Sunday, January 16, 2011
The US has Fallen and it Can’t Get Up
When you’re hemorrhaging money, it’s hard to sleep. When you awake in the middle of the night with a book title swirling in your head – at 5:30 a.m. 10/21/10 to be exact – after fighting for hours, for months, to fall asleep at a decent time and stay asleep, what is a proud – albeit beat-down, stressed-to-the-max and degreed – journalist from one of America’s most prestigious journalism schools to do? Pay attention to the sudden deluge of creative thoughts that won’t leave your mind and let you go back to snoozing. Trust me, I tried to escape back into sleep, nothing doing; I was so afraid I’d forget any of the sudden cacophony of thoughts and snippets I had actually been living with day in and day out for far too long if I waited to jump on the laptop at a more reasonable a.m. hour. So, I did what any writer worth her salt would do – I got up, figuratively and literally. When life gives you lemons, write! Pay attention to your dreams – literally.
Living in a single-income household is precarious enough in the best of times, but now? This dilemma will put the fear of the unknown in you real fast. At times, seemingly surrounded by wealth and/or dual-income households which appear to remain unscathed, can take you down quite quickly. How to cope? How to maintain some semblance of social skills?
Traversing depression with humor – what else can you do when the entire nation is raging?
There’s anger and discontent everywhere; it’s in the air, the ties that bind the US now are a revolting mix of fear, anger, woe and confusion. Look at the people you encounter in everyday life, out and about to gather the necessities, not the luxuries, anymore – the friendly smiles and greetings are gone. There is a communal sense of despair in the air. You find yourself standing in the toilet-tissue and paper-towel aisles next to another jobless and scared person, carefully analyzing and discussing the best item for the best price in lieu of the once-common “hello, how’s your day” chatter.
We’re not used to this in America. The view of the world is – make that “was” – the US never fails. I have countless friends across the world whose only dream in life when I met them in Europe in the mid 2000s was to come to America – to find a way to live in America. Joke’s on us, and I stress they should be very thankful they stayed put. Our country has fallen and it can’t get up. I’ve personally never seen the domino effect in action as radically as in our economy.