Monday, September 17, 2018

Changes: maturity vs death

I've noticed for awhile that my outlook on life has been pretty different. I think some of my long time readers have noticed, and maybe some on Facebook, but I have really noticed it in myself. I'm not as snarky as I once was. I don't always have a smart ass comeback. I don't always hit the funny mark- sometimes I try to be funny but I miss and it ends up being hurtful and I'll tell you- I really don't even know it's happening until someone points it out. I don't think the same way I used to, my brain doesn't actually function the way it once did.

Social issues that I used to be very black and white on have turned gray for me. I used to think people would get shot by police just needed to follow some damn directions or, better yet, not commit a crime. I used to think people who were on welfare just needed to work harder, stop looking for handouts, learn to help themselves. I would snicker at a fat person, or judge someone on what they were wearing.

I don't know what happened. Sometimes I think maybe I just matured, but sometimes I wonder if dying on the table did it for me. Maybe I had an epiphany or something.

I noticed when on Friday there was all of the hurricane coverage and I had several people on Facebook talking about how the people who didn't evacuate, even though it was mandatory, are idiots and shouldn't be saved. And it really struck a cord with me because if this was 3 years ago, I would have fully agreed. No question. But then after that hurricane hit Texas a year or so ago, I spent a lot of time watching the news and documentaries, reading stories on Facebook and interviews, and I realized that there were a LOT of people who legitimately couldn't go. They had no resources, no place to go, no way to get there, no money, they'd lose their jobs if they left for too long, etc. Then I thought about my life- would I be able to go if someone gave me a couple of days notice? Just pick up all four kids, and my pets, and go?

Not a chance.

And it's not like we are without means. Matt has a good job and a steady paycheck. BUT.... I don't have a job. I can't contribute to our family like I once could so all of the bills we have, our home, our car, was all based on both of us having some kind of income. And that's not our reality anymore. Nobody could have predicted I would have died on the table and come home impaired for life. It was such a freak thing, who can plan for that?

My aftermath truth is that I'm impaired. I rely on others to help me. I cannot work. I have health issues that affect my daily living. I cannot lose weight and I struggle with that. I'm not at all like I used to be. I have lost friends because they'd rather have me like the old Sara. I have been humbled but also blessed. I am able to understand the plight of people more. Not all, because I will never understand what it's like to be a minority in this country because I am white and I have privilege that comes with that. But I'm able to listen to both sides. I'm know what sympathy and empathy are now. It's really true that everyone has a struggle that you maybe can't see. People look at me and I can fake it and look normal. Look OK. Look happy. Look like I have it together. But I go to my car, or I go home, and it all falls apart. I don't want people to see my impairments because it is embarrassing.

Honestly? I'm grateful. I feel lighter in my life. I feel happier in that regard. I will help others until I have nothing left to give. I compliment strangers and it still surprises me the responses I get from those people. I enjoy my friends more because the ones still here mean the most.

So I don't know what the point of this post really is. But it really struck a cord with me because I see people bashing the hurricane victims, I see people support a President who is unbelievably hateful, I see people not understanding that a lot of people are really struggling out there through no fault of their own. Families are being separated and it's upsetting. Kids are struggling in their home life and then in school. People are working several jobs and still barely make rent. People are homeless and can't get the leg up to improve their life. There are so many things wrong in this world and I'm at the point where.... being a bitch isn't helping. I can't save the world but maybe I can make somebody's day a little better somehow.

I guess I just ask that before you post something on Facebook, ask yourself if there's a point to it. Or are you just criticizing because you can? Are you doing something to help the people you're criticizing?


Julie H said...

It's true! All of it! TG my daughter isn't in North Carolina anymore. Her ex-girlfriend is there and they did not evacuate because they have no where to go, no money to go and the roads were so backed up with people they were afraid to get stuck on the road.

jn said...

Sara, I certainly enjoyed reading this post. I like to see someone speak the truth and not do it on a soapbox. Everything you said is so true. People don't get it, until they walk in your shoes, or have a similar experience to compare it to. But your right, we need to think before we type the words, and realize the impact our words have on others. You have come a long way honey. You can be so proud of yourself.....Keep on going. You have a lot to say that's worth hearing.