Be happy

I want so badly to just be happy.

I feel like as a privileged white guy living in California, this shouldn’t be difficult. I live an amazing life. I have a wonderful family, a rewarding job, and have basically everything I could want.

But I’m just not able to be happy about it lately. And yes, a part of it is the whole “we elected a guy who is influenced by a white nationalist, a conspiracy theorist, and a guy who makes ‘homophobe’ sound quaint and honorable” thing. That’s pretty terrible.

But, there’s more than that. The world has so. much. horror.

Every day, there are more images that come out of Aleppo. There are more horrors coming from countries where they arrest women who report being raped… because they had sex without being married. People are starving in the streets, they are rioting, they are revolting. And… I come home to a beautiful family and home.

So why am I sad about that?

I wish I could just be selfish. I wish I could just say, “whatever, I’m doing the best I can, and I’m doing the best for my family”. I try to tell myself those things every day, in order to validate the fact that I’m not doing anything.

And let’s be real: I’m tired. I do a lot of work for people around me, because I love them, and I want the best for them. And as a result, it doesn’t feel like work. It’s just nice to be. It’s nice to love. It’s nice to be loved.

But then I see something. I see a glimmer of what’s going on outside my world.

And my god, it fucking sucks out there.

And it’s weird. Because I’ve only been out of the country once. And it was to Israel. And it was an amazing experience, where you can see the vast differences of societies, and the fear and dread that is constant. But at the same time… we were largely shielded from it. Then you see the news.

I really wish I could just ignore the damn news.

But I feel like I have to see it. I have to feel it. I have to live it.

I had a hard day, where my kiddos are both sick. It’s heartbreaking watching them, seeing how terrible they feel and how much they want to just feel better.

And then I see kids being literally picked out of the rubble of their home that was bombed while they slept. They aren’t crying. They are just sitting there. Waiting. Shell shocked. Bloodied. Terrified.

I can’t even imagine.

“Thanks for the pick me up Scott!”

You’re welcome.

But really. I have a point. I think that we need to do something. And my thought is gonna sound really weird. It’s going to sound self indulgent. It’s going to sound like I’m trying to just avoid feel this way. And maybe I am.

But here’s my suggestion and plan.

My plan is a two parter.

Part 1

We need to talk about all of our pain. We need to talk about how much we want to change things. We need to say it out loud. And we need to talk about how to do it.

For instance, I still can’t get the picture of that kid in Aleppo out of my head. The kid sitting in the ambulance. Wiping blood off his face. Unnerving. Painful. It makes me want to adopt another kid. It makes me want to take in every single person and animal that isn’t loved as they should be. It makes me want to walk up to strangers who look like they are having a bad day and say, “You matter and people care about you. And if you say ‘no, no one does’, know that I do”. (I’m putting my period outside of the quotations on purpose, because I read someone’s long twitter rant about how they wished that this is the way it worked, and while I know that it doesn’t fit strict grammatical guidelines… I don’t really care. Maybe that person will see this and think “YES”! And maybe they won’t. Whatever)

But that’s the kind of existential, unfixable pain that I’m feeling. It’s important to talk about it.

Part 2

We don’t need to spend every day feeling our pain. We need to give ourselves a safe day to just… be happy. There’s SO much for me to be happy about. I’m sure that you have a lot to be happy for! BE HAPPY! Let’s do it. It’s great.

I’m going to make Saturday my, “Let go of your existential baggage” day. I’ll try and do it on other days too, when I know I won’t be able to do anything. And this might be a stupid fucking idea (as my team at work will attest… I definitely have some stupid fucking ideas, but I own it when they are! <anyone else notice how much I’m just saying “fuck off grammar, you don’t have a place here” in this?>). But you know what? It’s my fucking stupid idea, so I’m going to give it a try.

So. That’s it. Thanks and be kind to others and yourself.