If this is America being Great, I’m ready to be Awful again

Is anyone else sick over the separation of families at the border? Does anyone else feel hopeless and helpless despite calling, donating, and signing petitions? Or am I just some “bleeding heart liberal” who wants people coming into this country illegally and “stealing all of our jobs” that so many Americans are lining up to apply for? I was able to breathe a small sigh of relief  yesterday when I read that Judge Dana M. Sabraw ordered that families separated at the border be reunited within 30 days and for children under 5- within 14 days. Thank God for the ACLU….this is a step in the right direction but still… what a disaster.  Let me say this- I GET IT- people are entering the country illegally. But I also get that good innocent people are fleeing their own country’s violence and crime for an opportunity at a better life. They are choosing an arduous and dangerous journey, risking death, for just the CHANCE for something better. Their options are- stay here and die or possibly die leaving, but holding on that they might just have a fighting chance. Can you imagine living in that paradigm? Maybe it’s easier for me because I’m an em-path and an actor by trade, but is that so difficult to get behind? To sit with these people’s circumstances?Wouldn’t any parent want the best possible life for their child? Don’t we all want the best chance at life? Is there not a better way of handling this?  I’m not a politician, or a lawyer, or a community organizer; I don’t have an easy solution, but as a decent human being- I can say that what has happened is shameful and will have its place with the rest of our somewhat flawed history.  Perhaps instead of a summer vacation to Hawaii or a winter escape to Vail- maybe all these angry Americans should travel to poor crime ridden countries to get a better sense of other people’s lives…or even better- just do a little research. They can actually do it on the computer after they troll us filthy liberals on Facebook.
Can we please stop making America so great?
America IS a nation of immigrants…that’s the deal with America. Remember the Pilgrims? They were basically asylum seekers from England.  Unlike today’s asylum seekers who are fleeing violence and crime, they were escaping religious persecution…(Oh and they were also white… so…) Different, but sort of the same.  I remember being in Mrs. Korbelak’s 1st grade class in 1981 learning that America is a melting pot . I think we cut out a pattern of a pot and then added all different color “ingredients”… little construction paper squares..and we glued them in there just to make it clear in our minds.  I think it should be required that all American citizens take a swab of their cheek and send it into 23 and Me to use science to learn about their ancestry. Quick- before science becomes illegal!!!  Immigrants are as American as apple pie. My Dad is an immigrant. My husband is an immigrant. People in my family speak with accents and often in a different language while living in America Gasp! You know why? Because this is America and no one is from here except the Indigenous people who live on little plots of their own land the government “gave” them because our forefathers slaughtered them and wanted the land for themselves. (I’m not sure if this was before or after they celebrated that famous turkey dinner like in my daughter’s Tomi dePaola  First Thanksgving book, I’ll have to look that up….) Look, we ARE all immigrants. If you didn’t make the journey here, your Grandparents did or their parents did… somebody came here from somewhere else, ok?  I realize this is a 1st grade version of history but just in case my little blog gets all the way to the White House, I want the man in the Oval Office to understand it. Maybe all this history stuff is too confusing and hard to keep up with. I get it… It’s a lot of information.
Legal or illegal, at the heart of every immigration story is the the desire for a better life. Can’t everyone relate to that? This desire for an opportunity to live a good and decent life should not be a privilege reserved only for some.  What has me so heartsick is to hear so many people supporting what’s happening – so many Christian people-  act in the most Un-Christian way! Remember that saying, What would Jesus do???  Yea..let’s talk about that for a minute….I feel like Jesus would hand these families a bottle of water and a sandwich and say, You are safe… you made it. Take a moment to thank God you and your children didn’t perish in the desert. Lets connect you with the right people and get you on the right path. I mean I’ve never met him- but something tells me he wouldn’t be ripping nursing babies from their mother’s breast. But what do I know…

I don’t know about you but all this greatness is too much. Let’s make America awful again and show some dignity for all  human beings. Can we  make America despicable again and elect leaders that have respect for the office they hold and have an understanding of our history.  Well, I’m going to start by being terrible and daring to be hopeful again. Remember hope?  I liked hope. Judge Sabraw’s ruling yesterday gave me hope and I’m going to hold onto it right now.



Morning Thoughts

I recently listened to a 2011 podcast of Marc Maron’s WTF featuring Anthony Bourdain… I am still in such shock over his death. How can it be? The fact that last week we lost Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain to suicide is absolutely baffling beyond comprehension to me. I am admittedly naive and seem to think that people with career success are obviously happy and fulfilled and no matter what darkness lives inside of them, the satisfaction that comes from financial freedom…(from running an empire really)…that kind of success eclipses the darkness; it triumphs over demons or sadness…Christ am I wrong….

When I think to my darkest days a few years back, days I never wrote about because it was too private or I felt too much shame, I felt such a feeling of worthlessness that I thought unthinkable thoughts. I thought unthinkable thoughts and I believed in that moment, that if I had the life of Kate or Anthony, I would feel complete. I would feel worthy. And look at how their lives ended. It’s devastating. We never really know what battles people are fighting inside of themselves and no matter how many memes or inspirational quotes we post and like, so many people are privately struggling. I was one of those people. I can remember a day where I felt the lowest. I look at pictures from this day at a farm picking pumpkins with my daughter where I was trying so hard to create perfect memories, but in between the click of the camera, I wanted nothing more than to disappear completely from my life…I could not shake the sadness…I could not rid myself of this overwhelmingly feeling that I was a complete failure. Everyday I would wake up just hoping to feel better..hoping to turn it around…with therapy and self love and many other factors, things got better. But I’m not trying to write a how to get out of a dark place post  because I’m just not qualified to do so…I just hope we can be better to eachother and better to ourselves. Life is short and no matter how dark the day gets, in the morning, the sun will rise. There is so much hope in a new day and beauty all around us. I feel so incredibly blessed in my life and when I feel myself getting pulled towards that isolating darkness, I go back to gratitude. I look at my child and husband…my parents and family… I see that little bit of green sprouting from the potted plants outside and I feel like the world is full of possibilities. I feel so fortunate to have been blessed in the ways I have and trust that so much more awaits if I allow it. Be good to yourselves. Be as good to yourself as you are to others. You deserve it.

Love is really all around you . Open yourself up to see it. I always find little signs like this when I need it most: