Category Archives: America

the burdens we carry

It isn’t often that I feel helpless or useless. It isn’t often that I feel like a burden, either.

(My post today is ironic when compared to the last, but I guess that just goes to show how the tides can change for someone who is bipolar.)

It is amazing how someone can seem so calm and unworried on the surface, but be a ball of stress within. It can be even more amazing when someone shows you that anxiety and cracks the facade that they keep at all other times.

My husband is a remarkably strong man. He works without complaint to be the sole provider of our family, but I never realized until yesterday how much that eats at him. He has an amazing amount of ambition, but that ambition may be more of a burden than a gift.

And this is where I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. There is so much that he wants for our lives, but there is nothing that I can really do to help at this point. Yesterday we talked about everything, and he said that he had a lot of goals to meet before we reach 30. The first and largest stressor right now is finding a new job closer to his parents. He misses his family, and if we move closer to the East Coast, we will be able to be a bigger help to his parents. There is so much more that he wants, too. He wants to buy a house, he wants to be at the top of his career, he wants to be settled and secure with everything we need and want. That leaves five years, and he is worried that he won’t meet his goals.

“How can I help?” I asked, “What can I do to take some of this from your shoulders?” I asked if I should find a way to go back to work, but he said that it was all on him.

I have to ask myself if I am part of the problem. Did I give the impression that I need all those things? Did I put those burdens on him? That makes me sick to my stomach with guilt. I never imagined myself as a materialistic person, but a materialistic person is the exact kind that would add those types of hardships on their loved one.

Maybe there is something to this. But who can blame us for wanting to own our home? Who can blame us for wanting to stop making someone else rich by paying their mortgage plus some? Who can blame us for wanting the same regular goals of most people?

I don’t know how I can help my husband. I am a student, I have a 4 year old still at home, and daycare just isn’t worth the cost. Working on an opposite schedule than him seems like it would only drive a wedge between us. Honestly, I won’t be worth a damn until I can finish with my business degree and start a lucrative business, and that is a big MAYBE. Even then, I will have a boatload of student debt to pay off.

I wish that I could skip 4 years in the future, when my debt is paid and my cafe is open. I want to take those burdens from him. I want to become successful so that he doesn’t feel like it all rides on him. Is this so wrong?

This is where the different sides of me collide in an all out war. Part of me is shallow and wants all of those nice things for us, and the other part of me is absolutely disgusted. I want to be that progressive person that wastes little, wants little, and finds happiness with what they have. I want my children to be appreciative of all they have and realize that they are richer than they know. So, where is the happy medium?

I know that accumulating things will not bring us happiness, but I do think that it might bring us comfort. Without the stress of daily life, without having to worry about bills getting paid and food bought, we may be able to enjoy the little things more.

I am still at a loss for how I can help now. Maybe the answer lies in budgeting like crazy or becoming a coupon fanatic. Maybe having a little more in savings will ease his troubles.

I have to do something, because I feel like I am the root of the problem. Though I rarely spend money on myself, there are always things that I want for the family. I have become materialistic, and it adds to the burdens he carries. I don’t want to be that person, I don’t want to be that wife.

(Luis Quiles)

Adulthood feels like an obsession with money. Need it for everything in American life. Don’t have enough of it. Need to get more of it.

How do I help carry his burdens without becoming a slave to money?

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we are letting the media spark racial war.

For the last five years, I have stopped watching the news. Why? It became blatantly obvious to me how the media will manipulate a situation to make it more scandalous, and I just couldn’t stomach it. The problem is that most Americans do not feel the same way, and their reaction to the stories on fuels the media outlets.

I do, however, pay attention to a lot of off-beat activist news sites and foreign news sites that cover the happenings here in the U.S. But even the sites I thought were unbiased and trustworthy held a similar headline when Michael Brown was shot: “White cop shoots unarmed Black teen.”

Before you get me wrong, I do not see that type of headline as biased for any reason other than every news outlet felt it was necessary to sensationalize the fact the the officer was White and the victim was Black. For every headline in any situation these days, it feels like race is always a factor. I long for a day when race will not matter at all, because I think that is what the Civil Rights leaders before my time had actually intended.

The purpose of the Civil Rights movement was not just to give one group of people the same rights as another group, but to erase color of skin and race as a factor at all. The problem with our society is that we constantly isolate ourselves into different groups based on our characteristics. We are Black, White, Hispanic, Male, Female, Straight, Gay, Bisexual, Democratic, Republican, Lower Class, Middle Class… and a million other labels that do not include the most important one: We are human.

I have been called naive for quoting the interview above multiple times when the topic of racism comes up. I am the “privileged white girl” or “racist ignorant” or something else just as equally hateful. But the truth is that people are uncomfortable with the idea of living without labels, because it is so much easier to place others in neat little manageable categories.

Here are some facts about the Ferguson case: In 2012, the city of Ferguson had higher violent crime rates and property crime rates than the national average (http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Ferguson-Missouri.html). It is more than likely that it was not a case of race at all. 

This is not to say that it is not an issue of bad judgment by a young officer. He was five years on the job in a crime-ridden area. From the number of shots fired, and his reaction to being punched, it could be surmised that he was entirely too nervous to be working as an officer at all. This means that he just didn’t have to courage needed to do the job correctly, which led to a very, very bad judgment call. His quick decision led to the death of a young man who, although engaging in criminal acts prior to his death, could have turned his life around in the future. Just because Wilson is White and Brown was Black does not mean that race was a factor in Wilson’s actions. Michael Brown’s death is tragic because he will never have a second chance to live a good life and this is what the media has swept under the rug to keep us manipulated.

The public outrage, however, may be one of the worst parts of all of this. The Ferguson riots brought untold damage, and the subsequent riots across the nation were just as destructive to the memory of Michael Brown. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how burning down buildings, shooting into crowds, killing a witness, shutting down highways, destroying city property, and looting retail stores will bring any justice or peace for Michael Brown.

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All these acts do is perpetuate bad stereotypes for Black people because that is exactly who is shown by the Media as being the aggressors. Black Lives Matter? Why do not all lives matter?

This video… he says a lot of important things about the situation.

What people fail to realize is that there are awful individuals on both sides of the law. Yes, there has been police brutality. But there are so many kind and brave acts of police officers on the opposition. There are also awful people on the civilian side; people that good, upstanding officers have to come into contact with all of the time.

And then there are these type of people. The type of people who will exploit a tragic death to gain anything that they can. This includes Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who only work to incite more anger and hate between Blacks and Whites.

This entire thing is sad. Nothing is being fixed when the divide just continues to widen. We need to realize that our humanity is the most important characteristic to hold on to. We also need to stop allowing the media to dictate our response. As Blacks are featured as the most violent protesters, the views will only perpetuate stereotypes. Stop allowing the media to widen the racial divide. Stop the violence. Stop the genocide occurring within the race. And stop forgetting that ALL LIVES MATTER.