Learn to Love Yourself in the Alone Time

I have spent the last several months going to work and going home. Not much socializing. Sometimes once a month I would go out if invited to something. I was trying to save money. And I was trying to work on myself. I went to counseling and did other activities to pull myself out of depression. I don’t have insurance so that was the best I could do. I remember feeling alone often. I looked for ways to stay busy and distract myself from how I felt. I wished I could afford to go out and spend time with even one person.

As I was getting to a better place with my finances, the pandemic happened. Everything shut down. I lost a lot of work. Other than concerns for my income, my daily routine didn’t change much. I couldn’t read a book at a coffee shop, but I could live without that. I had grown more comfortable with myself and didn’t mind the alone time. I still feel alone but it doesn’t bother me as much. I’ve grown to a place where I enjoy cooking again. I read more. I write fiction more. My creative ideas are never ending.

During the pandemic, there were videos of celebrities feeling upset during social distancing. This reminded me of how I felt. I realized there wasn’t anything wrong with me or how I felt. We were all reacting in a normal way to isolation. I hope people are discovering new things about themselves. If you’re bored during isolation, you need new hobbies. If you’re alone and uncomfortable, you need to love yourself and enjoy your own company. We all should set time aside to be alone. It’s important to our wellbeing. Find your happiness in the alone time.

James Pack is a self-published author of poetry and fiction.  Information about his publishing credits can be found on his personal blog TheJamesPack.com.  He resides in Tucson, AZ.

The State of The World

I normally try my best to not get into touchy subjects when I write my posts. However, after a discussion with some of my coworkers (bad idea…I know) I can’t help but feel that these are some things that I need to get off my chest. For those of you whom are sensitive to the subject, I suggest not reading this article

**TRIGGER WARNING**

Politics + Suicide

**TRIGGER WARNING**

So, for those of you still here, let me first say that I live in America. I don’t hide this fact, nor am I blind to the obvious advantages that a white male gets in this country. However, I can say without a doubt, that the current state of this country, and the world, disgusts me. To the point where I often contemplate if this is even a world worth living in. Yes, I am talking about suicide, as the current state of the world has always been a rather large part of my depression. I mean honestly, if you take a close hard look at how the world is, how can you not feel overwhelmingly despaired. Though, I’ll save my view on World Politics aside, for another time, for now. The reason being, as my coworker pointed out, I have no experience living in another country. So I really have no place to compare to America. A portion of my coworkers are an entire family, of immigrants, who came to America in search of freedom. Freedom that they did not have in their native country. That being said, since they’ve moved here to America, they have too been dyed in the Nationalist red, white and blue. To them, America is the greatest country on the planet, especially compared to their home country. And to be completely honest, I don’t really blame them. Not only were they living in an oppressive regime, but they also were not given the same opportunities that they received here in America.

The one problem that I do have with their views, is that they are I incredibly skewed. They believe America to be the greatest country in the world, simply due to how much better it is than their country. There seems to be a common issue here in America, that in my opinion, effects everyone, whether they know it or not. I am referring to the near toxic levels of Nationalism, or pride in America. In schools, or at least while I was in school, it was subconsciously taught that there is nothing wrong with being extremely prideful in America, in fact they encouraged it. Now don’t get me wrong, there is not inherently anything wrong with having pride in your respective country, however, as I mentioned, it is almost toxic in America. It is not deemed by any law, or required by any rule, to feel immense pride in America. Yet if you start to dissent from that prideful stance, you are almost immediately ostracized by the general public. It’s as if there is this “unspoken” rule that says you can’t show anything but pride towards America.

However, there is this certain scene, of a certain TV show, in which a college kid asks a panel of “journalists” why America is the greatest country on earth (you probably know which one I’m talking about). The first says some stereotypical garbage, the second just double downs on “freedom”, and the third makes a rather obvious non-answer about a popular sports team. It is then that the third journalist sees a young woman in the crowd holding a sign that says “It’s Not”. Upon seeing this, the third journalist starts what would become the most infamous tirade in modern history, on why America isn’t the greatest country in the world, though at one point, it was. Needless to say, the entire crowd, as well as his “colleges” are stunned speechless. And to be completely honest with you, so was I the first time I watched it. Like I said, when I was in school, there was almost an indoctrination like pride being implanted in the students. Almost every day began with the National Anthem of course. Almost every class had their lessons skewed to emphasize the greatness of America. While it certainly isn’t the teachers’ faults, they still remained silent on this subtle brainwashing, that they might not have even noticed happening.

As you can probably tell, there are many, many things that I have issues with about my country. To quote the show I was talking about earlier, “We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of whom are allies.” Also, to add my own to that infamous list, the number of mass shootings each year. There really isn’t anything all that great about America anymore. Sure we have FREEDOM, but so does over three quarters of the world. There isn’t anything special about freedom here in America either. The average citizen of the US spends the majority of their life trading their time for money. Money that doesn’t even really afford them most of the basic things in life, like clean water, healthy food, or a stable roof over their heads. There is another glaring issue with American freedom, the more money you have, the more free you are. For example, that whole college admissions scandal a while back. These celebrities with millions of dollars, essentially bribed various colleges to guarentee acceptance of their respective children. Not only did they succeed in getting their child into college by paying for it, but they also had barely any consequences, despite braking the law. If an affluent person of color did the same thing, they’d be thrown in jail probably for the rest of their lives. That’s another problem with America, we claim to be so free, and yet their is such rampant discrimination built into the cores of our society, it’s appalling. I’m not only talking about racism either, theirs sexism, classism, religious phobia, homophobia, and almost every other kind of -ism and phobia out there.

Granted, most of America’s problems stem from two things: The Ultra-Wealthy, and Stupidity. Often a combination of the two. In history class, we were taught that this country was created by the people, for the people. What they don’t tell you, is those people are those with either a ton of money, a ton of power, or both. Everything is run with profits in mind. War, profits. Laws, profits. Opinions, profits. Inovation, profits. Healthcare, profits. I could go on and on until the end of the world (which probably isn’t that far off at the rate we’re going). I personally like to think that I don’t fall into any political party, I’m solely driven by facts and respect. Though it might be a rather controversial stance, I believe that religion (any religion) has no place in government. You can’t force everyone in a country to follow your rules, just because “you want them to go to heaven” **cough**christans**cough**. Every living thing on this planet deserves some level of respect, regardless of religion, politics, skin color, nationality, “intelligence”, etc. Though where I do draw the line is pure stupidity. I’m not talking about the kind that you’re born with, you can’t change that, not easily anyways. I’m talking about the people who think they’re right, regardless of factual evidence stating the contrary. For example, flat-earthers and anti-vaxxers. These two groups of people believe what they want to believe (which I inherently have no problem with) but refuse mountains of evidence dropped at their feet, just because their “research” (5 minutes on Facebook mostly) claims otherwise. This kind of stupid, is clearly a choice. Anti-vaxxers use a single study from a decade ago, that has been proved false numerous times, and yet they believe it. I honestly want to ask an anti-vaxxer this single question: “Even “if” vaccines could cause autism, you’re saying that you’d rather your child be dead, than have autism.” I’m honestly rather curious on what their answer would be. It would most likely be a rather angry deflection that doesn’t answer the question, but rather somehow solidifies their stance. In my opinion, it’s similar to an animal chasing their own tail, thinking it’s some enemy creature of some kind, only to realize that when they finally bite down on this unknown monster, that they “suddenly” feel inexplicable pain for some reason.

There are a vast number of things that I don’t agree with, and so long as it doesn’t effect the freedom of others, you’re more than welcome to do whatever the hell you want. That’s what freedom truly means in my eyes. If you want to wear rotting fish instead of shoes, go right the hell ahead. But if you start preaching to me, that I should also wear fish on my feet, because sneakers were created by the evil lizardmen shadow government, that’s when it becomes a problem. Not only are you infringing on my rights, and wasting my rather valuable time (as we as humans only have so much time on this earth) you are making a mockery of the freedoms you hold so dearly. Yeah you can stand on your soapbox on the corner of a busy intersection and scream your opinions until the cows come home, but if you start doing so in the middle of the intersection causing an endless traffic jam, or visit my house and knock on my door just to spread the “truth” every day, then we start to have a problem.

If it wasn’t obvious at this point, let me clearly spell it out: I really could care less about what you do with what little life you have, or what you believe in, or don’t believe in for that matter. So long as you don’t vilify me for not bowing down and following your idiocy, you can do whatever you damn well please. I support the important things in life like total equality (gender, sexual orientation, skin color, etc), freedom to do just about anything you want so long as it doesn’t harm anyone else, and everyone’s inate, inalienable right to a happy life if you so choose. I don’t care whether you agree with me, or despise me, like I said, I follow the facts, and general respect for nearly all cases.

You’re generally free to follow whatever causes you choose, and I won’t infringe upon that freedom, so long as you really only hold yourself to those standards. I figure I’ve ranted enough for one day. I don’t think I’ll change any hearts or minds just by simply getting a few things off my chest. However, my hope is, is that you’ll begin to look at life a little more skeptically, and decide things for yourself, fully aware of the rewards or consequences that await your actions. Alan Wolfgang, signing off.