The rumors and myths surrounding LA and California made some people think I would be unprepared for some of the cultural and religious differences that come from living in Texas but I wasn’t surprised.
I had a student at my university tell me and some friends he was shocked to discover that Jewish people were a myth and an English professor tried to tell me I couldn’t make up an assignment I had missed because of a fake holiday called Yom Kippur.
Those aren’t my only stories or only experiences back home which is to say when I heard about a certain song that was going to be sung in school I wasn’t completely shocked.
I didn’t flip out about it because I was fairly certain it was done out of ignorance and not malice. I calmly explained I didn’t care about songs like Jingle Bells or Rudolph but had a problem that were clearly religious.
The school was great and unless new things arise or something changes I am satisfied with how things went.
Parenting Isn’t For Sissies
Somewhere out there someone is angry that I used the word ‘sissies’ because in their mind it is a word that can only have one meaning and that one isn’t nice.
Four years ago I ran a headline that said something something raping my childhood for a week received emails and comments about how rape could only be used to describe sexual assault and how I made life harder and more difficult for some people.
I politely disagreed and when they pushed I pushed back harder and cut their access to me. Civility goes a long way but I am not obligated to change my mind just because you said please.
And with that let me say I have been in the middle of an 18 month campaign of wills with someone who has a similar force of will and desire as mine.
Combine that with their being one of the few people who has the ability to cut me in ways no one else can and you have a recipe for trouble.
The main difference is you cannot screw an old head on young shoulders and the decades of life experience I have are enough to make a significant difference.
It is the grounding force that enables me to push forward and believe there is not just a little daylight but an enormous amount on the other side.
“Would you feel better if it was a standard illness, like a bad cold or some kind of flu?”
I shook my head and said I won’t ask for those kinds of comparisons or changes. On a simple level the idea of a simple illness makes me happy because there are easy solutions but sometimes crazy things happen so I won’t ask for an exchange of that sort.
I’ll do as I have always done and keep moving forwards, keep pushing and we’ll see what happens.
I have had my heart torn out and fed to me and discovered it regenerates.
The bad news is it can be torn out again but if it grows back, well I suppose I just have to walk and wait.
My middle sister and I spent a few minutes discussing where my nephew has gotten into college and where he hopes to go.
It got me thinking about how long ago that was for me and how different life seems now from what I hoped and or expected.
Don’t read that to be good or bad because it is both. Some things are better than I could have dreamed and others are challenging.
My college career was different than I expected it to be and I can’t say that it makes a whole hell of a difference or not.
I didn’t go to Israel for my freshman year nor did I go to the University of Arizona or UC Irvine though I got into both schools.
Cal State Northridge is where I ended up and I made some lifelong friends which in many ways is as or m0re valuable than any piece of paper you can get from a university.
Thirty years have gone by since I started my Freshman year.
Or if you like Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump.
Six presidents, wars, terrorist incidents, highs, lows and everything in between.
Cue The Byrds:
A Different Sort Of War
People say we ought to be careful what sort of tools we carry to solve problems because if you are not careful a hammer makes every problem looks like something you can solve by hitting.
I say banging isn’t always a bad solution and that sometimes we ought to fight a different sort of war but that is me.
What I know is I have a very brief window to catch my breath and that in a moment I have to leave this trench I am hiding in and go back out there.
What I know is I feel fatigue in a way I never used to and am exhausted in a way that forces me to look for anger as a source of energy and adrenaline.
It is not ideal, but as a temporary way to weather a storm I’ll use it.
Eventually I’ll adapt and pivot but for now I will make a list of wrongs committed and use that to fuel my fire.
This won’t last and this moment will pass and there will come a day when it is as hard to remember as applying to college, but for now it is a challenge.
Some moments are a minute and some are…longer.