I think I’ve reached breaking point – that point when you just can’t take it all in anymore and all you want to do is scream at everyone, or just simply, sleep. I’ve always taken pride in being ‘connected’ with what’s going on in the world, in being ‘aware’, or ‘awake’ to all the atrocities and injustices on any given day. I actually believe I kind of thrive in charged moments of turmoil – political uprisings which bring a country to its knees, being caught in the middle of attempted coups as the barriers of sound break and chaos is the only constant. Through hot and turbulent elections which change a course of a country – I will always be in the middle of all of it – glued to my phone, my computer, the T.V. Every conversation radiates with anger and frustration at the hands of loss and injustice our world is suffering through. My phone was the first thing I grabbed when I woke up – hungry to see what craziness had happened while I was asleep – and the last thing I checked before I went to bed – until I was having a hard time breathing in the evening – I was panicking – I had internalized all of it – and it was overwhelming my life. From Trump and Erdoğan to children being locked up in cages and puppies’ legs being cut off by people who had completely lost their sense of any and all goodness. Political systems are rigged, governments are turning their backs on their people and this planet – all for a profit – as the rest of the world and all its inhabitants can do nothing but suffer the ramifications. How did we get here? Where did it all go so wrong? Where did we all go so wrong? And how the fuck am I, an overly-emotional, innately sensitive human being supposed to take all of it in without completely losing my sense of self?
This spring I lost a truly lovely soul to cancer, less than a year after being diagnosed. He left behind his beautifully strong wife in a foreign country they had made their home. They had not so distantly found one another and were looking forward to growing old in their little piece of heaven they had recently acquired. His loss really hit me. Not just because he felt like family in a country so far from my own family, or because I mourned for his wife whom I love equally and felt the pain that she now walks through this life with a hole in her soul, but also because it made me remember how very suddenly the ones we love can be ripped from our arms. I lost my only sibling when I was 21 and it rocked my world to its molten core and changed the trajectory of my life on this planet, forever. That experience made it difficult for me to really and truly get close to people but when I did, I gave it all. My relationships mean everything to me, but I think all of our relationships are really suffering from our constant obsessions with every terrible thing going on in the world, and we are losing track of what’s going on in our own.
I too often sit at a dinner table with the world between me and my relationships. The news, the social media, the memes, the YouTube videos. Our relationships are how we can make the change we wish for in this world and here we are, with a phone wedged between them. We spend so much time and energy focused on the bigger picture – on our political leaders and all the terrible shit that is going on in the world that we forget about our relationships, and ourselves. We forget to water the plants and they wither up and die – some faster, some sooner. What are we left with then? Our fucking phones and our rage, that’s about it. Perhaps with some regret for a garden filled with dead plants while we had a full watering can resting at our side the whole time. But what happens when we’re too late? When the friendships no longer have substance, the marriages no longer have connections, when our bodies reject the synthetic crap we’re feeding it? Do politics still matter then? When we’re so empty and broken maybe we will stop caring about all the shit we see on our phones – about things that, we just have to admit are beyond our control. But most likely, it will be the opposite and we’ll just get more mired into the distraction and lose everything that’s really important.
So, what are we in control of? Ourselves! Every reaction we have, every interaction we have with every living thing. How we say good morning to our spouse or neighbor, or react to the douchbag cutting us off on the way to work. We can control what we put in our bodies, what we do with our bodies – we still have that freedom, most of us. So, isn’t that kinda the biggest ‘fuck you!’ to the corrupt system which is trying to keep us stupid, sick and flailing? We can keep on getting drunk and angry – keep feeding ourselves and our relationships with shit and the world will just keep going down in the direction it is headed. That’s the easiest thing to do, right? What can we do anyway? Might as well go down with it. But that’s just giving the system what they want, giving up the fight and FUCK THAT! I am sick of feeling helpless and fragile in a world that just seems to swarm around me in a constant fuzz of internet signals and propaganda. I don’t want to feel disconnected from the people that are supposed to mean the most to me anymore. I also don’t want the assholes to win, but they do. Fixating on their tweets or their wars, or whatever someone else says that you righteously disagree with will only drive us further into madness. Shut it out. Stop opening your mouth to the crap they’re trying to shove down your throat and remember what’s really important.
I’ve been trying to change, focus inward – on my own little world. I want my stake on this earth to be cared for, for the people I love to really feel it, to grow beauty and have stimulating conversation (not revolving around politics and how helpless we feel). I want to reconnect with those around me and especially to myself. I want to take full responsibility for my actions and the sustenance that goes in my body and my mind. I don’t really know who I am – I haven’t really been paying attention.
I left my country 13 years ago, not long after George W. Bush was re-elected. In reality, I was trying to run away from the emptiness I felt and the rage that had embedded itself within my soul. That rage still remains and in part, it is what drives me – but I have this intense longing and desire for silence, for peace, for calm. I need the stillness of water and tranquility of an empty night. The madness still feeds my demons and encourages me to rage and resist but I’m not really sure what I’m resisting and I’m tired of losing. Tired of being so angry. I know I can’t just turn my back on the world but I know I have to let it go a bit. Disengage so I can re-engage with myself and the things in my little world which I effect on a daily bases. Focus on the beauty that is left as opposed to everything that has and is being destroyed. That isn’t turning away from the bigger problems of the world but actually making a difference on what we can actively control. If everyone just started focusing their energies on fixing themselves, their bodies, souls and minds – on fixing their relationships; with family, friends and even how we respond to strangers – this inevitably grows outward – micro to macro.
I know I can’t completely silence my demons but they need to know who is in control – and I need to know that I am in control. In taking better care of my micro-universe, I feel those reactions will undoubtedly have a resounding effect – which in turn can only bring about positive change for not only my own little world but for the greater world as a whole… perhaps.