I read the quote and title above earlier, making me feel like more of a Buddahist than ever. Before the hurricane-force winds and storm-ravaged Georgia last week, my goal was to write a post about the importance of voting. The importance of showing where you stand and what you believe in ultimately. This week has changed my desire to do that as we move on from it. Plus, other people’s words have brought different thoughts to the forefront too.
I’ve watched many of my friend’s pages this past week, and I’ve learned one thing. Every time we induct a new President, each side makes these posts that loosely translate to “I’m going to post this to see if we are really better off in a year.” They always revolve around mortgage rates and gas. But here’s the thing. It’s not about money. Whether we are better off a year from now should not revolve around money.
Let that sink in. Money is not everything. Does money help the world go round? Yes, I cannot deny that. But it’s not everything. As happy as going to conventions make me and being able to do what I do, I’ve realized this past year that it came at a price and wasn’t just my paycheck. It was the fact that I was so stressed that for the first time in my life, I went on blood pressure medication. I had a doctor tell me that something had to give if the stress wasn’t going away.
And it wasn’t just my job. It was everything going on in the world. I’ve even had people tell me not to pay attention to it and to ignore it. And what people don’t realize that is a privilege. Do we need to completely immerse ourselves in this 24/7? No. No one does. The fact of the matter is though some people don’t have the choice in turning it off. We don’t always get to pick and chose what fight we want to fight.
At the time, I felt so bitter about going on blood pressure meds, and now, a year later, I get it. Everyone thinks that 2020 is the worst year ever. And I cannot deny that shitshow that 2020 has been. I’ve gotten angry on so many occasions. But I’m SO much better right now than I was a year ago. I might be without a steady job, but I have opportunities on the arisen. I’m on the waitlist to be a transcriptionist. I’m going to go out to be a captioner too.
If anything, this year has taught me why not. This year has taught me through hell, and through the sorrow, why not. Why not dream? Why let those dreams die? Why push them down to make constantly make others dreams come true instead of my own? And I’m not saying their dreams aren’t important, but they aren’t YOURS. They aren’t MINE. They keep us paid. That’s it. In that regard, I get it because of the idea of not having a job or going without insurance when we need it is scary as hell.
The fact of the matter is that has been our year. It’s been our year because people didn’t want to take science seriously. It’s been our year because people were evicted and they lost their jobs. And losing your job oftentimes means losing your insurance. But more importantly, I think a lot of people lost themselves. They lost their kindness and compassion for others. The lack of empathy in this world is far scarier than gas prices going back up to almost three dollars a gallon.
At the end of the day, it’s about more than Republicans and Democrats. However, sometimes that can be hard to differentiate because being a Republican has stood for something evil for four years. And that makes me sad for those I know who are Republican and do not feel the way the majority has been perceived. It’s the whole bad cop analogy, and it reminds me of reading a tweet from one of my favorite soap actors a while back that said this isn’t the party he once voted for back in the day.
And it’s not. I’ve voted on virtually all platforms. I’m only thirty-six years old, and I’ve seen the hatred spewing and building these past four years in ways I never thought possible. I watched a man to instigate violence and brainwash people, good people, into thinking he did them favors. However, despite the fact gas is lower and that mortgage rates are down, I have to ask one question. What did this cost us?
I know for me, this has cost a lot. It’s made me realize that some people aren’t as good as I once thought when I was younger. However, for as many people as it made me feel that I loss, I realized I’ve gained so much more this year. I’ve gained knowing there are compassionate people left. I know there are people who want to help save this planet. I know I’m not alone. People have let me know that kindness still exists in a plethora of ways and ultimately that makes us better off. Not a gas price. Not a mortgage rate.
Compassion. Kindness. Love. Those qualities might not pay bills, but they enrich us and will continue to enrich us in ways money never could and never will. They are qualities I hope continue to prevail this upcoming year because we need them to.