders science project, excess amount of glue and popsicle sticks poking out from every angle. Failing to actually stay together and in one piece. So of course a piecemeal adhoc system wasn’t going to work when the education system already didn’t know how it was working. So parents and teachers are breaking down, trying to follow the system, and having the system fail them in the time of need.
The children who will never experience prom or graduation. The COVID generation. High school is but a blip on a radar we were all forced to attend. So feel some solace in the fact that you are not alone and you are not missing too much. But yes you are missing it and that sucks. And I’m sorry. I wish you didn’t have to. And I wish our world prepared better for you. But know this: you have the power to change this world. You have the power to take these experiences and let them define your future. Don’t let the mistakes of those before you define what is before you.
We keep saying this pandemic is going to cause PTSD, we already HAVE PTSD. the entire country not having that hamster wheel to run on anymore is causing people to have to feel the effects of that PTSD. It’s like the entire country just came back from a war they didn’t know they were fighting, finding the skin of those they clawed and climbed over to get to where they are now under their nails, unsure how to deal with that horrible reality. All they know is how to feel safe in their routine, cubicle, Starbucks, and instant delivery service on Amazon, that they can’t focus their energy toward what can truly help this country move forward.
Just look at this article that reads more like propaganda for someone who would subconsciously do anything to go back to the way it was than to accept what he just saw as what the world truly was. He is channeling the bad guy from the first matrix that just wanted a Steak dinner, no matter the fact that he now knows it wasn’t real. That sense of normalcy is something we will need to fight to find a better way forward.
See even in his summary of how to become better people he references pop culture and the buzz words you would find in a “10 things about X” buzzfeed click-bait article. Because we don’t seem to understand how to “Marie Kondo” our lives unless there is a Marie Kondo to hold our hand. So while I find his optimism helpful and his words very poignant, I think we need a combination of his approach and mine. A good cop bad cop to reach the masses. A “get off my lawn boomer” and a “Gen whatever”. The “that’s toxic” vs “politically correct”.
The truth is; we need to take a good damn long hard look at the cracks exposed and plug them. And we can’t look to our current pop culture references to achieve it. That was and is part of the problem. That not only includes our societal influences on our daily lives, it includes our environment, our government, and our president.
It’s like basing our next steps off the metrics of this “new today”; a world stuck in their homes, impulse buying off amazon for the dopamine, watching more Netflix, engaging with more live streams for interaction at any level. Eventually people will run out of money and or leave their houses when they can. These “metrics” are tainted toward a, in the grand scheme of things, short term pandemic situation. Our “metrics” have been tainted toward our entire basis of societal consume and conquer “priorities” for centuries. But there is some magic in this “new today”, the people trying different avenues of expression and skill sets due to having the time to explore it. Being given a reprieve from their everyday drain. The glimpse that perhaps you can make that scary ass pivot in life to fulfillment. But it’s only a glimpse right now in a world that is going to change drastically a million more times before we even understand a baseline again. A lot of work and effort and determination from everyone is going to be required to have any sort of change stick.
He did say one thing that I can agree with, which sum-mates to even the smallest actions by the majority of us can make an impact:
“We can do that on a personal scale in our homes, in how we choose to spend our family time on nights and weekends, what we watch, what we listen to, what we eat, and what we choose to spend our dollars on and where. We can do it locally in our communities, in what organizations we support, what truths we tell, and what events we attend. And we can do it nationally in our government, in which leaders we vote in and to whom we give power. If we want cleaner air, we can make it happen. If we want to protect our doctors and nurses from the next virus — and protect all Americans — we can make it happen. If we want our neighbors and friends to earn a dignified income, we can make that happen. If we want millions of kids to be able to eat if suddenly their school is closed, we can make that happen. And, yes, if we just want to live a simpler life, we can make that happen, too.”
So don’t think you have to over throw the government to get them to put your stimulus check and SBA loan above that of the billion dollar company. You don’t even need a gun. You can dictate their actions with your the simplest gesture: closing your wallet. Hitting them in the coffers is the most devastating weapon in your arsenal. And you were just given a limited but potent case of bullets thanks to what has just happened. Use them wisely.
But unlike the writer of that article, I don’t share his “humanity is inherently good” sentiment. The hypocrisy of what we see in this country in particular is appalling.
“My Body, My Choice” ONLY when it applies to them, is the common string here. Advocates of many other things that limit women’s rights and peoples rights in general. We won’t get off on that tangent, but the history is here.
This pandemic showed us one thing people can’t seem to comprehend, but need to start, and quickly: no matter what religion, creed, nationality, sexual preference, country you come from, at the end of the day you are a meat sack susceptible to a virus like everyone else. No matter how many guns you carry or racial slurs you scream, you will be brought to your knees if infected like the rest of us.
So stop looking toward “party lines” and start looking toward human survival and decency. But alas this is a pipe dream I and the creator of Startrek made up. The reality is, at the end of this, even with the sweeping changes to the world, most people will run back to spent their 10$ on a shitty coffee from Starbucks even if they can’t even afford their mortgage anymore due to not getting your business loans, or unemployment check. Historically we as a people forget the past.
I can write, yell, and advocate for days in hopes for a better tomorrow. Until it is actions and not words, we are destined to repeat history until we’ve destroyed the very ground we stand on just for the almighty dollar and the ideal of power.
And I will say this, as an American, I am embarrassed to be an American. Not just because of irresponsible protests, price gouging, and “party wars” versus “people helping”, but because we have made very little progress on mobilizing our ability to deal with this crisis due to our own hang ups with financial red tape and someone not getting their next bonus.
Hopefully with enough glass half empty and half full coming together, eventually we will realize that pooling the water together spreads the disease faster and we need a new damn expression to move forward.
When you’ve been contemplating a pandemic or world crisis your entire life(I watched terminator 2 17 times in a row in a 3 day period as a kid) and one finally happens…
1 of two things happens first: you don’t believe it and go into mental paralysis. You can physically survive and do it well but your mind jumbles for a bit.
The Second wave you question every life choice you have ever made and you begin to take actions to re-invest your skillset that allows you to thrive in horrible times like these to take actions to change the world. I don’t know if that will be the role of an activist, expression through art, etc. but I do know I am hyper aware during these situations allowing me to quickly think of my feet without falter. All the things that make life feel overwhelming in normal times slow down and become skills in times like these for me.
It can be metaphorically explained as why most of my first dates fail: I can share 1000 things about my most intimate self within seconds of meeting someone, not because I am over sharing or obsessing but because I don’t find it to be that intimate and it’s just a small conversation of a very layered onion. Social standards have deemed it to be bad form that way however. And people freak. I don’t love you. I don’t even care about you yet. I just like to skip the bullshit small talk and openly talk about who we are now, today, in relation to our past and hopeful future. But I am understanding that the only mitigating factor in truly knowing someone is time. As much to my dismay.
My entire life has felt like a pandemic with how I treat my short time on this planet. I think quick. Share heavily. Take on strong opinions. Speak up for others (often getting me in trouble) And take action quickly.
True anxiety(not oh my day was stressful), which I suffer, hasn’t even been a thought in my mind these last few weeks. The world is moving at the speed of my anxiety. And I am sitting here watching others like our president completely fuck it up and all I want to do is step up with my fight or flight response and slow the world down for majority of people so they can actually see it how it needs to be and is: calculated. My mind has slowed down like slow motion in a film. Or when you get into an accident and the world appears to slow time itself. This allows me to navigate the over abundance of everything around me.
I’ve pre predicted the rushes on stores, supplies, and quarantine times. Thanks to my mind being in a state of overdrive since a young age. Always looking at micro inflection of the people around me for clues on the next reactions, but this time looking at the movement of the world. Which is also why I feel as though I have the most trouble going back to “normal” or “productive” forms of “getting ahead” like others seem to be able to do in this new day with their Zoom classes, etc. I’m seeing a larger problem. Taking on the feelings of a larger group. Seeing the failures of a larger scale of society. I don’t care about how many views my next YouTube video gets. Or if social media is updated. We are living a rare moment in history where we got to see the world STOP. And it revealed/continues to reveal all the cracks and problems with our systems, structures, and societal disparities. What we do now is so goddamn important. I don’t want to go back to what we were before COVID-19. I want to be better.
I see so clearly now, a different view, but I can’t do it alone. Now is when I will judge humanity the hardest. Will your compassion and sympathy turn off the minute it ends, like 9/11 where we united until we didn’t have to? Now is when I look to my fellow human not as someone I will pass by on a regular day and cordially nod my head at; but as someone who I can trust with my life or someone who will put my life in danger. I have zero patience for the inability to adapt or see reality for what it is. I no longer give the benefit of the doubt to stupidity. I no longer sugar coat the foibles of the world. The shine is gone. The cracks are clear. If you don’t see them now and have an inner fire to want to change the world for the better of humanity not a party line or piece of paper with “value”, I don’t much care for you anymore.
I’ve dreamt of disasters. I’ve imagined the worst case scenarios. And even though we are not in that worst case yet, this pandemic has unveiled that we as humans are failing each other and things have to change. I for one plan to be part of that change. If this isn’t a wake up call, you’re deaf.
America is no longer “the new kid at school” giving off that fresh look and appeal. It is a shit stain on the national stage. I’m not even sure if America is American anymore. Or was it ever? Has the base of America been hiding quietly waiting to follow their “cult leader” and finally the true colors are free to be bright? Or have we just fallen and need others to remind us why we are who we are in the first place. Why democracy is our strength not the weakness it is proving to be in this pandemic.
We can’t fight what we have done to this point. But we can sure as hell fight when we come out of it to prepare for it in the future. We can stop coddling those who are sinking the ship. We can stop “blocking” those who hurt our feelings and rather figure out how to coexist. We need to stop hiding behind the constitution as a way to be worse, not better. For example: You cannot be a Nazi and an American.
We need to come out fighting everything that is endangering our lives as a species.
And that is what we need: fighters. Not sheep. Not complacency. Not “comfort” of the consumer treadmill. Not a new iPhone. But actual change to the foundation of our society based off humanity and those who wish to contribute to the betterment of it. And it will be hard, and be met with resistance, and break you over and over. But perhaps this time, we can make a difference before the problem instead of having to “live with the consequences of our actions or inaction”.
We need to learn from our mistakes. Acknowledging the hamster wheel of “fortune” causing great disparity in income and poverty. “Keeping up with the Jones” becoming toxic. The country should not have 3 people, or less than 10 entities that count for the entirety of the wealth of 150 million. Not that they didn’t work for it. But they shouldn’t have had to work for that much disparity in the first place. The importance of human relations not income. And the fact that we strive for LOVE and happiness as children, but end up like Bill Gates, chasing money and power, and who recently acknowledged money means nothing(although considering how much he has this is a very hypocritical statement, but there is truth in it). Running the human engine dry to become wealthy so we have time to love at all is counter productive to living life in the short time given on earth. We shouldn’t have to “afford” to love. We should just love.
So what will you do when this is “done”? Go back to Clawing your fellow human’s flesh and bones to get to the top of the figurative consumer ladder or figure out a way to vote for humanity and not party lines and cash?
I see very clearly. And I need others around me who see the same. And no, not the conspiracies and fears, but the truths inside and outside of them. Not oblivious to the propaganda, but aware of the media and how it is shaping views. The ability to see within the castle walls but leave the comforts of them to understand the people outside who make the castle possible in the first place.
We need to re-evaluate the need for a castle at all.
We call those inside the walls them and then there is us. They call us them and their-selves us. There needs to just be us.
“And go the Fools among” has been tattooed on my arm for many years. And finally the Fool who has been quietly watching and joking the truth for so long wishes to stop joking and turn his knowledge and worldly views into actions to better society.
If you plan to vote and re-elect Trump you deserve to be deported. A bipartisan view on Human Decency.
Unless at some point our country has turned into a propaganda making, history changing, dictatorship… then watching trump releasing fucking propaganda videos during press conferences where he should be calming and guiding the country is despicable.
He is taking a play out of China’s CURRENT playbook RIGHT now and trying to rewrite history to his favor. He is taking up national time with propaganda videos that are out of context LIES. If you are that uneducated to be able to decipher this truth from the other, then perhaps it is true, the “New America” is Trump.
The way he yells and screams at press for asking a question not a part of the networks he “loves”. He then answers, if he answers, with how great he is and no care about you the voter, usually ending up in blatant lies.
Are you trying to tell me that at this point this is the better option for our country? Are you trying to tell me America is so far gone from a fair, free-speech, constitutionally run democracy, that we want someone who would prefer to puff his feathers and mimic China or North Korea than govern the people in a way that keeps them from buying all the toilet paper in a panic?
If you don’t see he is trying to rewrite history(one again, like China is currently doing as well) and the massive damage he is doing to our lives, country, and humanity… You are not an American and don’t deserve to be here.
Or maybe, I am not American anymore for thinking differently and the country has moved on without me, like a bad breakup that I need to recognize and relinquish my my citizenship. Because that is how strongly I feel about this many being in office for one more minute. This is from someone who is very calm, very paced, and gave America the benefit of the doubt of “wanting to shake things up” as you all said. Well the shake up is done, and if it shakes anymore the baby will die.
I can’t sit quietly here anymore and accept you as human being with a moral compass or sense of intelligence. Any human being who truly loves their neighbor and those around them as other human beings would vote for a fucking ROCK over this man for another 4 years. Yes the “lesser of two evils” argument. But look in-front of you. You have the worst of the crop already in power! (if you want to change the lesser of two evils scenario, change the system, not the people. And do it prior to an election, stand up as a united front and fight for what we deserve before we are forced to blindly check a mark of a voting ballet, hoping for the best. Flex your democratic powers of organized protests, via actions. Hit this country in the fucking wallet before it completely implodes from everyone trying to crawl above everyone else, clawing their way through flesh to do it.)
This pandemic hasn’t changed him or who he was, it has given him a platform to show on a daily basis how fucking horrid of a human being he is and how he is the exact opposite of what you voted for. He doesn’t have the majority of his voters best interests in mind, he only cares about his “ratings”. HE IS THE FUCKING PRESIDENT, WHAT RATINGS ARE THERE?! And WHY does he compare these hyperbole ratings to journalists asking journalist questions!?
No one cares Mr. Trump, we are all sitting in our damn houses, watching Cuomo for guidance and brotherly relate-able humanity, eating the same ramen, in our sweats over and over, scared to shop for food, and not really sure what day it is or what life will look like after all of this, because your briefings only talk about you. You don’t care about the American citizen. You care about your optics. You care about your ego. You care about how best to spin your lies to make everyone so confused, that “the boy who cried wolf” syndrome kicks in, and you can just do what you want. You are literally putting America through Stockholm Syndrome and it frightens me.
Just imagine for a moment, whether you liked the man or not, and parties aside, what an Obama speech would have sounded like in a time like this? That man could have calmed a goddamn unbroken mare kicking him in the face and our country truly needs it in this time of dire circumstances. This is what a president should be, their politics aside. It is the HUMAN aspect of a president that is needed. And right now we lack one with any form of these human emotions such as empathy or common decency. Show me an example of a time where he cared about the dead, rather than his “ratings”.
But what if “I choose to vote for Policy rather than if someone acts Presidential.”
He is damaging this country. How he acts is the most important power a president possesses. In this time of great need has highlighted, just how useless his inability to actually take action, when action is needed, for life truly is.
Polices over humanity. That is what you just said. Sigh. Human life is much more fragile than we treat it. And it hurts me to the soul. We were given life, and we squander it away for pieces of paper with numbers on them that are inconsequential compared to our minds and each breath we take.
We are the ass end of a joke on the international stage right now, except the joke is COVID19 and instead of people laughing they are gasping as the deaths stack up. This will greatly effect how we run as a country in the future and are taken seriously going forward. How our Democracy is proving to be our weakness due to poor leadership vs our call to actually helping and solving major problems is clear. The world is noticing as we speak as well, not just for the future, and they are taking action now. China right now is trying to twist the story so hard to say Covid19 started here. And to be honest they could pull it off with the way our government is run by this man right now. I usually say “Don’t worry, the president doesn’t have that much power, there are checks and balances” but with this new platform for him to have his own “reality TV show” on, he has done/can do so much more damage to this country it sickens me. Another term for this president either means two things:
We are already in the movie Idiocracy and the damage is done, the people dumbed down, and the propaganda stuck.
America is no longer America, and those of us stuck on the idea of what it should be, need to move on and stop having our heart broken, because the majority don’t care about humanity, they care about numero uno, disillusioned to think Trump cares one iota for their “needs”. This Pandemic showcasing that disparity front and center.
Please if you do plan to vote for him again or believe even a word he says, remove me as a friend immediately. Remove me, block me, and go fuck yourself. I’m done being nice to idiots and fools. And this has nothing to do with Republican or Democrat. This has to due with Human Logic.
Welcome to democracy, where freedom of speech means two things:
You can speak your opinion.
You can chose to not listen to that opinion.
However at some point people stopped listening to each other too well, and now there is a rift in this country. One that throws debate, logic, and reasoning out the window and we are forced to cancel culture the ones who are too far beyond. So in that light…
Anyone else find it oddly easier to watch movies or tv you have already seen then new releases or things you haven’t seen since being in isolation? I can’t put a finger on it, but new content is so much harder to digest for me than a rerun.
I can’t tell if it is projection of my own anger that things are not normal for me when I see my favorite you tubers release content on schedule where I am sitting here going… “holy crap, it’s Friday again?!”
Or if I am feeling overwhelmed by the idea of too much free time so I end up doing nothing with my time. No workouts, no TV, no video games. Just kinda nap and or read news or scroll endlessly on social media.
Perhaps it is the idea that my routine is gone. So normally I would wake up, workout, eat, get work done, then decide my entertainment. But now I don’t have a routine. I have a very long endless tunnel of time and it is that no light to the end of this new normal that makes it hard to have a routine.
Maybe an older movie or TV show versus the cool new stuff is easier to just veg out on if I decide I want to refresh my news feed to see what’s happening in New York and New Jersey. To see what hell today is bringing.
I dunno it’s all garbled. The only clarity I got was writing a review for a company that sent me a product recently. It felt nice to get lost in something that felt normal again. But it was short lived.
I worry about releasing new content myself as I wonder if others are unable to digest anything but the headlines of Covid as well. So should I finish my review or wait til there is some normalcy to do it. But honestly when will that be. Sure as hell isn’t anytime soon no matter how optimistic we can be.
It’s funny too, because before all this I worked from home. Nothing changed except I need to plan further ahead now. I can’t just go ; oops I need food or oops I need to do laundry.
Perhaps it has to do with the lack of it feeling like a reward for a long day. Or a procrastination for a hard one.
Maybe I’ll go back and organize this into writing and coherence later. That’s been a good outlet.
I’m sorry you’re in quarantine. So am I. It’s because we,humans, are the weak links here, buying time to not be overwhelmed by our own inabilities. So stfu and eat peanut butter for a few months.
Seriously though.. I keep reading the “our economy”. Fuck your economy. We created the economy. Can’t we magically make it better? Because it is based off imaginary trillion dollar debt and bullshit already.
I keep hearing: let’s rip off the bandaid. Welcome to age-ism. If it was children who died immediately we would have been in quarantine months earlier. I personally love my parents so go fuck yourself.
I keep hearing: we don’t know the consequences on our daily lives. Yup. Correct. We don’t. But better to protect human life?!
The Spanish flu is mentioned a lot. You know what caused it to spread? Troop movement. Not social distancing or home quarantining.
Know what caused it to kill even more? Lack of news coverage in the first place thus ignoring a mutation that turned it from a 3 day nasty flu to a 24 hour killer. Added to that continued troop movement and lack of any systems to prevent human to human contact.
We have literally learned how to deal with this but we ignore it because we are sad we can’t get amazon delivery.
P.S. the Spanish flu didn’t last 3+ weeks on a ventilator. Of course this will overwhelm our health care systems.
Our leaders are idiots. No one gives a fuck about hair pieces or ratings we care about this being over and a sense of those in charge giving a fuck about us. Not that I care about Democrat or Republican, but imagine an Obama speech right now?! It soothes my soul. There is a reason we are all looking to Cuomo right now and not our president. And sorry but if you re vote for this guy, I gave ya the benefit of the doubt last time. This time, don’t ever speak with me again.
We really need the Star Trek mentality of “human exploration/improvement” versus “how much money we make”
This pandemic has revealed one thing: our entire culture as a human race is based off unsustainable ideals for human life. We emphasize things that do us no good in times of extreme need and trouble. We don’t prepare for our surroundings and any disasters this earth throws at us we truly are unable to handle. Shit some places are still under water from previous disasters.
And the true problem is this: this was avoidable to an extent. But we want more money, five minutes of fame, and believe eventually we will be rich enough not to have to worry about anything.(look at the disconnect between celebrities and the normal joe right now, sad about being quarantined in their 60000 square foot mansion versus the 10 sq ft Manhattan apartment. You idolize them until times like this where their wealth makes you sick and emphasizes your reality vs theirs.) This snubbing the guy below us and ignoring the glaring problems with “the system”. You cannot during a pandemic rally for these changes now. You are stuck with your own actions consequences. After maybe. But now, welcome to reaping what you sew.
But like 9/11 everyone was friendly until it was a few days after and people turned to shit again.
So while we are In a time where our world is literally changing permanently around us, it remains to be seen if we truly give a shit when we can once again trample the guy next to us to get ahead.
I’ve used this example many times: the bridge toll goes up. It is way more expensive than minimum wage. People are upset and it effects them. One day. ONE DAY of staying home and not using the tolls would hit them in the pockets sparking change. But no one wants to be the one to take the chance to stay home. Everyone believes eventually they can buy their way out of the toll prices and it won’t matter. The hamster wheel of fortune.
You want change? You want Bezos to step up? Hit it in the wallet. Because we are not based on humanity we are based on little pieces of paper worth nothing in times of need. (Ironically though… it could be used as toilet paper which there is a shortage of 🧻)
A rant to all of you people who I never knew were psycho.
Stop being fucking stupid conspirators because you don’t know how to keep yourself busy without the hamster wheel of work. Stay in your damn house by yourself with your tin foil hats you dumb “I googled it therefore I know all” fucks…
1. “This is Airborne.” Airborne is when it is transmitted via the air without needing a carrier. This is a droplet virus. Google it if you don’t understand. Airborne would be a nightmare.
2. “China Is BETTER AT THIS AND HAS NO INFECTIONS!” China literally ripped people from their homes if they were found to be in contact with someone with the virus.(along with other rumored practices such as welding doors shut on houses) Try that is America. They also didn’t and probably are still not reporting the proper data, because CHINA. (This is based off prior societal actions)
2a. “America should be able to do what they did!” Welcome to Democracy, where you can be a fucking NAZI and have zero repercussions. Our own freedoms are often are biggest enemies.
3. China is not “clear”. China stopped the current infections if all is to be believed, through extreme measures. The problem is 80% of their population is still not exposed to the virus so for a second wave to happen is highly likely and just as dangerous when they open up to normal activity again.
3a. The above is why this won’t be over in a “few weeks”. Secondary waves are inevitable.
4. “We should just get it over with….” Our health care sucks first off. But more importantly we haven’t prioritized it over our military, so we are going to run out of manpower and supplies for mass infection. Hence “flattening the curve”. This allows people to get the care they need in the time they need. Right now if you go to NYC and get sick, you are fighting for a ventilator, if we flatten the curve, there will be a better chance you get one in the future, let alone if you get sick for ANY OTHER reasons and need a hospital that isn’t overcrowded from the virus.
5. “This is some conspiracy to fuck the small people and make the rich richer!!!” What exactly do you think is happening here? This fucks companies and businesses and the rich AND the poor and the self run businesses. The richest are the ones who want to profit the most. And this just puts them in a situation to lose money. They won’t have that. Even if it means we die. They prefer green to red. Not to mention the target demographic of this virus is those people with the largest amounts of money.
6. “This is a way to kill the dollar so it will all be digital goods and we can have our “amount” adjusted based off anything.” Stop watching Black Mirror during a damn pandemic.
Play animal crossings or some shit. You need a break from your own mind. If the government wants to control us or change us or create a weaponized virus, GUESS WHAT: They probably already have the plans and are working on it. Good luck taking power and money away from people who don’t use it properly.
This virus however, is not the time to “stand up and fight” the invisible boogie man. This is the time to see how our government reacts to this kind of thing and then take action when things are safer to do so. Want to become an advocate? Do so somewhere where it counts, not a Facebook post to your parents and their friends of friends.
Yeah choice and democracy are a bitch during pandemics. On one hand you want your freedoms on the other hand when you get sick you want proper care. Sadly you can’t have both.
To be honest these posts piss me off. Why Tristan? Because if you wanted change maybe waiting til a fucking virus erupts around the world is a shit time. You reap what you allow.
I’m guilty. You’re guilty. And now we are in quarantine. So suck it up. Survive and then perhaps now that you’ve been shooken awake you can make some changes through action. But I doubt it. It’s easier to post in Facebook than to take action for most. And most are secretly wanting the choices made for them. So it’s an uphill battle both ways.
Also this isn’t about a virus persay but our ability with our infrastructure to handle it. Humans are the weak link not the virus.
So please don’t throw stupid ass statistics around. “Why are cigarettes legal, we know they kill x million people a year”. Because people are fucking dumb. And money. Mostly money.
People are idiots when it comes to boundaries of their partners and understanding not EVERYONE is the same. Trust works differently for different people. And the best way to be a good PARTNER to your PARTNER is to understand their comfort and your comfort and meet in the middle of said comfort so everyone is comfortable. And then realize SOMETIMES, SOMETIMES, you won’t be fucking comfortable!.
People often set timelines for when they can start being vulnerable in a relationship. The truth is, to find someone who understands you even when you are vulnerable and open, that it doesn’t mean you have uncovered all the multi faceted parts of your person. Time tells this, time is the mitigating factor that allows this, but the time you put in on the journey should be genuine and real. You could tell someone everything on your mind in the moment, your history, your favorite foods, your goals, aspirations, etc… but regardless you will never know the person’s everyday without time spent with the person. Until two people have experiences together and live some life together, the smaller nuances of romance, connection, and exploration cannot be expressed, much to the objection of my instant gratification self. This is why it is important that the time you spend getting to know someone shouldn’t be too guarded, or by the time, time allows you to truly understand a person, you aren’t confronted with a completely different person in-front of you, now needing to start the process over again.
It is an American “ideal” that being guarded with the bad days, the truth, and how you feel are weaknesses. Where as in most other cultures that aren’t killing women for showing their feet, conversation and truth and openness are signs of self awareness, strength, and don’t lead to “love” but to understanding and acknowledgment that life isn’t a plan every time, but more of a choose your own adventure. Sometimes you have to back track and take a different path, but doesn’t mean the adventure you chose first wasn’t enjoyable.
In my experience, I have found the best way to approach a new relationship is by asking yourself everyday, “Are you enjoying the company of this person?” If the answer is yes, continue to the next day, if the answer is no, ask yourself why and if it is something that you cannot work through, question, or understand, it is time to move on, but if it is something that just makes two people different and a new concept you may have to learn to understand, continue to the next day with deeper knowledge and understanding of this person you are trying to merge lives with.
Time doesn’t stop once you have decided you love one another either. Each day is going to be a new step, a new journey, you and I will change everyday, so not hiding that day to day is so important so as we change and grow alone, we still do it together. http://www.lostintxtlation.com/the-x-theory/
This article is a prime example of the problem with dating in America:
In our lives we are told to work hard for those things we want. Adage and Meme one after another telling us “Success comes to those who fight for what they want, not those who dream” “Dreaming is great, but when you wake up writing that dream down and making it a goal for the day is when we ascend” etc etc.
This applies to our Jobs, our money, our material things.
My own business model has been refined over and over again so that I can truly achieve success. I have taken my success and failures and grown better and learned from them. I put in a ton of hours, time, and effort to become a better version of myself for my Career path. I have worked hard and it has brought me success.
But when it comes to relationships we are told “Don’t try too hard”.
What the hell kind of back-assward way of thinking is this? I am like a little kid when I meet someone interesting yelling “Mom Mom mom Mom Mom Mom”, tugging on a shirt, because of the excitement of hearing my mom go, “WHAT!” Not because I am in love with this new person, not because I think this new person is perfect for me, but because I am excited to experience the everyday and learn who they are and see if these first feelings of excitement carry over through our experiences day to day. And why shouldn’t I be excited if I think I met someone who might potentially be a good person to bring into my life romantically? But there is a stigma attached to showing this excitement, even if you are intelligent enough to know that it doesn’t happen all at once.
Step by step. Time is the one crux of all relationships. You cannot skip the time you spend with someone living life together to get to know them. I don’t care how you try, you need to experience life with someone to know if you love someone. That’s why when I hear “I miss you” after a few dates it throws up red flags. No you miss the idea of a relationship, not me. You don’t know me well enough yet. But if we take our time, and experience each individual day, good, bad, or ugly together we will get that experience. Not hiding behind some weird “let me hide my emotions” “let me hide how my day actually went to not sound negative” “let me time out my texts so the other person doesn’t judge my interest”
Just take it day by day, and enjoy one another’s company. And when you get to a point where you are no longer enjoying that company, look at the reason why. If that reason proves to be a dealbreaker, then you end it and move on to explore other options, if it is just an emotional day, you get to grow more with the person next to you.
But this who “Don’t try to hard” mentality is ridiculous. Compounded by the ability to hide behind inflectionless texts and the prospect of the next swipe, we are not even trying at all, let alone “too hard”.
Here is your motivation quote:
“Sometimes the things that are worth it the most in life take the most effort.”
In a dating culture coddled by the Block Button, we have inadvertently created a subculture where if you do give someone a reason that you are no longer interested in them versus ghosting or blocking them, it is often misconstrued as, “I must try harder”. No means no people.. FFS. Move on and find someone who appreciates you as a whole. Don’t try to “fix, change, save, or challenge” someone else, find someone who will build you into a stronger, balanced, powerful couple.
We need to stop treating our potential significant others so carefully, formulaically, differently.
Ya know that crude you, you show to your best friend? Or that goofy side to your family? Or that weird crazy side to your cat or dog?
THAT is what you should be showing to someone you want to get to know. The small moments of you. The moments that when you add them all up over time, make who you are unique and personable. Choosing the perfect text, or trying to come up with the best jokes, or getting your outfit just right has zero context in the grand scheme of the time it takes to get to know someone. It is sterile and boring.
Time, this crazy little thing we all have to endure, is the only way to really know someone, so why waste it? One day at a time you learn who someone is, and if you are enjoying today, you should look forward to tomorrow as well, and then when you have a day you don’t enjoy, you ask: Why? And if the “why” is more important than the time spent, you know it won’t work, but if the “why” was just a bump in the road of getting to know another human’s complexities, you go to the next day more informed and stronger together.
I mean sure there is a level of “lovey” or “puppy dog” personality that goes with a new relationship but that should be in addition to you. Not a subtraction.
Why do we need to facade for x amount a “societal determined acceptable standard” days or months or even years or titles; “Well you aren’t my boyfriend” “Well you are a stranger” “Well all we have done is texted”. No shit, we are meeting in a new inorganic yet oddly similar to real life way of meeting with online dating: “See cute person, say hello”. We are missing the 3D aspects of it and the sensations of real life, yes, always tempted by the next swipe, but it is still very similar if you take it to the core of what it is.
My wish is that people would treat me like we’ve known each other for years, even if we just exchanged a “hello”, but with a strong enough sense of self to be careful and protective of their own experiences, sharing with me as we go so I can know what you experienced the last X amount of years of your life. I am not asking you to be flapping in the wind vulnerable, I expect you to be somewhat guarded, but also open to yourself and others, so it isn’t a struggle but a dance getting to know one another.
But what I find is people are just less communicative. Less themselves. Less goofy. Less real. More closed off. More guarded.
Do you call your friends on the phone? Or FaceTime them silly shit? Why can’t the potential significant other you just met see that. It’s always a game. But it isn’t a fun game for one party. Time doesn’t go slower the more you hide. So stop wasting it. Open yourself up to rejection. If you swiped the face you thought was pretty, awesome! Nothing wrong with that, but the face only gets the conversation started, because if the conversation sucks, the face means nothing. So start a conversation! A real conversation.
Instead of embracing it as the main form of dating now, we are wasting our time making excuses about how it is horrible and inorganic. We use it as a social experiment for an ego boost or we blame our failures on it because of it.We make up personas. And instead of choosing how it works and how we use it, we just make it an uncomfortable place to be.
We are wasting our time. We are wasting others time. We aren’t ourselves and therefore we aren’t truly allowing others in. What happens if the other person likes this fictitious version of you? I’ve been in that relationship, it sucks when the other person finally decides to change for themselves and you realize you have no idea who they are and that it really isn’t someone you liked to begin with.
Who has time to make so many rules to who they can and can’t be. Just be one human. Yourself. And let it be what it will be. The truth. And if that means someone may not like you it means they wouldn’t have liked you even if you were fake, because eventually we are all just in our rocking chairs yelling at the kids to get off our lawn.
Don’t even get me started about the stigma of going to the bathroom on a first date… (everyone poops)
But speaking of that first date, what about just the first text? People do everything they can to avoid interaction these days that is beyond an emoji. Hiding behind the guise of “If we knew each other, it would be different”. Ironically(for multitudes of reasons including how do you get to know someone if they don’t let you get to know them), when you disconnect from them because you know, personally, you dislike that approach, all of a sudden they try to reach out to you in every form of contact available(all social media), just to tell you what a mistake you made, and how they are different when you get to know them.
Well STOP that. Be YOU before I get to know you. And perhaps I won’t feel the constant need to move away from the small talk and 2 – 3 day waits for 1 line sentences about the weather. I need more than banter. I need more than knowing you like hiking or sarcasm. I need the in between. That is what makes you and that is what invigorates me to want to share my time, my life, and maybe, if we get there over time, my love with you.
I was born into a family with no brothers. I have 5 sisters actually. Most of my close friends are women. So when this summer I was blessed with the dormant gene in my family that no one has experienced in my lifetime that causes male pattern baldness, I started to, for lack of a better term, freak the fuck out. And there was really no support system since no one had been through it and I felt very alone.
And I am not talking oh man this sucks moments, I am talking moments of depression which I have never had. How could this happen to me? Am I sick? My DNA test said I wouldn’t have this! There must be something wrong with me…
I cut out multiple different food and tried multiple different changes in my life to see if perhaps I was sick. Now this was compacted by multiple deaths this summer and life changing moments in which my life spiraled. So I didn’t really know how hard it was hitting me until I got the rest of it into order. I got back into shape, I healed from the hurt, I started to manage my childhood anxieties. And yet there it was, plain as day, my hair, thinning and receding in the front of my head and thinning in a wonderful patchiness in the back.
Still I couldn’t accept it. I held onto hope that I truly was sick and there was a cure for this. I am the guy with the crazy haircuts. The hair cuts that would get my family up in arms at all the family gatherings. The haircuts that would get the mixed “You hipster” comments on Facebook.
I boltstered enough strength to ask my friends publicly on facebook how I might look with a shaved head. The answers varied obviously but someone finally said, “I too have this!” and another, and then another. Girlfriends of guys going through it too also messaged me and said my reactions were not any different than what they were seeing. This gave me comfort. I thought I was nuts for having such a strong reaction to something so simple as hair. But then again after reading up about it all, hair loss for men has actually been compared to postpartum depression for women.
Hair is societally related to signs of youth, virility, power, social status, and sexuality. So even if I am not full on bald yet, seeing the signs of the inevitable at 35 was enough to spiral me out. I searched the internet for men with shaved heads and who looked good and who didn’t. I watched video after video of men talking about their experiences with it. Even watch grown men in tears about the idea.
Some of my male friends on facebook suggested rogaine and other drugs that work. However the catch with these drugs is you have to always take them. And it isn’t just maintanance it becomes a lifestyle for what? Hair? It seemed crazy to me, that I would invest that much time and money into something like this. I am not that vein, but at the same time I decided to try it.
Enter Rogaine. Well turns out, Rogaine and Anxiety do not mix. The chemicals are basically enemies and I ended up with some pretty shit side effects. So I washed that shit out of my hair and said no, I can’t do this twice a day for the rest of my life (because when you stop your hair just goes back to where it was or wasn’t)
Finally, I had an appointment with a doctor. He took only a second to confirm what I feared, “You are showing exact signs of male pattern baldness”, “No your dad didn’t have to have it too”, “Do not take propecia you can literally lose sexual function permanently”(I trust this doctor and if he warns against that, I listen) “If you would like to talk more about it we can set aside a time to go over all the information”. I didn’t quite understand why he offered that until I looked at how hard I was taking it. Completely out of my control, subjected to my first of a few recent encounters with mortality, it was hitting me hard.
I was relieved to hear a diagnosis though, and it gave me the strength to try my hand at a shaved head. I wasn’t in peak shape yet, so shaving my head during a bit of a chubby phase was prolly not the best idea, but I did it anyway. And hey, turns out I have a nice head under the hair! However, I looked in the mirror and no longer saw me. I saw an old man. I posted a photo and one person as a joke said “Oh look it’s homer simpson” I was devastated. All i could see was the men I grew up watching on TV that played the dad. Had I lost my youth? I am not married, I do not have a girlfriend, so I can’t trust that the person I love loves me as me and won’t judge my book cover before getting to know the contents. I did end up dating one person after I shaved it and they had no issues with it at all, in fact they liked playing with it. But what caught me off guard was when they said in response to “I miss my long hair”: “I dunno, I never saw you like that”.
That hit hard, this person would never know that person. It was like my hair being shaved had killed off a person I had been for 35 years and I couldn’t share crazy hair Tristan with them. They didn’t see the extreme change, they just saw me, Tristan, 35, today. Not the juxtaposition I saw in the mirror.
Even months later, as I have accepted it more and more, and all I want to do is shave it, I can’t get myself to do it again. I recently, because I am still not “just ok” with it all, did a poll on instagram to see what people preferred, my grown hair even with thinning spots or shaved. 90% voted grown out hair, even with the thinning spot, citing youth as main reason.(even though I think that actually makes me look older) But the general jist was I look younger with hair.
And I don’t disagree. But to me shaving it off means more than a statement, or balding, it is a way to wash my head clean of this constant reminder, however small it may be, or even if it is only visible to me, that it is happening I feel the need to embrace it to move forward with it. To empower myself to not have these shitty feelings which are uniformly the same with many men who have had long hair most of their lives. The one thing I totally missed when I shaved it was getting a haircut. I loved sitting in the chair and having that clean cut.
So again I sit here, my hair semi grown back after a summer of shaved, debating if I want to have that spot on the back of my scalp show up in photos as lighter than the rest of my head and see the front of my heads hair wispy and unable to grow the same lengths as the surrounding hair everyday in the mirror, or just take off a few years of “Youth” but giving me more strength mentally. To be totally honest I mostly wear a hat when I know I need to be seen from that angle now.
Society is a piece of shit. We are not accepting of the process of aging. Shit I am not even that old yet, I just happen to get this right at this moment in my life. We are the only creatures to understand everyone gets older, yet we cling to “youth” in the strangest ways. Ways that make you uncomfortable to even have the conversation about. Only accepting age if it defies the odds or is a meme. Uncontrollable things like hair are held on pedestals.
While I have time to decide my hairs ultimate fate, I sit here uncomfortable, but still trying to make peace with it. For those of you who like me didn’t have a support system, know you aren’t crazy, your freak out is normal, and you are still awesome. And no I am not the Rock or Jason Statham 🙂 So stop with that shit. We all have to go through this our own ways. But we are all going through it more alike than we know. And I am glad to know I am not alone after the experiences so far. I just hope I can be strong enough to decide what is best for me, regardless of anyone else’s opinion. Because that is the sexiest look for a person, self confidence.
Even sharing this is tough, because I have to admit it is real.
In a world where anxiety is overused as “I have so much to do today, I have so much anxiety”
When you are trying to explain to someone how you have clinical anxiety, such as ptsd anxiety, it can be a real challenge. Let alone if you are prescribed medication for the anxiety. (The medication which just makes you not have anxiety, no feeling weird, acting different, just something to bring the cortisol levels to normal.)
But in relationships or when dating, especially new ones, it is hard to get this information to your partner. They might not understand what it means, they may feel like they might have to walk on egg shells with you or think perhaps you just have too much work to do and are feeling “stress”. So you try to explain it, and it just gets messy, as if you are explaining some crazy disease that they can catch and forces you to be no fun ever.
Recently I got off all anxiety medication to see how I did without it after 15 years with a doctor’s help. Well turns out, I truly need it. So I am now back on it but a different dose because it added up and got pretty bad for a month or two. So as I actively work on balancing out my brain again, proactively doing things to be a better human, I feel judged.
I feel judged when my erection at 35 doesn’t fully meet expectations occasionally.
I feel judged when I have to take my medication.
I feel judged because I know how much I need and having to take a little more because of mitigating circumstances at this very moment is rough because I don’t like taking drugs in general.
And heaven forbid you get sexual and the drug counteracts your bodies natural ability to perform as well, they think you don’t like them. WHAT?! Why can’t you listen to my words and hear my reactions. Why must this damn dick of mine that can’t stay hard for 4 hours straight be the gauge for sexual pleasure and attraction?
I’ve even looked into viagra, because I didn’t want to disappoint someone who didn’t understand how this shit works. Suddenly this person who I was enjoying my night with, had reversed their insecurities about my openness of actually liking them enough to stick my dick inside them to making me feel as though, an involuntary reaction due to my own self care, was my fault. Which doesn’t help performance, when you are feeling judged harder now. (hehe harder) Now mind you it is rare when it happens but when you are on a higher dose of medication it can happen. And you just feel like crap because you are enjoying the moment, loving the feelings, but your body is just reacting to a medicine. Something you have had to come to grips with, but sometimes when dating, the other person just doesn’t get it.
I often feel as though explaining to someone that I have anxiety is explaining to someone I am missing a limb or I am broken. The understanding of true anxiety and not the generalized form synonymous with stress is not something people really understand. And if they do understand it, and they too suffer from it, they think, hmmm perhaps we can’t work together because I need someone who can take care of me and since he has it, he is incapable.
There are so many misconceptions and stigmas and projections when you tell someone you have anxiety and take medication for it, it is baffling.
For me I know this: I experimented with doctor supervision what I could and couldn’t do with my brain chemistry and now I am taking the active role to make sure I am a functioning human of society. This should be commendable. This should be something I am proud of. And if there was no one else around, I would be. But those judgement moments make it all kinda hard.
Memories came flashing back today of snow days as a child. The rush when the phone would ring in early in the morning hours. Waiting to hear if you mom would walk to your room to say “Snow day” or “Delayed opening”. One of these was awesome, one of these was dreaded haha.
Then I thought about it more and realized, holy crap, a snowday meant I would sleep a little bit longer, but ultimately, I would put on my snow pants and wrap up to go outside and eat snow mounds and build snowmen with my friends, or make forts and try to catch a slick snow sliding wave.
What it didn’t mean: logging onto anything, looking at a smart anything, checking social anything, taking a selfie of any sort.
This then reminded me of the first time I did get a cell phone and how it was used: To call someone to plan where and when to meet.
Which then reminded me of when I actually got my first phone that texted, and how I hated it for anything more than “see you at 2 here”
Which then reminded me of when I first got social media and just didn’t get it. Why would anyone want a “status update” while I took a shit?
To this day, I still hate texting, I still hate social media updates, and I still miss waking up without it all, just worrying if it will be a delayed opening versus a full on snow day.
My name is Tristan and I am a photographer/director and hopeful romantic. I am here sharing my writing, a journal entry to myself with the intent of others reading it. I talk in a very open stream of consciousness. Feel free to get lost.