“I like that you don’t/can’t.”

It’s bothering me that I am thinking about how to explain this to you.  So I am just going to fucking write it.  I want to smoke. I want to be like everyone else. And that’s never come easy to me. So saying you like that I can’t makes me feel like you like that I have struggles that feel insurmountable, that I usually feel like I am a failure, and that I will never ever be like a normal person.  I have always felt strange, apart, and abnormal/defective.  I have never fit in outside a psychiatric setting and that happened when I was thirty years old.  Until then I was never similar to anyone I had ever met.  I was completely alone. I’m socially inept and physically clumsy, estranged from my body because it feels like a foreign entity.  I am only smart. Actually brilliant and I was incredibly precocious. But decades of stress, anxiety, and depression actually deteriorate the brain, causing premature cognitive decline. I can’t remember. I can’t recall the word I want to say or spell it. It’s difficult to focus or concentrate.  I am not creative anymore.  So I have and am losing the only thing positive I possessed in life. You started drinking at 13, but at 13 I decided life was more misery than joy. That nothing in the future of my life is worth staying alive to experience it.  It’s my most steadfast belief, my truth.  So, you don’t understand how frustrated I feel about not being able to connect, find meaning, accomplish goals, and feel happy. I can’t change my reality or alter my truth.  That is my only reliable experience in three decades.  I don’t like that.  So I worry about failing at a physically activity as mundane as breathing in smoke. I find it difficult to accomplish and therefore am humiliated that I can’t do something almost everyone else can.

Party culture and inequality

Something I have been think8ng a lot about is the mixture of fun-loving, crazy and outta control pursuit of pleasure in America and the growing wealth inequality in America.

There used to be service-oriented jobs and younger people or wives tended to work these lower paying jobs. Now everyone does. A huge percent of America does qualify to pay income tax because they make less than the minimum amount or they are below the poverty line. Then you have Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z singing about suit ‘n’ tie events, truffles, and luxurious life. Even Lorde singing about all the wealth glamorized in pop culture, such as in socialite reality TV or celebrity news.
In history class, I heard that the Roman Empire put on circus performances, battles, and gave out free bread in the Colisseum as the empire began to crumble. And Marie Antoinette was vacationing in her garden residence putting on plays when she needed a break from the decadent jewels, cakes, and fashion in Versailles,  until the government was overthrown by the working classes.

I feel like the working classes are grasping at pleasure as fast as the wealth try to find sufficient pleasures to defeat their boredom.

Also, the generations born in the 80s have been described as childish and unwilling to grow up but most people I know live at home, don’t marry, or wait to have children because of employment and financial considerations.  When someone who is 26 can’t make more than someone who is a teenager, living a different kind of life is very difficult.

Professional jobs probably have the same competition other jobs do, and just finding an office job that pays decently is difficult.

This and our nation’s own debt, make me wonder where our nation is headed.

The federal government used to tax alcohol makers and it was more than half of the federal budget … then teetotallers got a federal income tax … but when some people make 8 dollars an hour and other people make 500,000 dollars a year … I guess, it is frailty of the psyche and the desperation of those with the least which should move us to change something.  Because if the culture of fun is just an escape, how long can we ignore what is tearing apart our communities and nation.

Those Who Take Advantage

I have a dear, beautiful friend who passionately told me, ‘You can’t blame the victims.  Those doing wrong are the people taking advantage – the abusers.  The victims were vulnerable.  Those who take advantage of that vulnerability are abusing their power and position.  It is their evil action.  The victims aren’t responsible for what happened to them, they couldn’t save or protect themselves.’

Gap Pulls “Manifest Destiny” T-Shirt, Gets History Lesson from Outraged Consumers | Fashion – Yahoo! Shine

Gap Pulls “Manifest Destiny” T-Shirt, Gets History Lesson from Outraged Consumers | Fashion – Yahoo! Shine.

Adding fuel to the fire, the shirt’s designer, Mark McNairy, tweeted “MANIFEST DESTINY. SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST” last Friday in response to customer complaints. He quickly deleted his tweet, but not before a screengrab of it was widely circulated, and then he followed up—three days later—with an all-caps semi-apology.

“Unfortunately, the meaning of my ‘Manifest Destiny’ T shirt has been misconstrued and the sentiment behind it grossly misunderstood,” McNairy posted on Twitter on Tuesday, blatantly disregarding his “survival of the fittest” quip. “I first learned of Manifest Destiny in American History in Junior High School. To me it has always meant that one could set goals, work hard, and achieve their dreams. Having the opportunity to design for the Gap was the realization of one of my dreams. This phrase and they way I used it was in no way meant to be offensive or hurtful, and I apologize to those who might have interpreted it in that manner.”

What Comforts Us

A list of comforting essentials (inspired by The Art of Comforting by Val Walker)

The Arts to express ourselves

Belief, for a sense of meaning and purpose

Comfort foods and drinks

A safe, relaxing place to restore or rest oneself

Connection, a support system, community, a sense of belonging

Entertainment, media, and games

Gratitude

Humor

Passion, Interests, Hobbies

Love and affection

Nature, experiencing the life on Earth

Pets and animals

Touch, hugs, caresses, massages, foot baths, brushing hair, putting on lotion, putting on nail polish or makeup, sex

Sports

Medication, treatment or therapy

The Word for World is Forest: Ursula K. Le Guin

Le Guin’s amazing sci-fi masterpiece, The Word for World is Forest, explores what it means to be human.

In a future where humans have met outer space humanoids or beings of intelligence, culture, community, and language.  In other words, beings that are more like us than we are like animals or plants.

The novel explores community, military, hierarchy, power, slavery, war, murder, gender, identity, transcendence, dreams, and culture change.

Le Guin introduces us to a world named New Tahiti that humans are colonizing … and where the local humanoid race isn’t accepted as fully human.  Culture differences make negotiation and discussion difficult for the radically dissimilar peoples.  Humans enslave the rather submissive people of Athshe, mistaking their docility for ignorance and simplistic thinking.

The goal of humans on New Tahiti is to set up a imperialistic colony that will become a permanent human settlement and provide resources, the most common being lumber, back to Earth.

The story is told in several chapters with each chapter being narrated by one of three characters, a human military commander named Captain Davidson, a researcher of the native inhabitants employed by the military named Raj Lyubov, and a recently widowed, native Athshean named Selver who becomes a god to his people.

Le Guin’s book has many similarities to James Cameron’s famous movie, Avatar.  In both Avatar and The Word for World is Forest humans are taking resources from a planet and thereby destroying the native people’s habitat, scientists and military officers have conflicting agendas, important neurological or mind connections between beings, and the costs of war.

However, my opinion is that The Word for World is Forest is more sophisticated, realistic, and demanding for it’s readers.  It is a book that questions what being an outsider and different really means, whether we are talking about men and women, Caucasians and Asians, or humans and humanoid aliens.

The Word for World is Forest: Ursula K. Le Guin: 9780765324641: Amazon.com: Books.

Comforting

“comfort me” by naydeeyah

Characteristics of Comforting People

Being present and listening
Empathic
Respectful
Patient
Caring and compassionate
Genuine
Reliable
Clear
Warm and gracious
Accepting
Calm
Hopeful
Humble
Supportive and validating 
Appreciative
Generous
Gentle
Adaptable
Wise
Strong

As taken from The Art of Comforting by Val Walker