Dear Complaint Department

I know what you’re thinking; what does this born middle-class and considerably privileged white girl who has access to proper food, housing, health care and education have to complain about? What do I have to say about social injustices, prejudice, bias, poverty, famine, war, sexism, racism, ageism, any-ism that is worth listening to? I am so self-absorbed in my own search for something meaningful and worthwhile in my life that I lament over and over about what to do to make my life purposeful all the while I really do have all the resources around me to do something worthwhile, even in the bigger picture. Then again I enjoy trivial things like gluttonous TV shows and soulless pop music that serves as nothing but a distraction. I will never understand the utter thrill I get from totally mindless crap that caters to the lowest of low brow intelligence.

But I guess I need that distraction for a while because I can ignore the sadness in my own life. I always thought happiness was an empty place to be. You’d have to be pretty stupid to be satisfied with how the world is going these days. Being content is ignorant. It’s negligent. It’s downright criminal if you’re living your days thinking that “everything is happening for a reason.” Jesus, spare me. So I invest myself in mind-numbing entertainment. It’s a tough place to be when most of the time my happiness relies on a greater happiness because it’s also stupid to let your happiness depend on things out of your control. There are some people out there who take it all on, fight wholeheartedly against all that is wrong in the world. To those people, know I’ll be cheering you on from the comfort of my over-pillowed bed, sobbing, watching the new 90210 for the third or fourth time where Raj commits physician-assisted suicide because of his leukemia and leaves his newlywed wife Ivy alone to find his dead body after going to get him the glass of water he asked for. I may not be out working on bettering the world, but I’m putting my compassion to work which I think is quantifiably admirable.

When I had leukemia I’m not sure if I came to terms with death and dying or if it was just that I had accepted there was nothing left to live for anymore. Not that I didn’t have potential and things that mattered to me because, jeeze, I was only twenty one — how could you say that? But I knew it would be a struggle to have the energy to keep going and seven years later I still don’t really want to do this… this life thing. I wouldn’t say I’m depressed, though. I think I’m just disadvantaged when it comes to social circumstances and short of opportunity to explore things that bring me, I don’t know what it is, really. I can say I have been living my life passively for quite some time now, letting things happen instead of making them happen, and I think this is where a lot of the dread stems from. It’s very ominous the way the days just kind of slip by me.

When I’m like this I try to grab onto any tether that will hold. Luckily I’m well surrounded and have a lot of those lifelines. I try to remind myself that life happens whether we are there for it or not so it is best to choose wisely where you want to spend your time and energy. Even this doesn’t protect you from disappointments but you will have less resentment even if it happens in a different way than you had wanted. I am a firm believer that love is never truly lost so doing what you love with people you love is the safest way to protect us from the –isms and the pain in the world. There is such thing as time well wasted in my books. So while we all individually and collectively search for universal happiness waste your time wisely. And always, always, waste it with love.

xo

Ashlinn

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