Reflections on Tornados, Taxes, & More

The past week has been a rough one for me. There is just no other way to put it.  To be clear, this post is not a plea for sympathy or anything of the sort.  I’m just trying to make sense of all the anxiety & sadness in my own brain so that I can face this new week in a better frame of mind.  Also, just to be clear, & this will make more sense once you’ve read further, yes, I am fully aware that this past week could have been much worse.  Certainly I am very grateful for the many blessings in the midst of crisis.  And yes, of course I am aware that many others are suffering in far “greater” ways than I right now. However, none of that diminishes the sadness I am experiencing right now, & despite my innate tendency to feel guilty for being sad about things, I’ve learned by now that trying to squelch or dismiss grief is a surefire way to never get over it & indeed to only make it worse.appo tornado

With all of that out of the way, let me elucidate why this past week has been so challenging.  Initially I had some rather difficult nights at work.  There’s nothing more I want to say about that; just know that I started the week off feeling a bit more anxious because of that.  Then Wednesday rolled around & a tornado ripped through my hometown.  Bear in mind I did not grow up in the Midwest so tornados are not exactly something we expect to encounter; in fact this was only the third documented tornado in the county & by far the worst one.  In any case, the result was that hundreds of houses were damaged, some leveled completely to the ground, leaving hundreds of people with nowhere to live & little to none of their belongings.  A cousin of mine was home during the storm & barely made it into the basement in time to survive.  When he walked out of the basement after the tornado passed, he found that his house was completed destroyed.  (You can read his story here.)  When his dad, my first cousin, sent me a picture of the house I was just flabbergasted. tornado

Once I started seeing more & more similar pictures online, I knew that my hometown was in great need.  Despite the many mixed feelings I have about my hometown, as I’ve written about here before, I just could not stay here in Raleigh doing nothing when I knew so many folks in my hometown were in dire need.  So I made a spur of the moment decision to go home & see my family & do what I could to help the community.  Off I went to WalMart where I bought a whole cartload of things to donate, everything from non-perishable food to towels to tampons to Gatorade & bottled water & more.  I’m so glad I was off work so that I was able to make this trip home & surprise my family as well as donate to those in need in the community, but the trip was still heartbreaking.  Driving around the county & seeing houses completely leveled with belongings, glass, pieces of wood, powerlines, & all manner of debris scattered all over the roads & the fields was nothing short of devastating.  I definitely had tears in my eyes as I surveyed the damage.  What has been heartwarming of course is seeing how the community has banded together to help those in need.  I just read yesterday that out of 375 people displaced by the storm, only two were left in shelters.  That’s amazing!  There have been volunteers & donations coming in from all over the state & even outside Virginia.  It’s wonderful to see all of this outpouring of good will, but nonetheless I cannot help but be sad for those who have lost so taxes

Next up, my husband did our taxes on Saturday morning & we found out we owe even more money than last year.  Let me just tell you nothing will make you a Libertarian so fast as finding out you owe several paychecks worth of money in taxes!  (Actually I was already a Libertarian because it’s just what makes sense to me, but the point stands regardless.)  And to everyone who keeps asking, yes, we have all of our forms filled out correctly.  We just don’t have any dependents (yet), & no matter what we do our employers never deduct enough money from our paychecks.  Argh.kindess quote

Following right on the heels of that I went to WalMart to get a pregnancy test because I got my IUD removed a month ago, my cycle has been all over the place, & for a host of different reasons I thought there was a possibility I might be pregnant.  In any case, I just wanted to know for sure whether I was or wasn’t.  Well, on the short trip there, a man rear-ended my car while I was stopped at a red light.  This marks the second time in four months that someone has rear-ended my car, & both times I’ve been kind/stupid enough not to call the police or file any insurance claims.  The first time I had nothing more than a few scratches on my car so I was truly not concerned.  This time there is a dent on the back of my car, but it’s pretty small & honestly I just feel like there are so many more important things in life that I can’t bother getting upset about a dented bumper.  In any case, I do wish I’d called the police or at least filed with the man’s insurance because my CD player stopped working after the wreck.  Now, as some of you know, music is basically my religion.  It is what motivates me on my darkest days & is the very lifeblood of my soul.  (Corey Taylor said it best: “Music . . . is the only real religion that is worth devoting your soul to. It is the last remnant of the primal scream, the funeral dirge, & the wedding march. It is the light that keeps me out of the shadows, & it is the reason my immortal soul is not in dire straits.”) When I found out my CD player wasn’t working, I can’t lie, that sent me over the edge & I truly cried for the first time all week. I had wanted to cry multiple times earlier in the week but I’d held it in for some ridiculous reason.  Thankfully my dear husband was able to rescue all the CDs that were in the CD player, & he found a replacement online for which the man who hit me has promised to reimburse quote

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering why I didn’t call the police.  The simple explanation is I’m an idiot. The more complicated explanation is I was already an emotional disaster & I just couldn’t stand the thought of dealing with the police at that moment.  Also the man who hit me was black & there was a part of me that worried the police would treat him more harshly because of that.  I also couldn’t help but remember what a blessing it was when I rear-ended a delivery truck years ago & the owner of the truck asked the policeman not to charge me because there was essentially no damage to his truck.  To my great surprise & relief, the policeman complied with his wishes.  I still remember how wonderful that felt, & part of me wanted to give that feeling to someone else.  I’m not sure if it’s a mark of compassion, insanity, stupidity, or some combination of all three that I was even thinking of someone else’s feelings at a time like that, but the truth is I was.You-are-nice-quotes-kindness-quotes-politeness-quotes

Back to the pregnancy test, as soon as I got home after the wreck I took the test & was greatly disappointed to find out that I am definitely NOT pregnant.  I knew the chances were slim to none that it would happen so quickly, but I just couldn’t help but be disappointed.  I keep remembering being in OB class in nursing school & thinking how ludicrous it was that a woman could want to be a mother so badly that she would cry when she got her period or had a negative pregnancy test.  It’s not that I doubted this could happen; it’s just that at that point in my life getting pregnant would have been a disaster for me, & I just couldn’t envision myself ever wanting to be a mom that badly, so I simply had no conception of how that would feel.  Well, here I am six or seven years later, whatever it is, & now I know how it feels.  It’s something I can’t explain, & part of me feels silly for even being upset about this when logically I know I “shouldn’t” be, but I can’t help it.  And that makes me feel weak & hormonal & ridiculous.  Ugh.

Lavendar hanging from an old vintage door, room for copy space

In case anyone’s wondering why I’m sharing something so personal as all this, there are several reasons.  First, writing out my thoughts & feelings keeps me sane.  And secondly I truly believe the world would be a better place if we didn’t all pretend we’re ok when we clearly aren’t.  With that in mind, allow me to say this: I do NOT have it all together.  Perhaps it’s self-imposed because I have such high expectations for myself, but I often feel like people just expect me to be Ms. Perfect all the time.  I feel like people automatically think “Oh, she’s smart, she’ll be fine, she’ll figure it out.  We don’t have to worry about her.”  Maybe that’s all in my head, but the truth is I really do NOT have it all together.  Yes, I have lots of wonderful things in my life for which I am very grateful (a loving husband & family, friends who have become like family, an adorable corgi, a great career, etc), & some of those are things I’ve worked really hard to achieve/keep.  But none the less, I am just as human as everyone else.  And right now I am feeling a bit fragile & broken.  On the plus side, this is the first time in a very long time that I feel like my anxiety has truly gotten the better of me.  That right there is a huge victory.  Honestly, when I remember the constant state of high-pitch anxiety I was in during college, I have no idea how I survived.  All I can say is I’m glad I’ve gotten the help I’ve needed in the ensuing years.humanity

I’ll end this by saying that I can’t give enough thanks to all of those who have reached out to me during the past few days.  Some of you I haven’t spoken to in person in years, yet you took the time to message me & send words of encouragement, & that means more to me than I can say.


As a final message, I’m striving to remind myself of the incredible wisdom of these simple words from the Buddhist writer Pema Chodron:

“Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit & not be squeamish about taking a good look.”

Amen.corey taylor owe yourself

And just for good measure I’ll add a few more inspiring quotes from the great Corey Taylor.

“. . . the divine lies in all of us. We are miracles. We are “god.” If we shared a little more, we would not be left feeling less. We hold the keys to our own destinies. It is time we started looking for the locks.”

“Life owes you nothing. You owe yourself everything.”

Lessons Learned in the Wild West

Ok, so maybe Montana & Wyoming aren’t really the Wild West anymore.  But it’s definitely a whole different world out there!   I’ve always found it fascinating to study other cultures & learn how people live in places far & wide.  From an early age I found myself drawn to reading & learning about other nations & cultures.  As I’ve grown up I’ve realized that even within our own nation there are vast cultural differences.  So I thought it would be fun to compile a list of things I learned/observed on our recent vacation to Montana & Wyoming.  I wrote a similar post on my Facebook page after our honeymoon trip to Maine a few years ago, & people seemed to enjoy it, so I thought I’d try it again for this trip.

Note: this list isn’t going to state the obvious “Holy crap!  The mountains are beautiful & there really are bears out here!”  That stuff goes without saying.  These observations are meant to be more cultural in nature.

If any of my lovely readers grew up or currently reside in Montana or Wyoming or that general area, please feel free to contribute your own thoughts about life in the “Wild West.”

1. This ain’t a place for the faint of heart.  Much of the rest of this list will explain why.

2. Late September through mid May = COLD.  Very cold.  BITTERLY COLD.  So basically 75% of the year is winter.  And I don’t mean the quaint winter wonderland kind of winter.  I mean the FREEZING COLD, massive snow drifts, can’t-travel-except-by-snowmobile kind of winter.  Yikes.  Even in early September, it’s not uncommon to have a bit of snow, as you can see below from Yellowstone.


3. This place is desolate.  I thought I grew up in the middle of nowhere & relative to much of the world (certainly the U.S.), I did.  But holy crap, Montana & Wyoming are seriously isolated!  Montana, the fourth largest state in geographical area, has just over 1 million residents . . . basically the same population as the COUNTY in which I currently reside.  Maybe I’m simple-minded, but that blows my mind!  Wyoming is also quite large geographically but has less than 600,000 residents, making it the least populated state in the whole country.  To give you an example of how isolated these states are, when we landed in Bozeman, MT we went to the local Wal-Mart to gather some supplies for our trip.  We then drove about 5 hrs north to a small town near Glacier National Park.  It was not until we were within 30 minutes of our final destination that we located another Wal-Mart or any other real grocery store.  Certainly we may have passed a few that were off the main roads (if you can call them that) so we didn’t see them, but it is not uncommon for people to live up to 2 hrs away from a real grocery store!  Considering the weather issues discussed in the above point, I think you can now fully comprehend my first point.  This is not a place for the faint of heart!

4. Cowboy boots & cowboy hats really are everywhere out West.  This was my first trip west of Chicago & I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  Sure, movies play up the cowboy image, but I always figured that was mostly exaggeration.  And I’m sure a good deal of it is.  But lots of men (& some women) really do dress like that on a regular basis.  I also noticed that it seems much more acceptable for men to wear hats indoors, even larger hats like cowboy hats.  In the South older people at least seem to find that rude (for no logical reason, in my mind).  But out West this seems to be common practice.


Note the 3 men in cowboys boots & hats.  This is Main Street (basically the ONLY street) of Cooke City, MT, just outside the NE entrance of Yellowstone NP.

Note the 3 men in cowboys boots & hats. This is Main Street (basically the ONLY street) of Cooke City, MT, just outside the NE entrance of Yellowstone NP.

5. Casinos are EVERYWHERE in Montana.  About every other convenience store has a casino attached to it.  (And there are a lot of convenience stores.)  Granted these are not major Vegas-style joints, but all the same gambling is clearly a much more accepted practice in this area.  We overheard a bartender explaining to a customer one night that most of these casinos are just machines that run automated poker, & of course there are slot machines.  Anything more than that requires special licensing apparently.

6. There is no sales tax in Montana.  Not even on prepared food.  Woohoo!

7. The above point may be influenced by the fact that a large portion of businesses in Montana (& possibly Wyoming too) are only open May through September . . . the short but frantic tourist season.  If you’re wondering why this is, see point # 2.  I’m not totally sure what these people do for income during the winter months.  It can’t be easy.  See point # 1.

8. Drive around Montana for more than about 30 minutes & you will surely run across at least one white cross on the side of the road.  Drive a little longer & you’ll lose count of how many you’ve seen.  These crosses are markers for highway fatalities & they are placed by the American Legion of Montana.  The Legion started the program decades ago in hopes of combating Montana’s very high rate of highway fatalities.

montana highway cross

9. Having read # 8, you might not be shocked to learn that Montana has a very high DUI rate.  In fact this article

( states that Montana is # 2 in the country for DUIs.  And Wyoming is # 4!  If you look at the article you may notice that North Dakota tops the list & South Dakota is also in this shameful top 10.  Notice a pattern?  All very cold, very rural states with what one can reasonably assume is nonexistent taxi service.  And being rural there isn’t a hell of a lot to do except drink.  And when it’s brutally cold 75% of the year, who can really blame them for wanting a good buzz?  All in all though, it’s a sad picture.

10. Though Montana & Wyoming are both traditionally Republican states (at least from a federal/presidential point of view), the religious conservatism that often goes hand-in-hand with Republican voters does not seem to be quite as strong, certainly not in comparison to the South.  We saw plenty of churches, & plenty of Baptist churches at that, but the overall feeling we gathered was that there is a much greater “live & let live” mentality out West.  I got the idea that a lot of people may be religious & more traditionally conservative, but I also got the feeling that they are less concerned with enticing everyone they meet to believe exactly the same things they do.   In other words there seems to be a greater understanding of the idea that if you want to have the freedom to do & believe as you choose, you have to be willing to grant that same freedom to others, even to those with whom you disagree.  Perhaps this is because traditionally people who moved out West did so partially for the idea of being left alone.  I could be completely off-base in my observations here, particularly as I have no real scientific way to measure them, but it’s just something I observed that I thought was worth mentioning.

11. In the South we don’t like to call bars bars.  We like to call them grills, diners, pubs, inns, or restaurants, or maybe we might stoop to “restaurant & bar.”  But out West there are no such qualms.  There are lots of bars.  Most of them, maybe all of them, serve food & plenty of it.  In fact, like the South, most of them are more accurately restaurants that happen to have a bar.  But I couldn’t help but notice that out West, unlike the South, there seems to be no shame in naming an institution “such & such bar or saloon.”  But then again the South is all about trying to seem all proper & dainty when really we’re just as dirty as everyone else, right?  (This is partially a joke, partially not.  If you’re offended, I’m sorry.  But the South does rate highest in a lot of rather bad things: obesity, smoking, teen pregnancy, heart disease/diabetes, poverty, etc.  Ok, sorry, I wandered from the real topic at hand.  Oops.)


12. From what I observed, there isn’t a very distinctive accent out West, in Montana anyway.  I’ve always been very fascinated by linguistics, & I love listening to the way people talk & pronounce various words.  Despite being very rural, I did not observe any real “countrified accents” like you encounter in the South.  Indeed I was impressed with how clearly & eloquently most everyone spoke.  I don’t meant that everyone we encountered seemed like a real genius.  But they didn’t sound like your stereotypical hicks either.  In fact the only real accent I picked up at all was a bit Canadian if anything, which perhaps is logical as Montana does border Canada.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Southern accents & have a bit of one myself at times (certain words, that is).  But I also like people to speak clearly & actually enunciate their words, & I make a sincere effort to do so myself.  Sadly, this is something a fair amount of Southerners have not mastered.  It’s completely unfair that such folks are often judged negatively for such a superficial thing, & yet it is what it is.   Ok, I’m back on the South again.  Oops.

13. Out West you don’t see a lot of sports cars on the road.  Thanks to the winter weather discussed in # 2, massive trucks & SUVs are the law of the land.  However, it’s also not too uncommon to see some rather, uhh, interesting “trucks” on the road.  See below for an example.

montana truck

14. Montana (& probably Wyoming but we didn’t spend as much time there, at least not outside of Yellowstone) isn’t a good place to be a vegetarian.  Not only are there a lot of delightful temptations such as steak, bison burgers, & even elk burgers, but there don’t seem to be a whole lot of places that offer a large vegetarian selection.  If you’re a vegetarian & you decide to visit or move to Montana, plan to eat a lot of boring salads or do most of your own cooking.

15. A lot of people really do refer to sodas as “pop.”  One of our hotels even had a sign over the vending machine area that read “Pop/Ice.”

16. Considering how cold it is the vast majority of the year, it’s really quite shocking to note how many trailers/mobile homes there are in Montana.  Can you imagine how cold it must get in those homes during the brutal winters?  See point # 1.

17. Huckleberries are huge in Montana.  Everywhere you go there is huckleberry pie, huckleberry ice cream, huckleberry chocolate/candy, huckleberry-scented lotion/candles/soap/etc.  You name it, they’ve got it in huckleberry.  The only things I tried were the huckleberry pie & ice cream.  But they were both DELICIOUS!


Overall, our vacation to Montana & Wyoming was AWESOME.  We hiked over 30 miles in total, & yes, I have 4 (healing) blisters on my feet to show for that.  But they were well worth it!  The mountains & wildlife were gorgeous, the air was clean, the people were friendly [though less likely to tell you their whole life story the minute you say hello, as some Southerners are wont to do ;)], & the food was delicious.  It was exactly the type of break I needed from the hum-drum of daily life.  Part of me wishes I could live out there in those beautiful mountains, but sadly I don’t think I’m cut out for the cold or the isolation of such rural life.  But I shall certainly be looking forward to my next opportunity to visit this majestic, fascinating, & challenging land of the Wild West.

6 Reasons Why I’m Proud of My Generation

It seems that lately I’ve heard a lot of criticism of my generation.  It usually goes something like this: We’re lazy.  We’re entitled.  (Or we think we’re entitled.)  We have no patience.  We can’t get our hands off of our smart phones.  We’re too sexually promiscuous.  We don’t know how to dress appropriately.  And the list goes on and on.  Frankly, I’m tired of it.  May I be so bold as to say that such criticisms offend me on two levels: on a personal level because I know these criticisms cannot be fairly applied to me & on a more general level because I know that these criticisms also cannot be fairly applied to the majority of my generation?  In light of that, perhaps I should just shrug off this negativity & forget it.  And usually that is what I do.  But this is a subject that’s been brewing in my mind for quite some time now.  I don’t know that I’ve really thought of it explicitly as a potential blog topic, but it’s just an idea that’s been running through my head for a while now.  As I was driving to my flute group practice today, I started composing this blog post in my mind.  I got to practice & all I could think about was “I’ve got to get home & start writing before I forget this!”  If you’re a fellow writer, I’m sure you know exactly how this feels.  So here we go.  Here’s my response to all those nay-sayers who say my generation is going to hell in a hand-basket or running the world into the ground or whatever else.


I’m proud of my generation.  To be fair, I’m not sure exactly how to define the term “my generation” but generally I think of anyone who is now about 20-30 as within my generation (that’s anyone within five years older than me & five years younger than me).  To me we are the last generation to grow up without computers as a mainstay of our lives from birth, yet we are one of the first generations to be well versed in computers, ipods, & other such technology as teenagers & young adults.  I see my generation, especially those of us from rural areas where high-speed internet access is still far from universal, as straddling the gap between those who had to learn computers & other such technology as adults & those who grew up with it from day one.  Now on to the meat of the piece: the reasons why I’m proud of my generation.

1. I’m proud of my generation because of our acceptance of those who are different from us.  A great example of this is how common interracial relationships & marriages are in our generation.  Especially in a multi-cultural city like Raleigh, it’s very common for me to see couples at the mall or other public places who are composed of everything from a white man and a black woman to an Asian woman and a white man to any other combination you can think of.  And most of them are from my generation.  As much as I often rail against the mainstream media, take a glance at modern-day ads or TV (much of which is aimed at my generation) & you’ll quickly see that mixed race models & actors are all the rage (& fairly so, for many of them are drop-dead gorgeous.)  [Think Jennifer Lopez, Shemar Moore, etc.]  While older generations still can’t seem to grasp this concept, my generation has realized that all relationships are made up of people with different backgrounds & points of view & thus an interracial or inter-cultural relationship really isn’t that different than any other relationship.  To put this in simple terms consider that I as a white American female probably have more in common with your average black American male than with a white man from another culture, say Eastern Europe.  And yet I know there are plenty of folks from older generations who would much prefer to see me dating a white Eastern European guy than a black American guy . . . If you think that people aren’t capable of overcoming cultural differences to establish & maintain a relationship, then you have far too low an opinion of humanity.  Consider that perhaps the greatest challenge for those in inter-racial relationships is actually dealing with the REACTIONS of those around them, rather than some inherent challenge found in dating someone of another race.  Hmmm . . .

To follow in the same vein, I am proud of my generation for how many of us support equal rights, including marriage, for gays and lesbians.  Not everyone of my generation agrees with this obviously, but I daresay a greater percentage of people from our generation are in favor of gay rights/marriage than from any other generation.  This isn’t meant to be a post about gay rights, but it does warm my heart to see how even those of us from conservative religious backgrounds (such as myself) are questioning some of the things we were taught growing up & realizing that gay rights are a cause we can’t help but support.

2. I’m also proud of my generation for being adept at using technology & handling change.  As a generation who grew up with massive change in technology both at home & in school, we are thus adept at handling new technology in the workplace, even though we’re often fully aware that whatever technology we’re now embracing will probably soon be replaced by something newer & better.  Consider that just between elementary & high school we went from using floppy discs to flashdrives, from cassette tapes to CDs, & from VHS to DVDs.  Thus, we are both swift to learn how to use technology and how to teach others to use it.  Instead of fearing change, we are often the employees who push for change because we are able to see how it can benefit us.  Is it true that some of us spend entirely too much time on our smart phones & seem barely capable of holding a real conversation?  Yes, but I truly believe this isn’t the norm.  I have tons of friends & coworkers of my generation who are fully capable of carrying on in-depth conversations with people of our own & other generations.  But we also know how to use our smart phones to help us navigate a new city or find the closest WalMart or CVS.  Really, how can you say that’s such a bad thing?

3. Yet another reason I’m proud of my generation is for our critical thinking skills.  Gone are the days when people believe anything someone says just because they said it.  No, we are the generation raised on science & because of that you can’t just expect us to follow you hook, line, & sinker without a lot of good facts to back up whatever is you’re trying to “sell” us.  These are the days of Google & you better believe that when we’re shopping for a new car, we’ve already looked up the Kelly Bluebook value online, not to mention user reviews from previous buyers.   Basically, it’s a lot harder to “snow” us.  If we’re interested in religion or philosophy, you better believe we won’t be satisfied with simple answers to complicated questions.  And you better believe we will never stop asking questions & we’ll have no problem leaving behind anyone who tells us our questions are inappropriate or unnecessary.

4. I’m proud of my generation for working hard often with little reward.  We are the generation who were raised to be believe we could be anything & that any college degree, no matter how obscure, would land us a well-paying job for the rest of our lives.  The more insightful of us realized this was always a bit of a fallacy, but many of us believed it because for prior generations it was largely true.  However, right around the time we were graduating from college is when the economy crashed & suddenly many of us were left with mountains of debt & useless degrees.  Suddenly we are competing for the same jobs as our counterparts with “mere” high school diplomas.  Because of our school loans, many of us are having to live at home with our parents or put off marriage & family plans.  Many of us are waking up to the sad reality that we may never be as well-off as our parents.  And that Social Security won’t exist for our generation (because the program is already financially teetering on the edge of disaster) even though we will pay into it for the rest of our lives.  (While much of this is not true for me as a nurse, I do see it all around me in my generation.)  Despite all of these obstacles, I see many folks of my generation creating successful careers whether they be in healthcare, teaching, advertising, network marketing, photography, etc.  For example three of my favorite photography blogs are run by women who are all under 30.  In fact I’m quite sure the eldest of them is 27 or 28 & they are all very successful.  Even though we’re facing obstacles we may not have realized would exist, we are rising to the challenge & eventually employers are going to realize what a valuable resource we are.

5. I’m proud of my generation for leaving gender stereotypes in the dust.  I’m proud of us for realizing that men & women can share the housework, that not everything has to be written in stone as “the woman’s job” or “the man’s job.”  Yet I’m also proud of us for realizing that being a stay-at-home mom is just as legitimate & rewarding of a choice as having a high-powered career.  And that stay-at-home dads are a legitimate choice too.  Women can be doctors & lawyers, men can be nurses & teachers.  Basically we can do all whatever we want.

I could go on & on but for the sake of brevity (HAHA, I know I am pretty much incapable of ever writing anything brief!), I’ll end with this.

6. Perhaps more than anything, I’m proud of my generation for realizing the one thing that I think older generations largely could not grasp: that what’s right for some of us isn’t right for others of us, that there is no ONE right path for everyone, & that the greatest thing we can achieve in life is just to be happy & chase our dreams.

I realize this post would be “better” if I had addressed each of the criticisms I listed at the beginning, but I wanted to list the reasons for which I’m most proud of my generation, not just provide arguments against vague criticisms, some of which are a bit superficial anyway.

Before you say that this post is trashing older generations let me be clear & say that I have nothing but respect for older generations.  (For example, I’m one of those nurses who LOVES working with older people.)  Obviously older generations taught us a great deal & laid down the groundwork for where we are today.  For example, inter-racial marriage wouldn’t even be legal if not for the work of civil rights workers in the 1950’s & 60’s.  I’m fully aware that every generation thinks those that come after it are going to hell.  It’s just the way the world works.  So I will go ahead & ask in advance that when I’m 40 or 50 or 70 or whatever & start railing against my children or grandchildren’s generation, somebody send me the link to this blog post & remind me of how much I hated being criticized when I was young.  Please & thank you.  😉