That’s Us

We aren’t even 20 days into this year and I feel like I’ve seen all I need to see. I’m good. Are you good? The only thing keeping me on this ride, frankly, is that hockey came back last night which is distracting me from gouging my eyes out Oedipus-style at that fact that Harbaugh’s contract got extended at Michigan…which would be the equivalent of World Government Assessors (yes, I just made this up) seeing and analyzing how this two-party system is working for America and concluding with a simple ‘carry on’ before moving on to the next country. Um, excuse me, are you seeing what I’m seeing?! You think this is fine? America, my friends, you all need to GET (clap) IT (clap) TOGETHER (clap)! The world is watching as if this country is a reality show and I can’t blame them. We’ve become this scary group of individuals who thrive on drama, drink too much and hate each other for reasons I’m not sure anyone could even pinpoint anymore because everyone’s opinion is as steadfast as Capitol security was last week. I’ve had a more difficult time trying to login and pay for MY OWN loans. America’s gone a bit dramatic. Shakespearean even. I don’t know what’ll fix us. I was sent a video of a man and a dolphin doing cartwheels together and for an entire minute, I was happy. Like really happy. Sidenote, am I the only one that assumes all dolphins are male or do I have a preconceived sexist dolphin problem? Anyways, I’m watching this video and I thought to myself, THIS is what the world needs. THIS is what America needs. Dolphins doing cartwheels. And pizza. ALL THE PIZZA. Can we at least all agree on that??

The words we choose, the comparisons we make – they’re important. If you haven’t seen it, there’s a viral video of Arnold Schwarzenegger sitting at a mahogany desk holding Conan’s sword, which is ginormous and not referenced to until the end so the entire time I’m distracted thinking WHAT’S WITH THE SWORD???? He addresses America comparing what happened last week to Kristallnacht… KRISTALLNACHT!? What is even happening? Don’t get me wrong, last week was a fiasco, but he’s referencing a night of anti-Semitic extremely violent riots in which almost 100 Jewish people were murdered while 30,000 others were captured by Nazis and sent into concentration camps. I know this because I took a History of the Holocaust class my freshman year of college that no one, to this day, knows how I got into because it was supposed to be for seniors only. So in my very humble, non-Jewish opinion, I’m going to have to ask you to go back to the carpet, Arnold – A Kindergarten Cop reference before anyone thinks it’s anything different. I can’t annunciate this enough…PLEASE do your research, people. I will say, however, the editing is top notch.

Last night, under the influence of the new moon, I made my vision book for this year and I don’t want to tamper with any of my manifestations but let’s not forget there was for sure a picture of the Capitol Building on the back of last year’s that said ‘revolution’ below it. I think witches have been burned for less. Maybe this is all my fault. Who knows anymore. What I do know is a lot of you are feeling anxious, upset, depressed, disappointed, scared and angry. About one thing, about all the things. There is a lot of emotion to navigate with the state of world. Someone I love very much enlightened me with the picture above. It was taken at the suggestion of Carl Sagan by Voyager 1 as they stole one last look at Earth before venturing into the unknown. On the far right, in the beam of light – that tiny speck – is Earth. Sagan wrote an entire book about it but this particular excerpt is magic. It put a lot into perspective for me as far as priorities, significance, my worries and the anxiety I hold inside and I hope it does the same for you…

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

— Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

Now if that doesn’t soften your qualms or at least make you realize how small your problems are in the grand scheme of things, I don’t know what will. And I’m not saying your problems are trivial but reminding you that life goes on and so must we. This, too, shall pass. It makes certain things seem significantly insignificant. The human ego makes us believe that we are the center of the universe – it’s our incentive to endure. The problem is that our egos prefer conflict over cooperation, finicky little things. The world adapts to the lens in which you choose to see it…and I don’t think a healthy perspective has ever hurt anyone. It would do us a great deal of good to realize not all of us are looking through the same lens. Switch it up. See the world through different eyes. Understand that others do. I know it seems like such an archaic notion at this point but maybe, just MAYBE, we can try to be kinder to one another with that in mind. Also, if you haven’t watched My Octopus Teacher on Netflix…just shut up and do it.

I haven’t been in my own apartment now for almost two months. While it feels a little nuts, I’m also very appreciative of the time I’ve spent with family. I don’t know when I’ll get this time again and if I can’t be galvanting in the seas of the Mediterranean, I suppose this will suffice. That being said, my mind has been running wild with thoughts of moving. And when I say wild, I mean WILD. I’ve thrown out potential homes from Greece to Australia to the Pacific Northwest. This is how I felt before I moved from Chicago. This panic. This feeling that I’m in the wrong place. That I’m missing something somewhere and I’m late. It’s the first time I’ve contemplated moving since being in LA. It came on real suddenly this past week and I’ve been bombarded with the feeling of ‘I’ve gotta go’. Then I came across this quote:

Beware of Destination Addiction: a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job and with the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are.

Robert holden

I’m a flight risk, always have been. I believe I was meant to see this when I did. That was the universe telling me to breathe and to calm down. So I did. And then I realized I haven’t even been there for two months, why am I all up in arms about moving? (cause I’m crazy, I know, I know…shhhhh)

Well, I hope this has been educational if nothing else but before I let you get on with your business, I have a confession to make. I did it. I finally did my 23&Me Ancestry kit cause I’ve decided nothing matters anymore. Who cares. My saliva is now in a box travelling across the country. If they want to take my DNA and frame me for a political crime, so be it. The world is going Orwell anyways, what have I got to lose? Not as much as the guy in California with $220 million dollars in bitcoin who forgot his password and only has two more tries to get it before his account disappears forever. Now, I don’t know or understand what bitcoin is but Amazon locked me out of my account last week and I got real bent out of shape about it and I only have $3.59 in my Amazon wallet. Life is a bit of a Wonderland. It’s messy. There will be miscommunication, disappointment, and even though no one likes to admit it, regret. You’ll find yourself in situations you never thought you’d be a part of and that’s all a part of life. No one is perfect but how you handle yourself is defining. Be honest with yourself. Have the tough conversations. Find the people who feel like home, who hold you accountable, who say how they feel, even though you might not like it. To quote Waitress, ‘become addicted with saying things and having them matter to someone.’ And if it ever all seems like too much, just reference the picture above and remember: That’s us. Xx

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