Happy on-the-edge-of-my-nerves Friday!
So, disappointment is the word that describes what’s on my mind this week. And, it is not about the (hopefully) promising outcome of our presidential race. It is the disappointment that comes with having my sense of reality suddenly obliterated.
The disappointment of which I speak is similar to that which comes with heart-shredding news like; “Mom, I don’t want to go to college.” Or “Dad, my girlfriend’s pregnant,” or Mom, I don’t need a real job; I’m an artist.” And then there’s always, “Honey, I’m trans.” This kind of news smashes us to bits.
Why? Because no matter how open-minded we think we are, this kind of uncomfortable news is a direct assault on the metaphorical four walls that keep us standing. Staggering new realities often bulldoze through everything we have, leaving us feeling bare and alone. We are. Unexpected news forces us to kill off all that we have ever believed about ourselves and the world. It unsettles and displaces us, leaving us only one choice: to individuate. It forces us to see that we are not our children, our spouse or our family members. We are sturdily who we are, which allows others to be solidly who they are.
Which brings me to what I am learning about 50% of my fellow Americans. We just don’t, can’t and will never agree. I am disappointed and disheartened to see that the race is so painfully close. However, the slim grim margins are perhaps the reality check that I need. After my shock, anger and disbelief, I get it now; being human doesn’t mean that we all have to agree. It doesn’t mean that we are entitled to a sense of safety among others unless we create it for ourselves. It doesn’t even mean that we deserve anything unless we make it happen for ourselves. Being American only means that we have been entrusted with the freedom to do whatever we want to do with our time here on this rugged terrain.
This year, in particular, we have witnessed that life is not so easy for some of us. For others it’s so easy that they don’t even have to care. All of this is unfair; biased; racist; capitalistic and everything else that threatens our four walls. As much as I want to rant and rave about the “deplorables,” I am clear now that 50% feel the same way about me. And, neither of us are wrong.
We are all sitting here in the decadence that we call democracy. And, it’s not all roses…It’s more often war of the roses. On this shaky ground, the only truth is the one that we create for ourselves. Our ex-president taught us that.
So, after getting over our disappointment, knowing that the world is not what we wish it to be, we must pick ourselves up and remember that we must be active in making our own reality. Find the work, the people, the spirit and the places that fill you up. When faced with disappointment, we learn to release our hopes and dreams that we have for others. Because others disappoint. Our children don’t need us to dream for them and neither do our fellow Americans. We are all here in this crazy place, left to our own devices. That is what being American is truly about. So, on the cusp of this tattered Presidential election, I have been forced to eschew my helicopter mom tendencies. Live and let die.
Wishing all of us a new president and a rugged road that gets a little smoother.