Thursday, September 2, 2021

Does it ever get easier?


A few months back I wrote this post about a perpetual state of sadness in the world, a collective "downness" that most people have experienced in the past year and a half (consider yourself lucky if you haven't). 

I, like many other people, have suffered the effects of the world shift that we have absolutely no control over.  A pandemic, a tense political climate, and an overall hostile environment are some of the things that have touched our lives in recent times, and in my personal life, I have also struggled with my kids experiencing anxiety and some form of "sadness" that is hard to define. 

But pandemic et. al aside, the world is just "different" now, and I am not referring to acceptable societal definitions of gender, family, norms, etc (that's a whole different topic); I am referring to the way in which we see ourselves and others. Somewhere along the way we all lost respect for humankind, we lost grip of the concept of common decency, we learned to be hateful, we embraced the possibility of running people over with our beliefs and minimizing what others think or ignoring what they have to say. I am having to teach my children basic values, things that at some point seemed obvious, I find myself having to say things like "a teacher shouldn't go through your backpack without your permission" or "you don't have to say yes if you don't agree", or "it's ok if you want to be super girly", or "it's ok to believe in God and say it proudly". When did this happen? When did the world become a place where people have to be afraid to stand up for themselves?  

In an attempt to be more "accepting", we have become "blind".  Blind to the fact that the world is a diverse place where people still have a mind of their own and it's ok if they don't go with the flow.  As a conservative, I have often felt harassed because of my beliefs; I am often "boxed" by people who don't even know me. When I got the vaccine, I had someone ask "why would you get vaccinated? aren't you a Republican?"...what does that even mean?.  On the flip side, I've also had people tell me "I'm disappointed in you for getting a vaccine, I thought you were smarter"...what does THAT even mean?

Do I really have to constantly defend who I am? Do I really have to explain why I think the way I do? Why do we live in such a judgy place and does it ever get easier? Why do the ones that preach "respect" are usually the least accepting?

The truth is, I am exhausted... I have a very hard time being the "happy mom". I'm tired of living in a world of passive-aggressiveness, a world where I have to measure my words even among "friends", a place where I have to always wonder if I'm offending anyone by simply being me. I'm tired of having to question people's true motives, of not knowing who to trust, of having to read into memes because people simply don't have the backbone to just be real!

And this has nothing to do with the pandemic, this is all on US and the constant need to outdo each other, the complacency with the idea of living in a "toxic" world and not taking responsibility for it. I know we can do better! I want a better tomorrow for my kids!

Does it ever get easier?