What to me, is the meaning of life?

When I was younger, I recall learning that man had been chasing the meaning of life for all of known time. I came across Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” in which the meaning to the ultimate question was cheekily answered as ’42’. I laughed and laughed over this. I still smile when I see the answer to the ultimate question is ’42’.

Then I recall seeing Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life” in which they sweetly and succinctly delivered the answer to the ultimate question as:

“Try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.”

I went to Catholic school from grades 8-12 and they impressed upon us that our purpose was to serve God, give up our worldly ways and follow in the path of Jesus. I had a slight grasp on what that meant. It seemed to me to go homeless and penniless, but I could not see how I could help serve God if I could not sustain my own existence.

Since High School I have read many texts on the subject of the purpose and existence of humanity. From the 7 Theories of Human nature, to humanistic writings, I delved into the teachings of Buddhists, Taoists, Hindus, Muslims and what I find that it boils down to is this:

We are here to help and assist one another toward spiritual growth. Our paths are different and some of us are farther along in our growth than others. We need to guide each other and help one another when we find one another struggling. Using our unique gifts which we were given to inspire others toward their own growth. Unbeknownst to us we are impacting others (either positively or negatively) as we plod on in this life of ours. We should try very hard to leave the world in a better place than when we entered it. Impacting those around us in positive ways. We can only do this through unconditional expressions of love.

In order to achieve this, we cannot be burdened with our own self pleasures, and worldly ties.

    The acquisition of things?

    Not important.

    Achievements for our self-gratifications?

    Not important.

Things that stuck with me in my studies came from the “Bhagavad Gita” and “Man’s Search for Meaning”:

From the sacred text:

To separate oneself (in hermitage) to pray for others or self-study/enlightenment in order to “help humanity” – is not helping humanity. You have to get out there and serve humanity.

Detachment to the material world is the way to enlightenment

From “Man’s Search for Meaning”:

Find your value through service to others.

One’s depression stems from the departure of understanding your purpose in this life – “why” you exist. Find it through helping others.

In my own experience, my heart swells most when I give freely of myself to another for their benefit without want of recognition or approvals. Unconditional love extended through giving without the premise of needing anything in return – NOT EVEN GRATITUDE.

Expecting gratitude is a vanity. Receiving recognitions/accolades? Another vanity.

If you are doing for others in expectation of something reciprocal or some sort of beholding, then you are doing it wrong. Step back and just do – for nothing in return.

When you are hurt you must look inward and find a way to ease the pain through freely giving of yourself. Because this life? Not always about you. It is about all of us. You are a cog in a very large wheel.

We are all connected. Every one of us.

So as you walk through this life and its happenings, find out the ways in which your particular set of skills can make other’s journeys a little easier, better, and healing.

I will say this: Sometimes it takes tough love to help others grow so don’t be afraid to be the bad guy if it helps put someone on the right path.

My mind blown discovery came from The Beatles in their song “The End” it is absolutely the truth –

“The love you take is equal to the love you make.”

Workplace Romances?

I get it that the dating scene is hard. Finding someone to have a relationship requires being in the right place at the right time and finding a certain chemistry. I know you have put yourself out there only to be shot down and it soured you and I get it.

I put myself out there several times back in the day. Liking someone who does not feel the same is a tough pill to swallow. The one thing I have learned over the years is this:

Never ever, ever pursue a person you work with.

Just don’t.

I cannot stress it enough. This is a headache you do not want in your life. I don’t care if she gives all the signals that she wants to go out with you. Just make it a policy not to date anyone you work with. If she asks you out, politely decline with the understanding that you do not date people you work with directly. You can tell her that if she should leave the company or you do, then ask again.

The climate is so iffy in terms of harassment and gestures which appear to be flirtatious to you, but can be interpreted as unwelcome advances to them.

A hug in the workplace? Nope. Don’t.

Someone wants a shoulder massage? Tell them to make an appointment with their local spa. Do not engage.

New hot someone wants to go out to lunch with you? Invite witnesses along to keep it professional.

Flirtatious talk? Just pretend you did not hear it and do not reply. Something you say could be considered offensive to those around you or even the instigator and you could be reported to human resources.

What happens when dating occurs in the workplace? Nothing bad at first except those you work with may be uncomfortable knowing you two are a thing. That can be construed as a hostile work environment for the bystanders. They could complain.

If you are both in competing roles, it could be uncomfortable for the both of you if one gets a promotion over the other.

And if you break up, let me tell you that is a load of discomfort having to face them day in and day out if you harbor ill will over the breakup.

Some workplaces have a no dating policy and it is for good reason. To keep the HR issue count low. They do not want the drama and neither should you.

What happens if you meet “the one” and you really want to pursue the relationship but you work with them? Ask yourself, are you willing to leave your job for a new one so you can ask them out?

Can you transfer out of the environment to still work at the company but just distant enough that the relationship will not be direct? Different office/division/district?

The only reason your Dad and I worked was because he worked in an office in another building in another part of town. We worked for the same company, just not together where our relationship was public. There was no constant day in and day out interaction. I think that is the only way that a workplace relationship would work if there wasn’t a “no fraternizing” policy.

Educating for an Educator

Teachers are in the middle of the conversation on racial injustice, poverty, bias. I encourage you as you enter the field to consume every bit of the conversations going on today. Every video, every tweet, every post, article, film and book on the subject.

And when you are done with that, then go to your friends and listen to their fears and concerns. Really listen to them. Do not just take it in; but put yourself virtually in their shoes and think of how that might make you feel if it happened to you.

Lessons from Auntie Rona

I would be less stressed from this predicament the world is facing right now if human beings showed some semblance of humanity. Compassion, generosity and selflessness was really all this virus demands of us and yet here we are.

All of the world’s ills are flagrantly dancing before our eyes like the golden calf scene from “The Ten Commandments”

This is no different from what I am seeing on the world’s beaches for those countries with the worst infection/mortality rates. Those same countries have deniers, affluent who believe that others would be willing to die for their ability to live comfortably and the terrorists using this very vulnerable world state to advance their hate crimes.

I just read a post in social media about the studies proving that the drug touted by a certain orange dictator poses severe risk of heart damage or death if used to battle the infection. And yet there are people who deny the science behind the studies and the mortalities from it as some liberal propaganda.

The Lancet is a medical journal produced for doctors to learn of the latest advances and studies in medicine. There is no rational excuse to believe that it is propaganda.

I know and absolutely espouse that science is not exact as it is ever evolving based on what we know at the time and what evidence presents itself with further testing to either prove or disprove a thesis. Just because the studies say that there is a high risk of death or further organ compromise of this drug and the data is sound, I do not believe we should tilt our tinfoil hats and decide the science is completely wrong. This is what we know now and we should act on what we know to be true now while continuing to test.

The thing I see is that no one is willing to test. Not surprising in my 30 year history in the testing arena. No one likes the testing portion of any development activity. Testing is necessary, early and often.


We cannot fully understand the impact of this pandemic or even qualify it as a pandemic without testing both the ill and the healthy to understand the whole environment and measure from there.

That is to have everyone take a baseline test to be sure at that moment in time they either had it or didn’t and then shelter in place the healthy who were not essential workers while those that did quarantined so they could let it run the course. With only essential workers out and about to support the infrastructure of those SIP and those on the lines. The essentials being tested every day while the otherwise sheltered or infirm are kept in isolation.

But hardly anyone was willing to take it to that level.

This is a simple and effective model. And for some countries, they put that in play and they saw the least impact of the virus for the great sacrifice they had to make. Hats off to you, New Zealand. You are superstars.

Never in my life have I seen such simpering, whimpering, insolence from so many about simple considerations for their fellow human.

  • I’ve seen people hoarding basic supplies to make it difficult for their neighbors to shelter in place.
  • I’ve seen assaults like punching, coughing and spitting at others when asked to show some consideration by wearing a mask.
  • I’ve seen people using this compromised situation to behave like bigots against the asian population.
  • I’ve seen people attempt to murder another for being asked to leave premises until they have properly worn PPE.
  • I’ve seen people of affluence and power abuse the rules they put in place to protect from spread and then lie about it when the public questions their actions.
  • I’ve seen people furloughed start protests to get their jobs back at the risk of contracting the virus rather than taking a remote work opportunity in the interim to keep everyone safe. One woman’s justification was “Why would I take a job I do not like for this period? When they can open the door at my previous job which I do like?”
  • I’ve seen white supremacists use this time to assault/murder people of color because they feel they can.
  • I’ve seen an increase in shooting victims in my own town because people do not know how to handle staying put.
  • I’ve seen one politician claim that his parents would be willing to die to keep the stock market from tanking.

What the ever loving fuck is wrong with these people?

Don’t worry, this is a rhetorical question. I know what is wrong. People have not been raised to be generous, kind or compassionate. Their egos are what drives them and that is why this virus will kill far more people than it should.

I am well past weeping for this society.

Believe me, I know there are people who are generous, kind and compassionate through all of this and they are the ultimately the victims of the masses who are persisting the virus through their own avarice.

The overworked essential workers who are fighting fatigue and emotional stressors while new cases arrive keeping them in this situation. They do not need daily claps. They need hazard pay, steady stream of nourishment and PPE, and they need our full cooperation.

It’s ALL a Gamble

I have friends/family on both sides of the fence regarding the virus. Some that feel economy should come first and others who feel that lives should come first.

I’m not a gambler with lives. I’m not willing to spread this virus. Hell I wasn’t cool about people coming to work with “ahem” allergies.

We all knew it wasn’t allergies, Bob. You were sick and should have called in and worked from home or just took the fucking day.

I also know that I’m part of the demographic who would not survive it anyway. My blood clotting has always been an issue and my heart struggles to pump blood through my body to oxygenate and keep circulation at its best, as it is. But even if I was healthy and had a good chance to survive it; I know I would not gamble with others’ chances if I was an asymptomatic carrier.

What I’m having a problem with (a real moral conundrum here) is listening to the political rhetoric of money over lives — that money is somehow more important than preserving life. Texas politician announcing that some lives have to be lost for the economy. Another southern politician saying that his grandparents would gladly take the fall for preserving the economy.

Are you sure about that, Bucky?

I saw government leaders changing policy to allow people back to work on their dime to be sure people who are most vulnerable are fed. You see, we can adapt while staying isolated. An entire auto manufacturing plant refactored their core business to make necessary PPE for their country needing it. Why can’t we adopt a new model for food distribution? 

None of these plants and farms need to waste it. They are trying to take the stance of a overly dramatic child because they can’t “do it as they have always done.” Look to your local communities, and see how crops need to shift to allow for serving the local. 

I know that not every zone can grow avocados… but therein lies the issue. We don’t necessarily need to have avocados. (Gasps!) 

People would certainly relax and take a deep sigh of relief if they knew that they could get their produce locally (order online and doorstep delivery for dairy, produce…etc). If they knew during this time, their bills would be suspended until they could get back out from quarantine. Maybe people would stay home.

And honestly, what does it say about a person who simply cannot be happy in their own home and take some downtime and focus on their families? 

In war time, people had ration books to handle the day to day food and grocery needs. No hoarding necessary and people learned to live leanly and sensibly in the crisis. If this is a war, then why are we not doing this? Because as Mr. Monebags grasps his murse and Mrs. Moneybags clutches her pearls, they stand in front of a situation screaming for a new way to live;  they don’t want to lose their advantage and privilege. They cannot design a method for living that figures out how to survive this without killing people needlessly, and still retain wealth.

Peter Politician: There is another way to handle this other than protecting your mountainous piles of investments.  Why can’t you serve the all of the people like you swore you would?

The world watches the countries who haven’t got their shit together and claim they are “for the people” whilst shoving those same people under the bus.  And speaking of people, what is wrong with people who cannot see past the end of their own noses? 

A child’s school function, graduation is postponed or cancelled for the sake of the safety of all. And yet their parents continually whine over it. What does that do?

Would you be crying over this if you knew that they would not survive if infected?

For them I wish to say: “Get a grip. people. This is a gamble. For many youths who die because of this, they are someone’s child. Their parents wanted more for them too. They are crying for a good reason. Just hug your graduate, athlete and take heart they are safe. Is the pomp and circumstance worth losing grandma over? How about Dad?”

I absolutely hate that you are classified as an essential worker. I am inside and out beside myself with worry for you. Your whole life is ahead of you and I would be destroyed knowing that if you got this you would not survive it. It is a gamble. Though I do not know how you would live with yourself if you chose to quit for your own safety. You are that kind of person. 

I wrestle with this daily. Do I demand that you quit to protect you? Or do I let you work and risk it?  

Recording the Symptoms

Just in case what is stealing the years from me is in fact the LBD and I inherited this, I will describe my symptoms.

At age 32 I had issues with the twitching uncontrollable digits (toes) and eyelid. Passed it off as a deficiency due to pregnancy. Had heart issue but had no idea it was a heart issue.

Around my 40s I developed a problem with not being able to turn my head from side to side very fast without getting quite disoriented and dizzy with nausea.  Late into the 40s I dropped weight for no reason at all and the lightheadedness began. Also strange rushes of adrenaline like being on a roller coaster and feeling that strange rush just as you are heading down really fast on the incline. 

My mid 40s was a sense of feeling like I hadn’t much time left and the desire to get real living in before it was through motivated me to take trips I hadn’t, speak out more and pursue relationships I hadn’t ever considered. For fear that time was not on my side. This was also the time when my libido went haywire. 

If I peered through window mini blinds my neck would shake like I had Parkinson’s. Still cannot peer without that shake (holding my head at a certain angle that is)

Somewhere in my late 40s, I began to have trouble with my ability to concentrate on tasks and remember things which are recent. I began to write notes to myself and set reminders. 

The numbness of my left leg was a problem in the first part of age 51. The swelling of that same leg and the sensation of feeling like the floor was moving beneath me giving me a wholly unsteady feeling. I really thought I was going to die. I did my best to walk to try to get circulation going. I somehow recovered a bit. 

End of age 51 I had burning mouth syndrome. Still off and on with the inability to stay hydrated. Worst in the middle of the night waking me with extreme thirst. This is when the inability to sleep through the night began.

Last summer that swelling in my leg returned as well as a pain in my lower abdomen which mimicked the feeling of urgency to defecate/urinate. Loss of continence off and on and when the pain got so bad it was a struggle to empty my bladder. I started also to have angina like pain and all out gastro intestinal distress. Like my body was forgetting how to autonomically function. I had brain fog most days probably due to lack of sleep as I was up most nights with pain, urgency and the inability to relax. 

My ability to type well without typos started and my handwriting has been iffy –  like I form letters but the pen is not going where I want  – so signing my name is a gamble. Some days are better than others. I cannot rely on learning new things as nothing is sticking. I have to write handy guides as I am shown things because I cannot pull it up in short term. 

Reading stories are difficult now. I used to be able to read and concentrate on my reading but now I cannot maintain concentration on the act of reading for very long. I can only read a page or two at a time.  And it is hard to retain the things I have read. Do not ask me about films or movies either. I can watch a season of a show and then in a month, if you ask me about the details of it, I will not recall a thing.

What I am noticing now with the extreme dives into dehydration is the drying of my eyes! Like they are covered in sand. I purposely try to see something to make me cry when it is at it’s worst. I do not think I have chronic dry eyes but I think it is related to the dehydration. Also the bags under my eyes are really pronounced now. Before it was a coming and going thing. Now it seems it is permanent.

The amount of water I drink in a day is more than the average person. And if I don’t? Debilitating headaches, angina and lightheadedness. 

Are these all early signs of LBD? I do not know. I just know Mom was restless at night, had the same abdominal pain, Are any of these other things related? Mom had issues with constipation and if I do not maintain a high fiber diet I do too. It is my worst fear that I have the same and I passed it onto you. 





Self Identification

The world is more complicated now than when I was your age. Sexual orientation/gender identity was not something we needed to go around flashing like a business card. I knew at an early age who I was and that I was not like people around me. I didn’t fit in to the binary definition of gender. I suspect neither do you.

Sure, I was assigned a gender at birth as you were; but deep down, what am I? I still do not know for certain. What I do know is that it does not matter to anyone else but me. I do not need to tell people what my orientation is or what my self identified gender is. Never in the workplace, or in a social setting. It is personal to me.

That said, some people have to disclose because their identity is so different from their assignment that it makes it hard to get along in a binary-centric world. Imagine identifying as female in a gender assigned male body having to shower with cis-males in a gym. Feeling wholly uncomfortable. I could seriously empathize. Being forced to live along a gender stereotype they just did not align? When all they want to do is be who they know themselves to be without criticism, condemnations or harassments.

I hated my first year at college, because I neither identified as male or female and felt really out of place and crawl-out-of-my-skin uncomfortable when having to shower in the women’s dormitory where it was a large open space with a bunch of shower heads lining the perimeter. I would wait until the weirdest time of day to shower so I could do so in peace. I simply never felt aligned with other women. But I never felt all the way male either. If there was a gender in between, I could see that’s where I fell. I think I was fluid, though I thought I might be genderless in High School. Depending on the day I could tap into a feminine or masculine sensibility, but I never felt that I needed to pick a side. Except that society expected it of me.

We now live in an age where that expectation is being confronted with the words

Not anymore.

I am excited for the time when gender identity does not have to be part of the conversation. That people are accepted no matter how they identify or what their orientation is. There is no difficult decision in a changing room, or restroom, gym or dormitory setting as to what door to enter. That people are not discriminated against for living their truth. Nor are they excluded, disowned, attacked, murdered because an ignorant fuck feels threatened. That they don’t have to decide to exit this earth to get relief from a persecuted life.

That just because I marry a man does not mean I am turning in my queer card. It just means that I loved him enough to want to spend the rest of my life with him and bear his child because my body is wired to do so.  If I had met a woman who I fell for in the same way I would have married her. That I should not have to justify who I am or my choices to any group. And finally, that I need not grab a label to slap on my chest to inform everyone else what/who I am. I don’t care to share my pronouns because they are mine and not yours. And I am not offended if you choose to use a pronoun that matches my physical gender because you don’t know.

I recognize that the journey to this freedom has been paved by warriors and martyrs alike who paid difficult prices to get to that extraordinary time in the future. I know and respect that they need these pronouns to teach tolerance and acceptance.

Some day I will be able to go into a clothing store and not see a segregation by blue or pink and cringe. That I will see a time where restrooms are private and inclusive for all to use without pausing to look at signage to decide how to proceed.

If this happens to you

Since this happened to my great grandmother, her son and his daughter (my mom) , it could very well be happening to me and god forbid, then happen to you.

My great grandmother Nellie was a nice lady. And man could she cook! Her afternoon roast suppers were a thing to behold. Home made sweet dinner rolls brushed with butter, cooked fresh from the garden green beans, roast beef so tender you didn’t need to chew and a rich, savory, dark beef gravy that sounded like Barry White serenading you as it was poured over mashed potatoes.

Something began to happen to her the forgetfulness and the falling while she was living in the house on the river alone. Grace would find her. Then her cooking was done for. She was burning everything. They decided to move her out of her home and into ours so we could look after her.

She had no idea why and often tried to leave on her own to get back to hers. Though she had no mode of transportation she packed a bag and tried to walk there. (16 hour drive back to hers, imagine walking) Her mind was highly suggestible to the will of others which explained how her sister convinced her to leave everything she owned to her, and the ministry of televangelists.

She lost continence, often. And your Aunt and I were left to clean up after it. She was a big woman (like my mother) and bathing her was hard for two teen aged girls with no experience helping the elderly in and out of a tub.

After a bit it got too much and we had to send her off to a nursing home facility. She eventually died there and for the life of me I cannot recall the exact reason because the doctors only gave a non-specific notation on the death certificate.

Fast forward to her son, my grandfather began his journey with essential tremors, and the memory lapses with some issues speaking to be understood, and then the falling began in which he broke his hip and they put him in a nursing home to recover but he did not last long, he lost the ability to swallow and then died shortly thereafter.

Before all of this he was a great gardener. He was a great cook like his mother. In fact he had a hand in teaching me to cook. He was a builder and a general handyman and mechanic. There is nothing he could not fix. He made miniature furniture as a hobby. So losing him to this disease is heartbreaking. He was not a man of many words, but when he did speak he made it count.

My mother started with hallucinations, dizziness, constipation, issues with memory and the essential tremors, dehydration and then the falls. While I was there in that summer to help organize her house for a transition to the nursing home, she suspected she was having incontinence issues and she had the pain in her groin like I am having now and they gave her exercises to try to stretch out the muscle that was giving her trouble. Turned out she had a bad UTI that caused sepsis. I will never forgive her doctors for not checking that out.

When she was transitioned into the nursing home her ability to complete a thought went right out the window and she became non verbal shortly after. She went like her father with the inability to swallow and ultimately died.

Now, I have minor memory issues, but I am having some numbness/ neuropathy which is so fucking random that each day is like a roulette wheel of which area of my body is going to be the trouble spot. So far no essential tremors.

Thank christ.

But my muscles are randomly seizing while I sleep which gives me the pain I often complain about and I have the dizzy spells my mom had, though I have not fallen. I have come close but I have caught myself.

I am often severely dehydrated and the dry mouth and eyes are something which make me nervous to think that I have Sjongren’s syndrome. With the pain in my groin, I worry that I have a UTI but the doctors tell me it is not. With that is a bit of urinary incontinence.

The thing I have that I do not recall my great grandmother, grandfather or my mother having was being able to poop logs long as tree branches daily to the point where there is an urgency to release it several times per day.

So the reason I am telling you this is to keep track of the progression. This is a generational thing. And I am so sorry if I pass it onto you. I had no idea this was a thing. After three people getting it I can only guess that I am carrying it and I may have passed it onto you.

What I can say you have 30 to 50 good years ahead before it is something that could arise. Live it to the fucking fullest. Do everything you’ve ever wanted to do. Don’t think later will be better. It may not. Do everything while you are able.

Tire Swing

There’s a lyric to my favorite song which I thought really did capture who I was.

“If I stay in one place I lose my mind. I’m a pretty impossible lady to be with.”

Tire Swing – Kimya Dawson

Usually, when there is a problem I look inward to see what of my failings caused this issue. Because I do know I am a hard person to live with.

Though this situation – your complete ambivalence to your family is not of my making. These are your choices and your failings. Not mine. I taught you better. I showed you better. And yet, you *choose* to be less.

We had a talk about this when you decided the most important person in the house was yourself at 12:30 am on a week day. I recall specifically that I said your actions speak louder than your words. And that if you didn’t like the rule we had in this house you could do as your peers at the age of 20 and move out on your own.

That was an invitation that you chose not to accept, thereby communicating that you were willing to abide by the house rules. Which you have set out to break at least one more time since the brouhaha over the breadwinners need for sleep.

So here we are again but this time it is a brouhaha over being a decent fucking human being with a kind enough heart to make a person’s birthday not about you.

Tell me again why you want to be a teacher?

Because I have lost all point of why. I know most teachers to be kind, generous, models of upstanding behavior. They are not selfish. They’re not stingy. And they don’t hold petty grudges because of some past hurt they experienced by people decades ago. Just because you were bullied does not give you license to be a bully or to shut out any shred of kindness to your family or a fellow human being.

When you become a teacher, you not only teach the subject, but also you parent. Like it or not. These kids are now your kids too. You are teaching them the subject matter, but also life’s little lessons. The phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child” is entirely accurate. You are part of the village, my boy.

You influence the children you teach by your behavior. If you are rude to them, you teach them it is okay to be rude to others. If you are kind and generous, you show them it is model behavior. You get what you give. You become a people maker.

Your influence is power. Regardless if you think you are making an impression you are. And believe me, there will be kids who will try your patience and test your commitment to the job. They will be awful – mind bogglingly so. It will leave you wondering what kind of parents allow this kid to behave in this manner. And it will be your challenge to teach this child, through your persistent influence how to do and be better.

Which leads me to my question, how is it that I am recognized as an influence in your work ethic but none of my attention to kind acts and traditions over holidays and birthdays have made any impression at all?

How is that possible? Why is that possible?

Look deep within for the answer, what choices have you made to lead you to ignore or abandon that influence. If you begin to answer by pointing a finger at someone else then start over with your internal inventory. Dig deeper.

Asking yourself:

What kind of person fails to remember a birthday of a loved one?
Is that person so self involved that they cannot celebrate the fact that the human who contributed in giving them life should have a special day commemorating their trip around the sun?

Even if the birthday boy/girl is mean, does that justify those around them to be mean as well? Or can they rise above and be a better person and show an element of kindness which grows past the hurt and resentment?

There is a larger lesson here and I need to stress it. You inability to show kindness will eventually shut you out of opportunities for love, a sense of belonging and feeling fulfilled. It will be a long road of loneliness, resentments and bitterness. The more people you hurt, the more alone you will become in this world and it will only be by your actions and yours alone.

I thought I would never have to whip this one out of my arsenal of things to try to snap you out of it but here goes, courtesy of my grandmother, Mimi:

I may have to love you, but I don’t have to like you.

If your knee jerk response is “I know, and I don’t have to care.”
I can show how to pack your bags and you can show yourself out. Leave the keys on the table when you go.

Check it before you wreck it

My father is Mexican, full on bate, bate chocolate. My mother, as euro white as it gets.

Your Father’s father is so German he may be 100% and your father’s mother like my mother, totally euro white. Their ancestry may put their families on the mayflower together for all we know. I’m still researching.

Rolling the gene dice you got a percentage more of the white dna than Hispanic and you were certainly raised not ever knowing what struggle really is.

Never did I think I would ever hear rolling out your mouth the very sentiments that will get you fired one day, alienate you from social opportunities and actually cause me to challenge the unconditional nature of my love for you.

You should and always remain humbled and contrite over your ancestral history. I cannot prove that any of our direct ancestors were slave owners, and it’s not the point.

Centuries of oppression from the overt to the now mix of both overt and passive push opportunities in your favor just because of racism. Inherent in the system.

You are considered white even though I know there’s a fraction of your dna that rocks sombreros, craves Abuelita hot chocolate and a good street taco.

To me you are off white, maybe like a vanilla creme or warm eggshell. Though others will take one look at you and tick the box “white”. And with that you carry the shame of how the whites treated people of color. Fuck! You even carry the shame of how some current whites are treating people of color.

You need to own that history and prove daily you are not your history nor are you part of the lot that want to bring that all back. I did not raise you to carry a chip on your shoulder and claim you suffer from reverse treatment.

Because, you don’t!

You were never denied water, or a seat in a movie theater, bus or restaurant because you are white.

You will not be passed over for an in person interview because your voice sounds too white.

You will not be told that the apartment was taken when you call about vacancies.

You will not be pulled over by a cop and your vehicle searched and asked for proof of citizenship because you look foreign or like the perp they’ve been hunting.

You will not be told you cannot wear hoodies when you go out or turned away at a store just because you wear a hoodie.

You won’t be followed subtly by store personnel while you shop. In fact you won’t have to dress “rich” in order to get treated with respect in a store.

Guess what buttercup? Because you have a penis you also carry the sins of the rapists wife beaters and sexual harassers who share your same gender. And you’re gonna shout to the heavens, “But I’m not like that!”

They don’t know that. You’ve got to live your values.

This country is wounded by the shitty things that those before us did. It is a wound like that burn on my hand it won’t ever heal fully. It may fade but it is always there. You accept its now a part of your history and vow to never re-injure that area again.

You do better.

You be better.

And for fuck’s sake you don’t bitch about it. Because you have no valid argument.