Time to write-off 2016

I’ve recently found myself being asked how I like living here in America. 18 months since we relocated, I can honestly say I have some pretty complex and mixed feelings, living in the “land of the free”. Post election hangover, it’s interesting to read back on blog notes I made back in June. Heres an excerpt:

“Winter brought about much needed rainfall and lots of greenery, but now as we head into the thick of my first full US summer, I realise how much the urban sprawl drains the life out of the grand sheer landscape of the hills that surround us in the valley. What once was green and lush is now brown and dead. Much like my enthusiasm for blending into this strange society which many are fooled into thinking is “superior” to anywhere else on earth.

While the people here in CA are lovely, it almost feels like I’m on a strange extended vacation and in some circumstances, treated like an outsider. Each and every week missing home more than I did the last but trying at the same time to convince myself this is a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. Lifestyle here in California is very laid back. Forget fast city life, or long moving queues, to me it looks as though many Californians are just plodding along with no urgency. 

We are driving on our way down to Monterey for a trip to the aquarium there, to enjoy a break from the hot sweatiness of the valley (and because my 2.5yr old toddler is obsessed with fish and sharks). 

The one positive about moving abroad is that I have been able to focus solely on my family. Husband and I have been able to 100% focus on Stella’s upbringing and she has adapted incredibly well to this huge move. For that I am ever so grateful.

I found myself a job after 8 months of applications (I counted 50+ at one stage), many phone calls and in person interviews. It didn’t last long (my next blog post will cover it in more detail).

Then came a blessing in disguise! Husband found a new job and we had to depart to renew our Visas back home in Australia. Scoring a nice 3 week holiday was lovely and even more so to surprise our families back home. I think those were the happiest 3 weeks I have had this year to be honest.”

Fast forward from then to now (November).

It’s a week post US election and the country seems to be in a haze. From the gatherings I’ve had with friends to visiting my hairdresser or buying groceries, everyone seems to have glum written all over their faces. I’m already sick of seeing racial slurs and unrest. I’m already sick of seeing some I know making excuses for America’s poor choice in leader. 

I’m thankful to live in a very “blue” democratic state but the result of this political farce has made me now question whether I want to actually work in an country where their new president refuses to declare his taxes, has numerous shonky investments and clearly has sights on strengthening the “alt-right” or in other words – White supremacists.

Why should I contribute or pay tax to a society which has put on a pedestal a racist misogynist narcissist who simply ran for presidency to prove to elitist farkwads that he could do it. One could say it was the ultimate win for ones ego. Especially his voters. They voted to be heard. I laughed when an Aussie friend commented saying “shit sandwiches for all!” And my, the stench of the hypocrisy will hopefully be enough to drown out those who thought they were right. I guess this is MY way of taking a stand. I can at least sit back relax, look after my family until we have the energy to relocate back to Australia, that is until a decent opportunity comes along. Doesn’t seem too many of those.

2017 I hope will be a better year. Until then, let’s ride out 2016 with little fucks to be given. I feel better already.

Destruction of the free world

It’s unlike me to take to writing posts days in a row. I am normally busy with other family activities but I felt inclined to write about my feelings after what has been the most ludicrous 24 hours. In my last post I mentioned that where it isn’t my right to actually vote, living here has opened my eyes in a sad way, thats given me time to think about the morals and values which I hold dear and cherish for my family.

Complacency. It’s a funny thing. A fancy word for “lazy”.

You sit there feeling safe in your thoughts for weeks or months, and like millions of other American’s, I can only blame this outcome on their complacency to not get out there and vote on that one day that mattered the most. I’ve had a few friends argue with me to why Hillary lost. They fail to understand the bigger picture. It was never about ‘letting’ her win…but more so, keeping a narcissistic arrogant maniac from having one of the most powerful roles in history. Keeping him OUT of the White House.

sad-and-afraid

This morning I cried in the shower. Unsure if that was my anxiety or just an overwhelming feeling of sadness for those who have struggled their entire lives to fight for equality and acceptance.

I cried knowing I have to raise and bring up my own child into this world of madness and then have to explain to her (when she’s old enough) why such a hateful man who refuses to accept humans based on race, religion or sexuality, was given this incredible amount of power.

I cried for my American friends who also share my same values and beliefs that as humans, we should be accepting of everyone, that being homosexual is not an abomination, or being a woman doesn’t make you weak or anything less than the other sex. For many of our friends they have already started exploring the possibility of leaving the “Great” America. Some disgusted by their own countries tom-foolery.

I cried thinking of all the wonderful humans who have fought for freedoms over the last 70 years who have passed on. What would they think of this world now if they saw what has happened? Maya Angelou, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King…they would be shaking their heads from above.

I cried knowing that my own anxiety would trigger me look at every single American on the street, making me feel a sense disgust wondering if they were partly to contribute to this sad day in history. How the victims of sexual abuse or racism feel, I cannot comprehend. It would be like all the work they have done to get themselves back on track…thrown back in their face.

This is just the start of destruction of the free world. No one is safe anymore. From governments, from bullying, racism, misogyny, war, poverty, from each other.

 

Election window shopping.

cats-voting

Rather than plaster my thoughts all over my social media accounts or declare my opinions on threads and threads of voices, clambering on what they see as lies or truth, I thought it made more sense to write a blog post on what I’ve witnessed over the last year in the lead up to todays US election. You may find some of my analogies abrupt. I don’t care. I feel as an Aussie living here in California, with my husband working and paying a shit tonne of tax just to be here, we don’t have the right to vote, but we sure as hell get to have an opinion. Everyone has a right to have an opinion. I am a “leftist” through and through. That is: I support all races, religions and minority groups, I am pro-choice when it comes to reproductive rights, and I believe that anyone should have the right to marry regardless of their sexual orientation.

Some of my Australian friends have asked me what it’s like living here, surrounded and immersed in American life daily, especially with this huge historic day which has had the entire nation treading on broken glass for the last few months. Well, I can certainly see the social and racial divide, that for the most part of the last 8 years, America has done it’s goddamn best to claw it’s way back from the biggest recession the world has ever seen. It’s no secret that I am an avid Obama supporter. I felt sorry for the guy who was handed a steaming pile of…coal (the word shit came to mind), and asked to make it into the glowing diamond the world once knew and adored, because let’s face it, rolling coal in glitter will make it look pretty, but it’s kinda still rough on the outside with many more processes it needs to under go before it can shine and sparkle again.

So for a time, Obama did his best to bring this nation together. I’ve seen comments from those who say “He was the worst President in history”. They are clearly forgetting his predecessor Mr Bush. I mean, that guy couldn’t form coherent sentences and the rest of the world usually shook it’s head in utter disbelief every time he had to make a public statement. I see no difference now with Trump. The instigator of hate who has loudly been blaring his egotistical thoughts into the fearful that reside in this great land. I call it his “Trump cult”. I feel sorry for them. I feel sorry that they have been persuaded by a shonky businessman, who refuses to declare his taxes or earnings, that has no morals or values except to vet his own interests. He’s made it into a running joke that it’s ok to hate and put down women, races, religions, single out a race and call them “rapists and druggies” (by the way…anyone notice Trump sniffing a lot during the first debate? I mean, maybe he had a sinus infection? The ramblings certainly made me think of Ben Cousins crazy arm helicopter movements after the AFL grand final and we all know where he ended up). The guy who massacred his Hollywood star? I’m not surprised this happened. Was it right? No. But this is an example of America’s frustration with having to witness an egotistical narcissist in action.

Let’s rewind 3 years back to Australia. Tony Abbott is elected as Prime Minister. The right has won. Good for Australia? NO. Broken promises of jobs, and support for Australian major brands – gone. Thousands of jobs axed. Ford motor group: done. CSIRO jobs: slashed. Mining boom – GONE (because China says a big fat fuck you to Australia now and guess who was buying all our iron ore?) A man who doesn’t believe in climate change. A man who thinks coal is the best thing since sliced bread (he doesn’t trust wind or the sun) who made himself “Minister for women” (does he secretly have a vagina?!) and of course, minister for Indigenous rights. Disastrous. His party had to vote him out after a year. He’s been replaced by a better speaking version of himself with Turnbull. Australia still isn’t happy. The economy has bottomed out. This is what it’s like living in the “right”. Well not anymore, thats why we jumped ship.

I’ve see so many comments “Hillary is corrupt”. “Hillary lies”. Ok, so maybe she did get big business to fund her campaign. Great! Sometimes politicians need sponsors. Just like sporting teams. Thats why she went on and Bernie didn’t. The emails stuff. She’s a politician. They tend to write emails, most likely a lot of them. She most likely deleted a whole bunch. FBI have declared there was nothing suspicious. More lies made by the GOP?  She DID declare her taxes though. Still waiting for the other guy to do that. Her husband didn’t respect her when he was caught cheating. Bill paid the ultimate price. He was impeached. Anyone remember that? And look who STILL stuck by him. She’s a gutsy lady.

What I HOPE for America: decently priced childcare, longer parental leave, higher minimum wage, fairness to all regardless of race or religion, better police training, better mental health services and stricter gun reforms. I am sad that I don’t get to vote. But I am proud of my friends here that do. I am happy that majority of those we love and share the same values and ideals with support a free and happy America. One that shouldn’t live in fear, or hate. Who knows how long my family will remain here if the above doesn’t come to fruition.

So for now, it’s window shopping. I can glance on by through the window, admire the goods, just not have the goods. Whatever you shop for today, make sure it’s what you NEED. Make it count.