Eyes are opening
I headed up to the Northeast part of the country for the past week for some much needed R & R and some introspection about where I am after 16 months. It seems I have not been able to separate myself while I'm actually in the city. Or so I discovered for the past week. I spent a little time in Virginia Beach, drove up to Atlantic City for a couple of days and then spent the rest of my time in Philadelphia.
First I was surprised that America still has cities that are functional. Lights work, things run on time, there are things to do after dark and you won't get mugged walking the dog. People are upbeat and positive- yeah even in Philly!!! I was there for 3 days and they only had 1 murder. Think about that. We go through 4 or 5 a day sometimes and we might be about a 10th of the size.
I'm not attempting to be negative. It's frankly just the reality of the situation from my perspective. Every one of us is different. Things effect me in certain ways that others may not be give a second thought. That's what this site is about. One persons perspective at a certain time at a certain place about a certain thing.
Soul searching was a big part of getting away. I've gotten out of town occasionally, mainly for work though so I didn't really bring my emotional baggage with me on those trips. Examining oneself is never the easiest thing to do. I don't like what I saw and felt in the past week so I'm going to have to take the Chris Rose route. I'm going to need some help.
It's been 16 months. 16 long months and I haven't moved on from the storm. I've finally accepted that fact. The anger of what happened is still inside, still bubbling up at times that confuse and frighten me. The storm still dominates my thoughts and my discussions and it's just not healthy. I will never be a person who lives for reality TV, the hot new CD from Beyonce or what kind of clothes I wear. That's just not who I am. I give a shit about this city and this country. Not to say that those who ACCEPT that the national news feeds us stories about Ms America and her personal problems don't care about city or country. It's just about priorities and it seems that New Orleans is not really a priority anymore. OK, I accept that too. Doesn't make it right but I accept that some folks just don't have the inner fortitude to care anymore. One guy, as I was changing planes actually asked how New Orleans was- 3 YEARS after the storm. I didn't have the energy to tell him we just hit a year a couple months back.
I have to find that happy medium where I can still LIVE life and care. I'm not there yet. I've got some issues that I'm going to need to confront. I'm jealous of everyone who doesn't have to feel this pain on a daily basis. I get angry with people who aren't coming back. I know that's not right, but again its one person, one place, one time, one feeling. I get even more angry at the one's who come back and sit on their fucking ass like this is vacation land. Drinking "forty's" on the porch at 7:30 in the morning as I'm going to work. If I didn't think I'd get shot I'd roll the window down and tell those fuckers to get a good damn job and start helping instead of keeping us down. I get frustrated at those who don't want progress around here, who just want the status quo so they can keep their power and keep the sheep in the herd. I want to make a change but the stagnation that has struck New Orleans has infiltrated my progress and now I'm mentally burned out or something to that degree.
If I didn't love the company I work for, I might have already checked out. I've thought of it, late at night, staring at the ceiling, wondering if there will be a future in New Orleans for me. I'm guessing we all have thought about it, maybe it would be easier to move on somewhere else. To start over somewhere that has things that work. Somewhere that's not going to be a social experiment for, oh say the next 20 years. For now anyway, my eyes have been opened. I'm going to stick around for awhile, attempt to get some help (yeah e-mail if you know a Doc who can take patients) and see if I can live life. Quote from Shawshank Redemption says it best: Either get busy living or get busy dying. The latter might be easier some days but the former sure holds promise.