Just Another Offensive Political Post

Back during the election, back around the time where I was conflicted about going for Hilary Clinton despite the fact I thought she was terrible at the job because at least maybe she would have been better than the other option, the decision was made very quickly for me over her emails. It was simple. She toed a line that she shouldn’t have. I understood that. I understood that voting for someone who was already questionably fit for a job despite a system seemingly rigged in her favor, wasn’t an option. I couldn’t elect someone that was at least a borderline potential criminal. That would be a slap in the face to the office, I felt. Being president means representing the American people and I wanted someone who would honor the office. Who would be a positive representation of our people. Who would display strength. Who wanted to change the political climate of America, a country about to implode. And she wasn’t it.

But then, there was Donald Trump. I had dismissed him long ago as a shady businessman who really had no place even in the running for office. Who spent more time writing Tweets at a lower ELA standard than my 6 year old could write. I thought he was a criminal, along the same lines as Hilary, and also felt he was completely unfit for the presidency. We may have forgotten that Hilary may or may not got away with her crimes, but the same people willing to chase her with pitchforks have seemed to disappear now. “Her crimes, her ineptitude, made her unfit to be president”. I argue that the same is true of President Trump. You know what innocent people don’t do? Lie. They don’t deflect. They don’t turn everything around. They cooperate. Remember when people were getting shot by the police, and they would argue “If they have nothing to hide, if they are innocent, why run?” Again, the same principle applies here. If you are innocent and this is just a witch hunt, why hide?

Do I think he colluded with Russia to win an election? Let’s face it, election meddling is a more common practice than we’d like to think. But I’m not entirely sure I believe he knowingly colluded, though his staff may very well have. What I do think is that maybe people knew he was shady and guilty of a lot of crimes that no one paid attention to until he was elected, and Russia decided “Chaos shall reign in America”. To put someone like that in office, would create such an ideological divide in the country that could easily take us down. To weaken us. (Maybe I’m a bit of a tin-hatter here, I concede.) Whether that last conspiracy theory I mentioned is crazy or not, you can’t deny that this plan would have worked as intended.

There is a sharp contrast that Republicans should take note of here. President Bush and his father loved their country. You may not have agreed with their politics and thought that their approach was misguided, but they genuinely thought that they were doing the right thing for their people, the American people. That is why they are admired today, and why President Bush was mourned by this country. President Trump doesn’t love his country. He loves himself. He loves his name. He’s about selling out venues and being talked about, even negatively. It’s a toddler mentality. Even negative attention is still attention. Did any family I know personally benefit from the tax plan? Unless we’re going to get some great refund at tax time, nope. I was able to buy a package of more expensive toilet paper with the extra $10 in our paycheck ($5 a week, since we get paid bi-weekly). I’m not better off by his policies. But I’m willing to bet his family is greatly benefiting from it.

We can’t be selective in which crimes we ignore and which ones we are willing to riot over. If you were passive over any crimes Hilary maybe had part in but screaming from rooftops about Trump’s, you are part of the problem. Criminals shouldn’t be treated so differently from people who commit similar crimes. Why did Brock Turner get 3 months in prison when he was caught in the act of sexual assault, but even a less privileged white man could get at least double that without any proof? If President Trump isn’t guilty, this investigation shouldn’t bother him. He should welcome it to clear his name. Wasn’t that what they all said about Hilary? I can’t even keep track anymore.

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When Your Childhood Offends

Recently, there has been a take-down of some of the classics that we 80’s children grew up with. Let’s recap. Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving is an obviously display of racism. Rudolph, with the Island of Misfit Toys, glorifies being a bully. An iconic song from Little Mermaid disregards consent. (Let’s be fair here: you could argue that the original story glorifies suicide. Horrifically violent suicide.) There’s probably more but honestly, I don’t care. Honestly, I think it’s a little ridiculous and people obviously have way too much time on their hands. I think this has less to do with the culture becoming newly “woke” and more to do with the culture just likes to complain a hell of a lot more.

Everyone’s interpretation is different. I’m a person that feels that if you are offended by something, you have every right to be offended. Do I think these things can be a little silly at times? Sure, there seems to be a lot of insanity. Does that mean everything needs to change? Depends. It all depends on the offensive thing in question. I have an excellent example of what I mean. One Christmas, someone I knew got a set of stuffed animals based on the Island of Misfit Toys. The said person in question watched this stupid show all of the time. Was the gift made in jest as well as because they genuinely thought he’d like the gift because of his fondness for the show? Yes. Did the recipient of said gift get offended and pissed off for the rest of the holiday season, and still seemingly holds a grudge over this? Oh you can bet your butt on that one.

When news broke out about this iconic classic now being offensive for it’s treatment of the outcasts, was he the first in line to agree with this move? Nope. It was suddenly “what’s so offensive about this movie?” and complaining about people being snowflakes. His mind didn’t change on whether or not the gift was originally offensive, but suddenly the media that he favors told him that being offended over this show was stupid. He was simultaneously offended and not offended over the same exact thing.

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t have the world just cater to your every offense. There are certain things that will always be offensive. I am someone who isn’t easily offended, but I know where that line is and I am very careful not to go too far over it. Being offended for the sake of being offended because someone is telling you that it is offensive? That’s not how it works. Now if say Santa was doing the Hitler salute and talking about mass genocide, that would be offensive. That would obviously make the show something that we should just forget about. But in Rudolph, the outcasts save the day. There’s a valuable lesson in there. Sure, these characters were bullied. Sure, they could have told everyone to screw off and not save the day. But they overcame, they refused to go low, and they came out the heroes in the end. It isn’t about encouraging bullying; it’s about overcoming it and becoming a stronger version of yourself without caring what those other people thought of you. They were wrong. You are still awesome. That’s the moral of the story. (I should point out that I despise “Rudolph”, “Frosty”, “Charlie Brown” and anything Christmas or Disney related, so this is a completely unbiased perspective on this.)

It’s all about perspective though, isn’t it? It’s how we interpret what we see and read. That’s the big problem with religion. Not one group of people interpret the bible (or any other divine text) in the same manner, which is why you get so many sects of the same broad group of religions. Because racist homophobes want to interpret the bible in a manner that rationalizes their hate, doesn’t mean the bible is bad and everyone who reads it are terrible people. It just means the ones who interpret it that way are, and the same goes with every other religion out there. A classroom could read a book, and everyone in the room including the teacher may not exactly agree on what they took away from it. Because it’s perspective.

Instead of telling people how they should think or feel, maybe we should listen more. As the saying goes “God gave us 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason”. I’m not sure why people are so hostile to each other; to the idea of having a reasonable debate on a topic that doesn’t result in a screaming match. You’d be surprised at what you could learn from another perspective.

Failure Confirmed

I never once in my adult life ever thought that my parents found me to be a disappointment, something that shamed them. Every teenager thinks that about their parents, that they’ll never be good enough. But when you mature and realize that they were just trying to mold you into the best you that you could be, you get over that. But when it was suggested that I may be a disappointment or embarrassment to them, I crumbled and I crumbled really freaking hard. Even as an adult, no child wants to hear that your parents are ashamed of you.

I was weak enough to ask the question to my mom. I don’t normally give in, but I admit my mental state is always shakier around Christmastime. She scoffed and was genuinely offended at the notion that she would be disappointed in me when I dropped off the kids so I could go Christmas shopping. I was on a tight schedule so I didn’t get around to hear her finish her statement. My father wasn’t in the room at the time, but I have a feeling the idea was just as silly to him as it was to my mother. I wish I could say that made me feel better, but I spiraled. I spiraled hard. I thought about about giving up. I thought about settling for a life that would have made me miserable. Was I doing everything wrong in my life? I questioned every single decision I have ever made.

I quickly started alternating between what I could only describe as blind rage and rock-bottom depression. Normally when I discuss feeling like a failure, it isn’t an actual feeling. I use it in a derisive manner. I don’t really think I’m failing, though there are brief moments that I do blame myself for things I have no control over. But this was different. Maybe I wasn’t doing everything right. Maybe I was a disappointment to everyone in my life. It was hard. It was very hard to deal with. I didn’t cry though. I think I have successfully went full ice-queen.

What made me a failure? The decision my husband and I made for me to stay home and be there for the kids while doing something I loved to do. Something my husband fully believes I can do. My husband thinks I’m immensely talented and honestly, that should be enough. He thinks I’m talented enough to support me through this journey. My “doing this silly writing thing” and “staying home” was what my family was disappointed in me for doing. How ashamed they must feel to have a daughter like me, squandering my intelligence and abilities in the way I have chosen to. As if I’m the secret daughter my mother doesn’t talk about because I have shamed her so. I brought the plague upon my family because I was such a failure in life.

I wish I could say that I was feeling okay about this now. That it still didn’t sting. That I didn’t hear those words swirling about my head as I try to move forward, doing whatever I can to further my career. I can’t. But I can say that it won’t break me and that’s really enough for me today.

The Appropriate Adult Response

It’s hard when you think you are being judged, even if it may be all in your head. The idea of being the perfect mom and wife tends to conflict with the actual realities of the situation. You try to do it all and even when you get through 90% of your self-inflicted to-do list, there always seems to be that one person that reminds you of what you didn’t accomplish during the day. Then it’s the last 10% that you failed at that makes you crazy. That you obsess over.

It was that 10% that led me to the place where I sat on my kitchen floor amidst a pile of Lysol wipes that I’m allergic to, hands covered in rashes, having a mental breakdown in the middle of my kitchen. That’s an appropriate adult response, right? It’s all of those little things that accumulate into one massive meltdown on a random day. A day which I wish I could have said was a long time ago, because I’ve realized that I’m never going to be a “Supermom”. I’ve made peace with my place of mediocrity in the place of moms. But no… this was yesterday. Even after accepting my mediocrity in a lot of things in life, I’m still sitting here with “Unsteady” by X-Ambassadors and “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men on repeat lamenting over my perceived failures of the past month, year, forever. The voices of people in my head, reiterating how badly I suck at things. With every worry sitting on my chest, making me think that I can’t breathe.

It was a rough day. One I had to pull together because it was my oldest son’s 16th birthday. Was my oldest hitting this milestone a catalyst for my breakdown? I wish I could say. Was it watching my son get screamed at for waiting with his friends on a sidewalk before school, then watching him run anxiously in the back of the schoolyard? Was it the realization that I definitely wasn’t going to finish NaNoWriMo, thus solidifying my fears that I suck at writing and need to quit? The thing about snapping is it’s always a snowball of a dozen events that end up causing a blizzard.

It doesn’t matter that I did complete nearly 30,000 words of the 50,000 word challenge, which may seem respectable. It was a failure to me. It doesn’t matter that my house was “decent looking”, I failed to make it museum worthy. I burned some onions while making sausage, peppers, and onions for supper. Maybe I should quit cooking? Maybe I have been wrong my entire life about everything?

That’s the whole thing though, isn’t it? Other people make us feel like our best is never going to be good enough. That comment about your house looking like a jungle is something that you obsess over until you start believing that you are less than. When people put you down because of your job. When people point out your single flaw, you obsess and destroy your sanity over it. You don’t need to tell another mom how you think they are failing and telling them about how they could be better. Trust me, they already know.

Why? Why do we always do this to ourselves as moms? What lesson does that teach our kids? How can we tell our kids, who are having anxiety attacks because they think they are failures or broken, that they are perfect despite the fact we think those things about ourselves?

You have to be okay with yourself. As long as you are doing the best that you can every second of the day, then maybe it’s okay that everyone views you as some mediocre mom. You’re never going to be perfect. Sometimes being supermom is just about being super good at what your kids need and want, not what you think everyone else thinks you should be doing.

The Thanksgiving Spirit

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Mine was full of family and there’s nothing more I could ask for.

The Thanksgiving spirit is the topic of today’s post. Why am I talking about the Thanksgiving spirit after the holiday has passed? First of all, Christmas has started to even encroach upon my favorite holiday of Halloween. As much as I despise the holiday, it should get a month just like Halloween and Thanksgiving should get. 1 month is all you need for 1 holiday. There isn’t a war on Christmas, there’s a war on every other holiday that isn’t Christmas and I won’t stand for it. You don’t need to start putting out Christmas stuff 2 months early. You deserve the blizzard. /endrant

The point wasn’t for me to go on a tangent about my dislike for Christmas and it’s encroachment on other well-deserving holidays. To be fair, I’m not even a huge fan of Thanksgiving. For those of you who haven’t sworn me off yet, let’s continue. The point is about what the holidays are about. This is a time for kindness because if you’re not going to be kind for the rest of the year, this is the one time a year that you should focus on being a better human being for at least a few months. This is the time to give back to those who aren’t as fortunate as you are. The holiday spirit is about bringing light into other people’s lives, doing selfless acts for at least a month or 2 out of the year.

As I was looking through social media, I was happy to see those special moments from families. The pictures of adorable babies enjoying their first Thanksgiving. The meals that people had slaved over to serve their loved ones. People posting about the things they are thankful for. It was awesome to see. It was uplifting and grand.

Then… there were the other posts. Sites like Occupy Democrats, which I still have no idea why they keep appearing on my new feed, show up pushing an agenda. Some people on my friends list? Also posting pushing agendas. This is Thanksgiving. This isn’t the time to further divide; it’s the time to come together. That is the type of behavior I find more unacceptable than listening to people yell at me for refusing to participate on Black Friday.

Think before you post. Think to yourself: “Is this appropriate to post today?” In fact, you should think that every time you consider posting something on the internet. I have a challenge that I’d like to suggest. Starting today until the start of the New Year, try not posting something antagonistic. Don’t put people down. Let divisive language and politics die. Choose not to judge someone vocally. Don’t pick fights with anonymous people online. Break the habit so starting the New Year, we can start anew. Imagine the change that could happen. Imagine how much nicer the world would be.

Happy Thanksgiving

I don’t get days off, but don’t expect some long and poignant post today. Well, maybe you shouldn’t expect that most days. Today is Thanksgiving, a day that people set aside in hopes that it makes them feel grateful for everything that they have for at least one day a year. It’s a day that politics should be left out of. I’m sure Halloween has pretty gruesome history behind it, still going to celebrate that. It’s not about the past; it’s about where we move forward.

I’m thankful for every day. I’m thankful for my beautiful boys. I’m thankful for their successes and their struggles, because both make me a better mother and human. I’m thankful for my supportive family, who’s always there when I need them the most. I’m thankful for my husband, who always lifts me up when it feels like everyone else wants to take me down. I’m thankful that I have a house, food, and loved ones. I have a lot to be thankful of, which I’m very thankful for every day. We don’t need a single day to be grateful. We should be grateful every day.

If you are lucky enough to spend the day with family, remember how lucky you are. If you are working today, putting your life on the line to ensure the safety of others, thank you for your service. We are thinking of you, grateful for your selflessness. If you aren’t fortunate enough to be with family, be with the family you choose. Blood doesn’t mean family. Love does.

Happy Thanksgiving and remember the lessons of today every day of your life. Even in darkness, there is something to be grateful for.

The Feeling of Impending Failure

Life happens. I just wish it didn’t happen right smack in the middle of NaNoWriMo. At the beginning of this, despite a strong start, I battled with an unbeatable bout of writer’s block. Then that faded into the first plague of the season hitting our house. Then it went into our furnace dying and not having heat for nearly a week. It was one thing or another that seems to be interfering with it. Admittedly, I have been my own worst enemy here. I went in hesitant about the story. Not that I don’t believe that it’s a good premise or a great way to get out of my comfort zone when it comes to my other novels. I doubt myself.

I never wrote in the horror genre because I’m not a huge horror person. I love thrillers. My favorites tend to be in the Japanese horror genre, especially “The Ring”. I have the 3 books and they were fantastic. Aside from those, I have read horror novels since I was a kid where I loved reading Lois Duncan or the “Fear Street” series. Somewhere I lost my passion for that genre. Even today, I enjoy a good psychological thriller sometimes. I don’t want to be slapped in the face with the gore of someone’s intestine being ripped apart or people’s faces being sewn to another person’s butt. I want to be scared because the movie got into my head, not haunting me with disgusting visuals.

My husband is my biggest supporter. Even as things look grim for me completing this year’s NaNoWriMo, he keeps picking me up. “You’ve beat worse writing deadlines before… like every other year you compete.” He’s the forever optimistic, always looking at the positives even as we’re bundled in our winter clothes in our house hoping that a miracle will happen. Me? I’m the forever pessimist that gets enough of a wind from him that ends up pushing me through because for a few brief moments, I feel unstoppable because of him. When I’m not cursing him for suggesting this topic and pushing me to finally write a horror. He isn’t the only one of my family and extended family pushing for a horror novel from me. They believe that I can write something that isn’t total crap. I’m not sure I do.

We have 10 days out for NaNoWriMo. Fortunately with the holiday, I’ll get at least 2 solid uninterrupted days of working on this. If I manage at least a few thousand words each day, I can absolutely do this with time to spare. I just need to push through and hope for the best. Or at least come out with some of my remaining sanity.