My brain is rumpled today. Now, that’s not unusual for me, but I’m feeling it extra today, and I don’t know why. Well, that’s not entirely true. Part of it is the horrible fiasco that is the American Congress voting to proceed on the reprehensible kill Obamacare bill–that isn’t even written yet. The Republicans keep sinking lower and lower, and there isn’t anything we can do about it. Let me rephrase that. We can protest and march and make a big stink, but if the Republicans hold firm, it won’t mean jack or shit.
I’m so tired. And so many of my online friends are tired as well. We’re angry, yes, but the rage is wrapped in layers of weariness, depression, and hopelessness. I’ve talked before about the weirdly American mentality of positivity when there’s no tangible reason to be positive. You can see it in most of our pop culture where the good guy wins in the end, and the bad guys are inevitably vanquished. That’s not the real world, and I’m very much afraid that the good guys are in dire trouble right now.
I’ve decided to add another social media-free day, and it’s going to be Wednesday (which is today by the time this is posted). I feel better when I’m not compulsively scrolling through my timeline on Twitter or my feed on Facebook. Huh. Alliteration. Cool. It’s weird how social media makes me feel simultaneously connected with the world and alienated from it. I’ve talked about it before, so I’ll move on.
My parents are coming for their yearly visit in a week, and I know that’s one reason I’m feeling worse than usual. Even though our relationship is better now than it ever has been, it’s still fraught with tension because we are so different from each other. Also, family history shit that hasn’t been resolved yet, but everyone has to deal with that. There’s also the culture divide as they’re Taiwanese, and I’m American, as much as I wish I weren’t. It doesn’t help that English is their third language, and it’s my only.
I’m rejiggering my taiji practice to make it more effective. I’ve decided to only do the weight set twice a week because I’m increasing my sword practice. As I’m learning the sword energies, it’s quite the workout, and I don’t feel the need to do the weight set as much. In addition, I’m working on making sure I keep my shoulders down because I’ve twinged my right shoulder, and my teacher noticed I’m raising it unnecessarily. That puts strain on the shoulder, as does all they typing I do. This is something that should be second nature to me, but bad habits can linger way too long.
I’ve also realized that I’m a say no first, think about it later kind of gal, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. What do I mean by that? When I’m told some new information, my instinct is to disbelieve it. Then, I’ll research it and make up my own mind about it. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to be disbelieving, and I have valid reasons for being that way, but I have to be careful that my mind isn’t too closed. It’s the same with all the refinements/changes my teacher has been showing us (for the Solo Form, designed by her teacher). When my teacher shows them to me, I immediately think, “Ugh, no.” Then, I’ll go practice them, and eventually accept/embrace them. There are still a few I actively don’t like, but most of them have become old hat to me by now. I will say there were a few I immediately liked, but not many.
I’m struggling in general with finding a line between being healthily skeptical and being a knee-jerk contrarian. I don’t have any sage words of wisdom of how to do that because I always err on the side of knee-jerk, but I just wanted to note I’m working on it. I will say I prefer to be an inherent skeptic, especially in the era of the internet, because there is so much bullshit out there. The internet is so vast, which is both the best and the worst thing about it.
I’m a huge Hamilton fan, but I’ve been burned out on it lately. It’s one of the downsides to having obsessive/compulsive traits–consuming something until nothing is left. However, I recently got back into it and listened to the mixtape for the first time. I really dig it, and I’d like to highlight a few of my faves. First of all, Wait For It from the original is quite possibly my favorite song. I was highly skeptical when I saw that Usher was the one singing it, but I think he did a solid job. Next, I took a quiz about what is your theme song from Hamilton, and I got Satisfied, which I think is surprisingly apt. On the mixtape, it’s done by Sia, featuring Miguel and Queen Latifah. I already thought Sia* had a fantastic voice–girl can SANG–and I love the Queen, so I was already predisposed to like the remix. It’s fantastic, by the way.
I also learned to really love Immigrants (We Get the Job Done). I thought it was ‘eh’ the first time I heard it, but by the third or fourth time, I was hooked. I also think it’s very apt right now and exactly what we need to hear. The whole mixtape is tight, and I highly recommend it.
I feel like I’m running out of time, and I don’t know why. Well, I do know why. I’m forty-six and have nothing to show for my life. If I died tomorrow, there might be a dozen people who actually are affected by it. What legacy am I going to leave? Is it going to matter if I lived and died? Not really. I mean, it’s true for most people, but it’s sobering to realize.
Another thing that is bringing me down is a story I heard on MPR the other day. They were talking to man from Homer about a proposed resolution. Again, I came in late, but what I surmised from what I heard was that the resolution was about allowing refugees or some such. The man they interviewed admitted he’d never paid attention to the news, but decided to do his homework before the resolution had to be passed or not. He said he was aware of his biases, but tried to go in with an open mind. But, he also said NYT and WaPo were not reliable, and that he was afraid the BBC would have a liberal bias. Then, when he went in to give his testimony, the first ‘news media’ website he quoted was…Breitbart.
I’m depressed because this guy was clearly a decent man, and he wanted to do the right thing. He did what we tell people to do–research the topic, but the problem is (and this goes back to my comment above about the internet), there’s so much information on the internet, and it can be difficult to sift through the chaff to find the wheat. In addition, the fact that this man said he knew his own biases but still couldn’t see the true depth of those biases–it’s just fucking depressing.
In addition, I don’t give a shit about what rural white dudes think. I just don’t. The outside number of stories on them since the last election and the admonishment that we elite liberals have to understand them has irritated the fuck out of me. I do understand them! I’ve fucking lived around them all my goddamn fucking life! Why the fuck don’t they have to understand us? I’ve railed about this before, and I know the answer, but it’s still galling to tell the people being oppressed that they have to reach out to their oppressors. Gah.
I can’t. I just can’t. I’m depressed beyond belief, and, yes, there’s rage as well, but it’s paralyzed by the hopelessness. I can’t get fired up. I can’t think I’ll make a difference. It doesn’t feel at all true. Anything I do is meaningless. That’s my lot in life.
*I like Cheap Thrills unironically.