Tag Archives: life

we rise and we fall

I’m wading through it, chickens.

I start and stop writing. I get angry. I get sad.

I go on unproductive rants on Twitter, which end in trolls telling me I’m a stupid hoe.

That Chicago is a terrible, unsafe place and it’s because of our liberal mayor or because we have minorities here.

I feel hopeless, about the state of all this.

I read Llama, Llama sixteen times to my kids and feel slightly better.

It’s a cycle.

Here’s the thing.

We all woke up to a terrible thing yesterday morning.

It wasn’t the first time we’ve seen a headline with an unbelievable story- a mass shooting.

It’s becoming believable. We’re becoming numb.

We’ll say pray for the victims, we’ll throw up an #{insert name of town}strong hashtag, throw some money at a GoFundMe page, and walk through the next few days in a fog.

And then we’ll start to move on, because we’re humans.

People say “we need time to grieve” and I get that, I promise that I do, but we cannot afford to lose this anger.

We let someone shoot up an elementary school and we changed nothing. We looked their parents in the eyes, and as a collective society we said hey my right to own a gun is more important that the life of your baby.

If someone said that to your face, would you accept it?

Not the moms and dads I know. They wouldn’t.

I’m working so hard on my language because Theo’s picking up on it, but luckily he can’t read yet, so what the fuck, you guys?

If you buy a gun through the secondary market in this country, you still may not need a background check.

You can own 19 guns legally, and if you’re white, and not a criminal, we’ll say hey it’s his second amendment right.

Yesterday I read that “In 36 states, there are no legal requirements for gun registration, no permit needed and no license necessary to purchase and own a firearm such as a rifle, shotgun, or handgun. Due to the lack of these regulations, as well as the ease with which many Americans can purchase guns online or at gun shows, most guns in the United States are not registered.”

I don’t think the founders of this country meant any of this when they came up with the second amendment.

The vast majority of Americans, Republican and Democrats, believe in common sense gun control. We believe in background checks (and closing the loopholes that make it legal to not get one). We believe you shouldn’t own several machine guns. We believe that if you’re severely mentally ill, we shouldn’t let you buy a gun.

But we let the NRA and the gun lobbyists control our Congress with their wallets. We let the NRA convince us that the government’s out to get us, to take away our freedom.

You know what takes away our freedom? Domestic terrorists shooting up our schools or our movie theaters or our public concert space.

Over 600 people are killed or hurt by what happened in Las Vegas.

And those are only the ones who got shot.

What about the freedom to peace of mind of all the other people who were there that night?

What about their families?

What about the first responders and the nurses and the doctors?

Don’t we all deserve the freedom to be safe in our own communities?

If your right to have a gun in your home, which is probably not going to protect you anyway, is more important to you than the right of us all to be safe, I’m going to have a hard time reconciling with you on this issue.

There was one mass shooting in Australia and the people sprung to action. The government launched a massive campaign to buy back guns from citizens. Gun regulations tightened.

You know what happened?

There hasn’t been a mass shooting in Australia since.

If we had tried everything. If we had exhausted every avenue, and still we couldn’t eradicate gun violence, I would get it. I would maybe get it.

But the truth is, collectively, we haven’t tried. We’ve thrown our hands up and called it a people problem. We’ve said you can’t regulate evil. Bill O’Reilly said that this is the price of freedom.

And if it is, chickadees, I’m not interested in this kind of freedom.

I’m trying to listen to the Cory Bookers and Chris Murphys of the world this morning. I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that social change can be slow and we can’t give up.

I promise, I’m trying not to feed the trolls on Twitter.

But I will not stop to singularly grieve. There’s not time for that, chickens. Call it aware, call it woke, call it angry, but whatever you call it, grab that feeling and use it to move forward.

Use it to demand better.

Our kids deserve better.

 

 

 

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Filed under Chicago, Reflections

cool your jets.

So my friend CJ and I have worked together for like eight years.

Almost eight years.

This spans the length of time I spent at college, times two.

I find this to be an incredible amount of time to spend working in one space, with one person, but I consider that I landed with this particular lady to be one of my greatest strokes of luck.

CJ’s basically my favorite thing about work, because I always have someone to talk to, eat lunch with, or laugh beside until hot chocolate comes out of my nose.

Which is something that actually happened last week.

Work ebbs and flows, like every other thing in this life, and during a little bit of a gray moment a few weeks ago, CJ texted me about this blog, My Husband’s Tumor. CJ actually knows this woman somehow, but I cannot remember how, because I am not the best listener.

Just trying to be real.

In any case, I took a look at it the next day, and spent my lunch hour reading and crying and thinking about all the silly times that I am negative for no good reason, except that if feels good for one second and then feels terrible for all the minutes after that.

I have so much to be happy about, chickadees.

I also sent this excerpt to my poor friends, who probably think I’ve gone off the deep end, and maybe I have, but I just feel like I should share it with more people.

Our problems are not bigger or more important than someone else’s problems, they’re just our problems. You are carrying a weight that nobody else can see, and so is everyone else. 

We know that small acts of kindness reverberate into viral Facebook posts and broadcast news coverage, but we fail to see the damage done by our small acts of negativity. It spreads just as virally, a chain reaction of terrible.

What I’m trying to say, and again, this is coming from a person who has yelled at people for smoking in the parking ramp at the hospital next to a no-smoking sign as patients leave in wheelchairs, not an enlightened spiritual leader, is calm the heck down.

Take a breather. Consider each other. Consider your situation from more than one angle. Remember that our time on Earth is a tiny little blip in the history of time and that unless you are actually curing cancer or establishing world peace, your work should not be stressing you out.

Think things over. Remember that there are people in this world who are dying of thirst, right as you are about to lose your shit because there is someone who is driving on the same road as you, but slower than you’d like them to. Think it over again. 

Remember that at one point in time, I used to call my police precinct because there were literally teenagers on my lawn.

Cool your jets.

You’re happier already, aren’t you?

You guys, I’m focused on the positive this week. Keep it easy, chickadees.

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Filed under Reflections