Inrage

Oh the outrage.
People are outraged over things. Lots of things everywhere. Outrage is what’s in. Rage is in. Inrage.

There are outraged because a t-shirt could be misconstrued that is promoted by a walking dead star.

People are outraged and have created a movement against one particular group that has been doing bad things, but lumping everyone else they don’t agree with into that group, and displaying the same hateful tactics.

People are outraged over mislabeled fish, and chemical stuff and their neighbors dog.

People are outraged for other people who dgaf about the thing that is outrageous.

I’m jumping on the bandwagon.

I’m outraged at hospitals sending home sick babies to take chances with death and forcing parents to give the level of care a fully trained rn does with no training and no help.

I’m outraged that society keeps kicking it’s vulnerable down in order to keep the next in line afloat in order to keep certain other people living in  the lap of luxury.

I’m outraged that the food industry throws away billions of dollars of food away per year because it isn’t saleable and the poverty level is so high. Here and everywhere.

I’m outraged that there is a cure for some cancers that is not licensed meaning nobody owns a patent to it and because big pharmacy can’t make billions and corner the market, people are suffering and dying.

I’m outraged for all of the people in my life that are suffering from anxiety and depression because we live in a sick society that has a very uncertain fiscal and technological future. A society that has marginalized all things not fitting that system that is failing. A society that despises age and reminders of death, and puts sparkles on the trials of parent hood. 

I’m outraged at being lied to day in and day out just to sell me crap that will last just past the warranty that I didn’t need on the first place, so I can throw it into our overflowing landfills.

I’m outraged that I get more solid information from comedians than from the news. — that said I’m outraged that I have to agree with Trump.

I’m outraged because Americans are so desperate for security from the above unknowingly, have elected someone like trump because they don’t know what else to do.

We Canadians did it too. And we paid the price for it. So did our environment.

I’m outraged that what we keep asking for isn’t being done and our leaders are shirking their duties. For the sake of the next term promise.

I’m sick of entitlement. People that believe they are entitled to exorbitant wealth, objects, rights, other people’s decisions, access to other people’s bodies, freedom, life, or liberty. 

We aren’t entitled. But we are sharing this space, and seem to be pissing it up a wall between America and Mexico.  Have have a very uncertain future, and we as a global community have to take a step back and address what’s actually happening. We need to make provisions for what is already changing and prepare for what is most likely certain. 

There are two ways to lead. 

A common enemy (the enemy isn’t who you think it is)

A common goal (the goal is pretty simple)

Scratching the abyss

This is going to be a heavy post about addiction and suicide. 

For those people struggling with addiction, I have no answers. All new studies point to having love and a fulfilling life to prevent addiction, but once in the throes of addiction that community becomes a foreign place to an addict. 

As an outsider loving people who have spiraled through the event horizon of addiction, it’s a terrifying experience to behold.

After watching a person spiral in and shoot out over and over, one’s mind can go to really dark places. 

Tonight was a dark night in my mind. The differences between addiction and suicide hit me tonight.

Suicide is swift and final. There may be things left undone, unsaid or unexplained, but loved ones can grieve, and in time move forward. 
Addiction always teeters on the edge of finality holding on to a tiny thread of hope. The death of an addict is usually a slow and painful process.

One grieves a loved one that slides down the rabbit hole out of sight, but gets a glimmer of hope when the addict reaches up and cries for help.

The grief is paused. 

Then the addict slides down again.

Over and over the cycle goes until the addict destroys themselves partially or entirely. But up until the end, there is hope.

I don’t know how an addict feels during the cycle, and I refuse to ask for justification. It’s needless. I can’t force sobriety, or a fulfilling life. None of us can, it’s entirely up to an addict to make that decision.

Addiction is a sad part of society, and hopefully we can help our communities find a solution to help all who struggle with it.

I found happiness once

Years ago, I found happiness and actually had it hang around for six months or so.

Like actual happiness, I would wake up at peace and look forward to my days, there was joy every day of the week. I slept well at night and honestly can’t remember anything wrong happening at that point in my life.

It’s taken me 11 years to figure out what it was that made me so happy. Yes I had quite my job to chase my dreams to be an artist, and I got up when I was rested and wasn’t governed by clocks, or any other societal norms.

Over the years I tried and failed miserably to recreate that situation in a more stable and financially stable manner, and be truly happy again.

But I’ve come to realize that the art was a byproduct of what was actually making me happy.

I did art in a park downtown and there was always a stream of people that paraded by. In that stream there would be a random that would plop themselves down on my painting blanket and let me listen to them.

They would share a piece of life with me and I would actively listen to them and cultivate this spark, and as the conversation unfolded somehow one of the paintings I was working on would come to life. It would evolve from a bunch of colours and lines into something tangibly interesting.

I was happy because I had a fluid audience to listen to and communities with. Each fleeting micro-relationship special and entirely unique. And I thrived on experiencing the beauty and mutual vulnerability of it all. It was raw, natural and didn’t follow most social rules.

I had women and men alike, people in poverty and Versace wearers, Bikers  (yes leathers and Harleys) and the most prim and proper devout religious individuals. All hanging out on my little painting blanket, sharing life and just existing as they actually were… deep down inside, without judgement or criticism.

Obviously this lifestyle probably wouldn’t make most people happy, but it was perfect for me at that point, and I wonder if I can find a way to incorporate it back into my life now.

:D

Things I’ve learned about life (part unknown)
1. Get off the couch and do stuff. Hobbies, volunteering, travelling, LARPing. Just don’t be a couch potato.
2. Read. Voraciously about everything you can, even if it’s not your “thing”.
3. Listen to a variety of music, and be open to new tunes.
4. Push yourself hard
5. Take care of you, and love you for who you are right this moment, things change, bodies change, lives change.. it just takes time.
6. Make mistakes. Learn from them. Move on.
7. Listen. Listen to your friends, your world around you, your body and your heart. They tell the truth.
8. Success is a lie. Achievements are relative and failure is subjective.
9. Be you. The best you that you can muster. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
10. Facilitate others to also “be” and discover them as they are.
11. If you meet someone and get into a relationship, don’t stop doing the above. Period.

Risky Business

I’ve taken a lot of risks in my life… Some worked out for the better, and some for the worse.

 

For example, I ran away from home as a teen, to get away from my toxic abusive step father. I didn’t know where I was going to go, or what I was going to do, but I knew that my survival, and my freedom counted on leaving. Survival may have been more emotional and psychological, but freedom was a whole other ball of wax. I was at a point where I was actively considering assault, and I don’t know if I would have been able to stop once I started hurting him.

 

So, I took a bag with a pen, I.D.,  a writing pad, an extra set of clothes and walked out the door with the intent to never return. I trembled for the hours, not knowing what I would do, walking around and looking for answers.

 

There were none. I ended up hitchhiking and living on the streets and couch surfing for over a year. I slept in burned out building and held company with people ranging from drug dealers and hookers to sociopaths and random weirdos. Life was hard, and for some reason, living on the streets does some strange things to your head.

 

What I will give street life though, is that it’s simple. Wake up in the morning and survive. That’s it.

 

But back to risk taking. I’ve gone completely the other direction and many years after I got off of the streets, I had an opportunity to attempt to become a professional artist. I saved up three months worth of rent, food, and money for bills, and quit my shitty job, to see if I could hack it.

 

I treated my art like my job and worked ten to twelve hours a day, and in the first three months pulled in $10,000 for my troubles. I didn’t work shows, there was no commission work, I just made what I wanted, and people either bought it or didn’t, and either way it was cool.

 

I got pulled into the scene, and honestly, it didn’t seem to do me any good in regards to exposure or making money. I started doing commissions, and having deadlines and outside influences disrupting my flow, and eventually it reached a point where I wasn’t making any money and had to go back to work. (Unfortunately it’s taken almost a decade for me to realize what went wrong)

 

My jobs since then have been incredibly high pressure, stressful, chaotic, and generally have destroyed my ability to think clearly let alone have creative or critical thought. But, you do what you have to do to survive.

 

My spouse wants me to get back into I.T. and the thought actually makes me want to put a bullet into my head. It is a worse dead end job than being in retail or a barista. It burns me out in a way that I literally have no gumption to live. Which is the last thing I need right now.

 

But after boring you with little tidbits of my back story, I’m confident that you may be able to understand where I’m sitting in regards to my current predicament.

So, in July of 2014 I took on a job to try to turn around a little company that was failing, and was told at the beginning that if I couldn’t turn it around, that it was going to get shut down. At that point, I had no work, and it was a challenge.. so, I threw my hat over the fence.

 

There were two employees, that were working there and putting in time at the sister company when things were slow. One employee was a programmer, and the gig didn’t fit his aptitude. So within a week of me getting hired, he left to go back to something more suitable to his strengths.

 

Then my Grandmother who had an aggressive type of ovarian cancer took a turn for the worse. The other employee was a troublemaker and had angered almost everyone he had worked with in the sister company, and was unwelcome, so he was losing hours. Then he decided that when he was working with me he was going to get aggressive and pushy, with no skills or knowledge to back him up.

 

All the while I’m working in the office and on the field with no training and a little bully that didn’t like to work, and my grandmother was dying, bringing along with it, all the usual family stuff. By the end of August, she was dead, and I had brought in money that was outstanding for the company, and things were starting to look better.

 

September 12th, my little bully got let go. Now regardless of his attitude, I needed more than just me to work a company (it’s in the construction end of things) and so I’m in the office and on the field and borrowing staff from our sister company.

 

By October, our sister company was so busy I couldn’t borrow anyone, and I was getting borrowed. To the extent of working six days a week, and still trying to juggle the little company that I was trying to save, with no help, no training, no resources, and now no time.

 

I barely remember Christmas, but really we didn’t do anything for the holidays because everyone was so emotionally and physically spent that it would have just been a burden. Back to work we went, and I had to keep working for the sister company. With no help on the other one, even though there were big job offers and opportunities happening.

 

I failed. And as of Thursday of last week, I was told that my little failure was going to get shut down. That being said, the hardest part of it all, is that I’m over 15 weeks pregnant with twins. And if I lose my job, I don’t get maternity leave… with twins.

 

I’m upset, stressed out, and at a loss as to what to do anymore. Nobody hires pregnant women, and I have to consider welfare. With twins on the way.

 

I took a gamble and lost, and there are some poor innocent souls that are going to pay the consequences of my stupid wish to try to make something more of my life than just working a nine to fiver.

 

I’m tired of the stress, I’m tired of nothing working right, no stability and no option to get out. I’m fed up with people that don’t take responsibility for their actions and everything else that goes with it. I usually can think my way out of predicaments, but I’m burnt out and have nothing left to give.

 

I just want a job where I walk in do what I’m supposed to do and walk out at the end of the day. No extra projects, no glory, no respect, just work. I haven’t done any of my hobbies or done anything I consider a pleasure or had a mental break in over a year from my life, and now I’m suffering all around for it.

 

I want to come home and have the energy to make stuff, enjoy cooking, do a little dance in my shower before I get too big to do it safely. I want to have the time to actually think about and be excited about becoming a parent. I want less stress, not more. Because things are already upside down backwards sideways.

 

I can’t do construction for the duration of my pregnancy, as it’s really uncomfortable already. I just want to work in an office filing stuff, and maybe answering phones etc. But, who would be willing to take me on, and wasting money training me for their particular system, to lose me by late August?

 

I wish I had some sort of wisdom gained from all of this, other than when you take risks, sometimes it works, and other times it doesn’t. And when you fail, it hurts.

 

And when it comes to being a “strong person” people are there to listen to you, but will most likely never have answers to your crazy predicaments.

Have a happy

For the last couple of decades instead of a standard farewell, I generally tell people to, “Have a Happy!”. The first time I use it one someone in my life, they generally get slightly confused and chuckle, and ask, ” A Happy What?”

To which I reply, ” A Happy whatever it is that you do, that makes you Happy.”

There may be discussion about having A Happy, and if they get it, they understand that Having A Happy, could be a cup of tea, a well deserved rest, or a walk in the park video games etc. Whatever it is you do that gives you an inner smile, is A Happy.

I’ve come to realize over time that I hadn’t been giving myself the same advice, because I don’t give myself farewells. This means I’ve neglected my Happy, and in some cases unintentionally stopped being responsible for my Happy. I expected other people to share their Happy with me.

It’s fine to share your Happy with other people here and there, but another person’s Happy won’t sustain you the way that your own Happy will. And nobody is responsible for your Happy, just like you aren’t responsible for theirs. You can take a ride, or play with someone’s Happy all you want, or sometimes take other Happys on playdates with your Happy, but at the end of the day, It’s your Happy, take care of it, feed it and nurture it, and it will take care of you right back.

So I want to add to my greetings ie. “how are you/ what’s new?” to, “How’s Your Happy?” either it will hurt Happys or it will help Happys, but maybe it’s worth trying.

Have a Happy, and treat that Happy well

Broken

Looking at my life and seeing the parallels between myself and my mother’s own life, watching her spiralling into an uncontrollable depression, I’m given one comfort. I haven’t had children to pass the suffering on to. There is minimal chance at this point that I can spread the disease that seems to infect the human species, and it’s a bittersweet victory.

 

My mother’s depression isn’t chemical, so there are no drugs to help her, and no counselor can solve her problems because it’s a disease endemic to society, and they are infected just the same. My mother, as with me, you and everyone else is infected with fear and loneliness, she’s hurt, broken and what’s left of her soul is fighting tooth and nail to maintain some level of security. So her depression has become a security blanket to protect her from the fever, but it’s also going to be her undoing like so many other people before her.

 

I’m reading the literature she used to read, desperately trying to find an answer as I watch my life careen towards the horrendous train wreck I see in the future. My premonition isn’t set in stone, but the similarities I see between us and with most women is unnerving. I’m no longer angry and afraid, and I honestly don’t know how to stop it, so at this point I’m moving ahead with the idea that if I write about it, at some point the answer would eventually stare me in the face.

 

So what then is causing the hurt, fear, anger and loneliness? A cumulation of a sick society, and damaged people taking their hurt and anger consciously or otherwise out on innocents, and spreading the disease. It’s worse than a zombie apocalypse. At least zombies in theory are brain dead and unaware that they are in a terrible state, they don’t have survivor guilt or PTSD. Their mission is simple feed and continue on until they rot out.

 

I’ve spent years trying to sort through personal bias, poring over psychological resources, self help books, gender specific literature and every little tidbit of information I find seems to point to anywhere but the actual problems that we all face, all just theories, and ways to cope with the fallout. A little bandage for a sucking chest wound. Broken people walking around avoiding intimacy building bigger egos in order to protect themselves from the hurt transferred by other broken people.

 

The institutions we depend on for physical, intellectual and spiritual support only exist now to either capitalize or instill endless measures of control using the very pain that we hope they will help alleviate. Billions of people having their loneliness, fear and mistrust commoditized and used to create an institution of wealth built atop the foundations of misery.

 

Buy this thing, go to this school, adopt our religion and you will find love, hope and acceptance, but it comes at a price that is much more than the wad in your pocketbook, it comes at giving up your dreams, repressing your feelings and rejecting the beauty that comes with being human. We are objectified and manufactured to become cogs in the infernal machine, or worse yet, bought and sold on a market we have no access to where our very soul is the dividend to be reaped.

 

This isn’t living, and certainly doesn’t seem like the meaning or answer to life’s great questions, it’s existing because we’re here, and incrementally having our empowerment to believe in ourselves, and to grow and be the best we can be as individuals as well as a civilization pulled out from under our feet.

 

What did you want to be when you grew up?

 

Would your past self be happy with where you are?

 

Those things that you aspired to, that is the core of who you are. Now of course some things are less attainable or less lucrative and at the end of the day the stomach rules over the heart. But again that fundamental state of existence is being exploited.

 

I used to think it was as simple as setting aside superficial divisions such as gender rights, racial equality, accessibility etc. But in reality egalitarianism is a hard sell when people are so damaged that they have become incapable of basic compassion and empathy for others. And that’s where we are.

 

Women are treated as insignificant and although in the western world it may be unacceptable to beat them, the ways to subjugate them has become more insidious. They are told that they must have “Girl Power” which is based on looks and sexuality to use and abuse men before they get to you, as opposed to “Being a Lady”, which was what you brought to his household table and served up. Men are being told that to “Be a Man” all that is soft and feminine is the root of evil, yet their status is judged by the candy girl that sits at his arm.

 

Women are taught that the only way to feel validation is through a man’s eyes and men are taught that the only way to manhood is to have a female ego extension. But neither know that they are being programmed that way. They suffer in silence because trying to bring it up in a discussion inevitably turns into the argument “You never LISTEN to ME!” and “You’re a crazy Bitch!”

 

She’s asking for validation because she doesn’t realise that she should validate her own worth, and that creates confidence which is riveting and sexy, and men, confronted with the fact that the extension of their ego has feelings and needs outside of his needs, get upset that their trophy is inconveniently showing them that they aren’t the supermen that they are told that they are.

 

We are all stunted emotionally and interpersonally, and it’s perpetuated and normalized and incredibly painful for everyone involved. We aren’t taught how to communicate with each other, we are taught to perpetuate stereotypes. We aren’t given the tools to break out of our codependency, or the insight to see the red flags of predatory people.

A little plea

If you are a parent of young people, or are planning on having children, I hope you have the ability to see that you are imprinting the good and the bad from your life, and you can’t stop that. But you can give them the tools to work better and be healthier before their lives go sideways.

 

Compliment them on their character when they do right, and compliment them when they work hard, instead of yelling at them for making mistakes, show them with compassion the consequences and give them the opportunity to try it differently and make that lesson positive.

 

That means communicating.

 

If you are unable to communicate in a healthy positive way, get counseling or go to a library and find literature on how to understand your feelings and thoughts, and deal with them before dumping them on the tiny shoulders of your children. These little people will grow up (hopefully) one day to build upon the society we have left for them, and although the foundations are falling apart, maybe we can give them the opportunity to carefully rebuild with the tools we give them.

 

Don’t live vicariously. They are unique, let them be who they are, but understand they are most likely going to have a life partner. Look at the flaws in you and your partner, and understand that growing up doesn’t stop. Be the role models that embrace growth and change. When your little one calls you on something you are doing, that is a truth being told to you. Accept that, and tell your little one that they are right in calling you out, and tell them that you will find a way to resolve that behavior, and follow through.

 

They NEED that. If you want your child not to be a hypocrite, if you want your child to create a great life, they need role models that are proactive, people that grow, and learn on every level. Yes this is a huge responsibility, but this is what you signed on for and when you see your little ones have a zest for life and actively want to take responsibility I’m going to lay odds that you are going to burst with pride.

 

Onward..

I know I said before, I’m not a parent, so what would I know? Maybe because I was a kid, and while I was a kid, I oddly had friends that were also kids, and I watched so many of my friends get slowly broken down to live a miserable, insecure, lonely, self medicated life. Maybe I know because I’ve been through my own torture, and have seen proactive parents that somehow overcame their own misery enough to do it.

 

But it’s still the exception, not the norm. Most people… parents or not, find a point in their emotional and mental development that they become comfortable with, and fight tooth and nail to maintain that growth, and that’s when misery becomes noticeable. When you stop growing you start assessing the things that are wrong, you look outside and inside looking for happiness. You remember having it, at some point, but somewhere in between all of the societal pressures and just trying to maintain, you seem to have misplaced it.

 

When was the last time you played? Not adult board games at boring dinner parties… I mean raked up the leaves and then jumped into them?

 

When was the last time you went exploring the world at large without a goal? Just taken in what’s around you?

 

When was the last time you stood in the living room and sang your heart out (however badly) to a song that you relate to? Or did a fun little dance?

 

When we “Grow up” we are told that playing is inappropriate and we are told to stuff those explorative yearnings, those funny and silly moments in a box in the closet beside those old shoes you really don’t want to throw away. And that’s where your happiness is stored. Not joking, you just need to dust it off and you might feel embarrassed in front of your own self for the first few times you do it, but at the same time, it’s cathartic and liberating.

 

Adults need play too and if we never stop playing and exploring the world around us, (taking time to smell the roses) all of a sudden the daily grind seems much less abrasive. Oddly enough, this play time is actually emotional expression, and is a great coping mechanism. I find a belly laugh is exponentially more psychologically therapeutic and empowering than yoga. And the best part is, I can share it with others. And I would love to see more people go for it.

 

Growing up has, for multiple generations been defined by repressing one’s needs for the greater good, suppressing emotional expression and stepping into some predefined role that society has dished out living out that role and then dying. And honestly… and looking at where we are, it obviously isn’t working.

 

So, even though we have no power to change the big ugly institutions, we still have the power to redefine our personal roles and refit our home institutions so we can learn to be whole, and happy. We have to stop stuffing little bandages into gaping chest wounds, and do some surgery.

 

Happiness is a process not a goal, and it involves loving yourself, and finding ways to bring some of your childhood dreams to fruition, taking time to explore your world. Take the time to compliment and share that good intent, and not treating people as sources of happiness, but treating them as partners and play friends.

 

Validate yourself, and find the things in you that are awesome. Look in the mirror and tell yourself honestly how good you are at the things you are good at. Make funny faces at some point, and then have a talk with yourself and be honest, what could you do better? What do you need help with?

Guess what? Your closest friends, those people that you consider family, they already know and they are waiting for you to ask. This leads to you moving past pain past fear,and gives the people you love the opportunity to give you that love you deserve. So, all around, it’s a win win.

 

I don’t have all the solutions, but for some reason, of course in general these are common traits for most humans, and humans deserve better than being objectified and turned into commodities.