At this point, when you hear about another shooting, don’t you feel physically sick? After waking up on Monday morning & hearing about the horrific events that happened in Vegas on my drive to work I had a ton of anxiety & sadness, but it eventually turned into sickness & nausea. I do a really good job at ignoring a majority of the world’s problems, including issues close to home. I’m too aware of them & when I pay attention, everything eats me alive in anxiety.
But it’s as if we’re living in a fucked up war movie, in the United States.
This killer can’t feel the energy of the people watching a fun country music concert? He’s looking at everyone sharing excitement together, feeling free, spreading love and joy but can’t translate that feeling to himself? He wants to end it? For SO many people?
This is scary.
I heard a few things that I thought were worth sharing.
One – I’m horrified at this point about how easy it is to obtain such a large amount of damaging assault weapons. This is the part of the conversation that makes me nauseated. I understand being able to defend yourself, the 2nd amendment, and owning a weapon. But I’m having the hardest time understanding why this particular extreme type of defense is allowed, or needed. (Jimmy Kimmel spoke on this much better than I did: HERE.) People ask me all the time if I felt safe in Dubai, it’s time’s like this that remind me why I felt so safe. I never heard about a shooting, I never saw a gun or gun shot, I never had that fear. In America, we do, all the time.
I HATE taking pictures. I take them all the time for Instagram & my blog but it’s my least favorite thing to do. People stay interested w/images more than a ton of writing so I know if I want my blog to be what I imagine, it has to include photos. But it’s the hardest piece of the puzzle. Can you be more into yourself than when you’re taking photos, trying to be pretty? Ugh it makes me uncomfortable more than you’d imagine.
When you see pictures of me, this is typically the process. First, I hold the camera & Wafiq poses for it so he can remind me how easy it is. He doesn’t care if other people are looking at him as he tries to act cool for pictures, he models confidently. Once he makes me laugh enough, we switch. He grabs the camera & tells me to do the same thing. Boom, all my pictures.
I’m uncomfortable taking pictures & I know I’m not the only one. Being in a picture these days means you’re likely going to be plastered on social media for everyone’s eyes. Back in the day, a photo was shared w/family & maybe a few friends. Now it’s all eyes on us, all the time! The good side, having these pictures posted everywhere means we’ll easily be able to have the memory. The best part, the memories. So I don’t let myself shy away from taking them.
There are a few, super simple tips I learned in college when pictures really started being a thing. I wasn’t used to my picture being taken & after seeing a few horrible ones I started following these three rules for ALL photos.
As you may have noticed, I write “be thoughtful” at the end of all my posts. When I started writing regularly I wanted to think of something to end with. Something short, that I genuinely wanted readers to leave w/every day. I thought about “be nice” or “be kind” because there’s nothing better than a nice person, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes, you shouldn’t be nice. You should be strong. You should be loud & badass & stick up for yourself, which might not be nice. I might actually suggest “be mean”.
I came up with “be thoughtful”. If you slow down & you’re thoughtful of the people you’re interacting with, you’ll know whether to be nice or to be mean. No one knows what’s going on w/the people they interact with every day and no one knows you.
I think this really amplified itself for me a year ago when I was dealing w/bad anxiety. I feel like I looked normal but was going through such a tough time in my head. I was trying to take things slow & gentle while I worked through my anxiety, and I felt fragile. But people didn’t know that.
One issue I had was driving anxiety. American’s driving is the single thing I HATE the most about America. It’s also one of the only times I use the word hate. Moms, dads, young people, old people, men, women, they all drive like a tasmanian devil. It’s crazy to me! We have these huge machines we’re plowing recklessly through traffic with and have no worry? And where are we always rushing to? Why are we rushing? We’re a product of our environment, American’s are glued to time. My advice is to say fuck it & leave work early, take your time to your kids soccer game, so you can show up alive.
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