Since coming back to The States, I’ve been hiding out. Purposely avoiding a lot of people and crowds of people because I just don’t feel comfortable- which is weird, because if it were Chatuchak Market in Bangkok or Carnaval in Baranquilla it would be fine– but it’s different here somehow. I get overwhelmed like it’s Walmart on Black-Friday.
I moved to Austin to avoid the arctic vortex that was hitting the east coast/north and came to live with my soul-roommate, Cristi. She works at GrassRoots Leadership and was in a protest against immigration on the Monday after the Superb-Owl. I drove her and participated and took/posted pictures, as our society dictates. (Social Media!!!)
After posting said pictures, a few friends from Philippines and Thailand messaged me on Facebook. “What are you doing?”
“Why are you in jail?”
I tried to explain- but I came up not really knowing what to say…. Why *was* I doing this? It just seemed like something to do. We have to fight, right? It’s what we do as Americans.
The last part is what I wrote back- knowing how my friends wouldn’t understand at all. Especially my Thai friend who just protested against her government in the Bangkok Riots.
I remember the times before I left. I remember working super long hours and arguing with bosses over aspects of my job- feeling like all just fight a little harder to get my point heard. “No! Honest! This is the way this sound should be. It’s better this way! I’ll stay up all night to prove you wrong!”
I remember my past relationships and how we used to fight- and “if I just made one more heart-shaped pancake, he would love me more!”
I remember thinking “well, I didn’t fight hard enough- that’s why it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to.”
I remember believing that all these negative thoughts occupied my heart and mind while the good would come and go all too quickly. Sometimes so much that I believed I had no good in my life at all.
As much as I appreciate our country’s passion and drive to fight for what we believe, is it really necessary? I guess it is if you want to get any sort of news coverage. Love and acts of it doesn’t get any airtime- unless you’re a Coke commercial.
All of this is inspired by this blog post. I feel like my trip made me change in drastic ways- which was the point. I’m not the same Hobbit. But to feel so uncomfortable in my own country? To feel like I don’t belong? To not understand AT ALL what is happening on twitter or facebook? This was more than I planned for.
Do you think America will eventually stop fighting? Or is it just so engrained in our culture that it’s pointless– or, even worse, do people even want to stop?