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Re-Engaging
waldorkio
So I have delivered myself a personal mandate to write a lot more this year, including this blog, where I can do a better job of venting my feelings, chronicling my life and sharpening my writing skills. I have neglected this blog. But then again, I've been neglecting a lot of things.

I just rejoined Facebook as well and I wrote a little post about my return. This might explain a little of why I haven't written much here lately. Enjoy and expect more to come...

Hello world
I have decided to give Facebook another try. If you wondered where I’ve been, I suspended my profile this summer and have largely ignored Facebook (and subsequently the goings on in many peoples’ lives) since that time. It was necessary, as in height of political rantings, constant tragedies, and just plain outright ignorance and hate displayed on a daily basis, I slipped back into a deep depression and literally lost all faith in human beings.

The fact that I was attacked and even threatened for my views and beliefs—some publicly (which I have since scrubbed for the most part) and even more privately through messaging not only didn’t help matters, it became the final straw. I needed to remove myself from most people and in truth, these past six months or so, I have only been social with a very small group of friends and family. I doubt anyone else really missed me though—LOL—especially since a LOT has happened since I left. From the tragic Orlando shooting, to Brexit, to the continuation of violence against minorities here in the United States and the increased presence of a police state, to the election of Trump as our next leader to the countless celebrity deaths (Carrie Fisher really hit me) and personal pains and losses that friends and family have all experienced, to the basic death of intelligence and tolerance among humans—2016 has been perhaps the worst year I can remember. As someone said the other day, this year was only good if you were a Cubs fan, and even that historic event seemed a lot more subdued that it should have been—as if most Cubs fans went, “WhoooHoooo! We won! We…oh…oh, yeah, the world around us still sucks balls.”

As for our own U.S. election, I’m not going to spend too much time dwelling on this. I do want to say that to me, this was not a great surprise. I’m not going to gloat about being “right” about my suspicions or say I told you so. The truth is, I really, genuinely hoped Hillary would pull this out, and honestly, for a month or so there toward the end, genuinely believed she could, and that she would – especially since The Donald kept making it so easy for most of us to hate him. But in the end, what I had been worried about in terms of the messages and statement of this election, AND what made me so angry at the Democratic Party I once loved so greatly, ultimately came fruition. Hillary’s electability was overestimated and the Democratic party went about selling her as though she already held the golden ticket…that the presidency was somehow owed to her. I literally screamed into my television a month before the election when her campaign manager said there was no need for her to really campaign in the rust belt because those were already Democratic strongholds that were locked up. The truth was, the bulk of the American people, were done with the Clintons, and that her popularity was overstated. Was she qualified? Sure, but people wanted real and measurable change. She was the establishment and the DNC was absolutely positive America would rush to elevate her to her rightful seat on the throne. Problem is, those around her and she herself completely lost touch with about 75 percent of America.

Now, anyone who knows me, knows I was a steadfast Bernie supporter. I felt then, and still feel now, that he could have won. That he could have tapped into—and actually had tapped into—the frustration that the American people have had with our elected leaders like Trump did…except he could have provided a different message of change…fuel to engage a lot more of those Americans that stayed home. Don’t blame me, I begrudgingly voted for Hillary. And don’t blame the Millennials—most them turned out for her too. But Hillary failed to truly engage and encourage the African American and Hispanic communities, and she really blew it with what should have been among her strongest segments – white women. This came as a shock to just about every person I know, nearly every TV pundit, and much of the outside world. But, like I said, it didn’t really shock me. I was hopeful that I would be wrong, and I was truly disappointed when I wasn’t, but the truth is, most of this country ignored this election – and now we’re going to be a different country for it. And in the short term, it’s going to get very, very ugly.

Now, you can blame this on emails or Russia, or the electoral college, or Millennials, or Bernie Sanders, or sexism and racism, or whatever you want, and you know what? You’d be right … but you’d also be wrong. Maybe Bernie wouldn’t have won either, and maybe we really are a terrible, racist, sexist country made up of horrible people, and maybe we are turning into a third-world country. Me, I’m not sure I believe any of that—yet. Yes, we have a lot of racist, sexist people—they’re clearly coming out of the woodwork now that their message is in the spotlight. But so does every country. And they’re only emboldened now because one man with…with, “shudder” … charisma that appeals to them has bullied his way on the dance floor. Yes, a dangerous man is in power, but guess what? Only 26 percent of our nation’s eligible voters elected him. Just like Hillary, he only amassed the support of one quarter of the population. That’s it. And he lost the popular vote by nearly three million. So for those of us that share progressive values, it’s not like our ideas and voices are the extreme minority. Trump’s win was not a mandate and the people in power now who will float one bad idea after another will not succeed if the other 75 percent of America stands up to them.

That, however, is the bigger problem as I see it. The general sense of apathy in our nation. We have so many problems still left to fix, but we’re distracted by shiny things, aren’t as interested in things like science, history, the arts, literature. It’s about instant gratification, instant entertainment, and what can pacify us the best at any given moment. We’re all guilty of this to a degree, but for those of us still at least semi-awake, I think it’s important to continually remind those that aren’t to wake up every once in a while and remind them where the fire extinguishers are for when the house starts to burn. And, to be honest, maybe enduring the horrors of a nation of Trump and an all-Republican controlled government is exactly what we need to wake everyone up. Sometimes you have to burn the house down to save the city. The sad thing is a lot of people may get hurt while the house burns.

The good news is, I think Trump will be a one-term president (or less). I think this will embolden a much truer, much stronger resistance to the hate and ignorance being spewed (because frankly, we have to in order for humanity to survive). This will, hopefully, include a made-over Democratic party that will attempt to get back to its core values, listen to the people and actually FIGHT for progressive causes and growth. We’re already seeing positive steps being taken here. I for one, am standing here today and announcing that I am proudly part of the resistance. And it has to start now … it can’t wait until a year or two from now while special interests in power determine who they can dangle in front of us to appease us enough to close our eyes again. I personally would like to see an Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker ticket for president—with an aim at leveling the playing field and providing protections (financially and socially) for all who live within our borders. Now, who actually takes this lead can obviously change as we move forward and we should rally around a collective voice. But, I’m not going to buy into any more entrenched Democratic dynasties. I want real progressive Democrats … or independents … or socialists … or maybe even Republicans who get it … there are a handful.

Now, that’s my political rant – and you’re probably headed for the comment box. Look, I said what I said above because they’re my feelings I’m getting out and done with. Please don’t try and start a debate or “correct” something in this post. I’m tired of arguing. I’m tired of getting attacked. It’s a big part of why I left in the first place. So just let me have this one and then we’ll both move on. When I decided to come back, I did so while greatly reducing the number of “friends” and acquaintances, so if you’re reading this, know that I chose to keep you around because I value you—and for reasons not dependent on politics. In coming back, I felt I needed to fully explain why I left—get the last bit of historical commentary off my chest, and start fresh. So if you’re happy to see me back, like this post, or say hello, or tell me something interesting I missed. If you’re going to jump into 101 reasons why I’m wrong, I’ll just delete your comment and perhaps reassess my decision to re-engage here.

Speaking of starting fresh, I have decided that I’m not going to waste 2017 on the little, insignificant crap anymore. Which means, while I am back on Facebook, it doesn’t mean I’m going to live here... like I used to. I became addicted to the human pain and suffering, the ignorance and douchebaggery, the pointless and inconsequential. So I may not reply to all of your posts, or comment on everything you’re doing (yes, this was one of the many things I was chastised about that helped lead me to walking away altogether). If I missed your birthday while I was gone, I’m sorry and happy birthday.

What I am going to do is try and make some positive changes for myself in 2017. I’m going to write more. I have a blog I never write in, so I did a piss-poor job of venting my feelings, or even recognizing the good things over the past couple of years. Yes, I’ll still post abbreviated versions of things here to keep folks in the loop as best I can, but I really want to start writing more for myself. I also want to capture at least one good or progressive thing that I do each day—to remind myself to keep doing these things and growing.
I am also going to do some things to take care of myself better physically. Turning 41 has not been kind, but then again, neither had 40, or 39 for that matter. I am finding out just how quickly the body falls apart beyond certain ages or conditions, though the truth is, I haven’t been helping myself to correct this either. So I am going to try and exercise more. Eat and drink better. See the doc and dentist and try and correct some issues if I can. That way, if Trump doesn’t kill us this year, then maybe I can survive a little longer down the road.

I want to read more, learn how to do more things at work, like learn new software and management practices. I will push more for the things I deserve, or am rightfully owed. I will not shrug my shoulders when I get screwed over in life, or in my career, or in purchasing a product or service. No, 2017 is going to be the year of me. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to turn into an asshole to the people around me, but in my pretty much year-long depression, I’ve shouldered a lot of unnecessary blame, and embraced self-loathing as a tool for getting by. Don’t try this—it sucks and you only find yourself further down the rabbit hole.

Luckily, I have the most wonderful wife in the world, who has helped pull me out of my funk. She doesn’t think she has, or will tell you that she really didn’t do anything, but that’s incorrect. She stood by me, loved me for who I was at any given moment, put up with me at my worst and trusted me no matter what. To have someone like that by your side and not recognize the wonder of it is foolish. Sorry it took so long sweetie, but I think my head is above water now.

Between my loving wife, supportive and understanding close friends, and damn-near perfect Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays that reminded me what joy and caring and love were all about, I think I am ready to try and put a least a little of my faith back in humanity again…work on myself…and hopefully contribute a little more to society.

So, here I am. What did I miss?

Hugs!

Andy

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I support your wanting to write more, sweetie. Go for it. :) You can write more while I'm playing PS4. :P

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