Dear Universe: Help

Dear Universe,

I am struggling tonight for peace. Four words repeat themselves over and over like a drumbeat in the back of my mind:

What. Is. The. Point?

I’m a middle class white girl from the suburbs, who was blessed, growing up, to be fed three meals a day by parents who loved me and sacrificed their own needs for anything that I asked for.

I realize that children all over the world suffer on a daily basis fighting disease, hunger, and poverty.

I was not one of them. I had a bike, a handful of Barbie dolls, princess dresses, and a safe neighborhood to roam in until it was time to come home for dinner.

I graduated from high school. I went to a variety of colleges. I experienced things both good and bad, but all in all, I spent my teenage years with a continued sense of well-being and optimism.

I was ill prepared for the new reality that so many of us in our country now face.

Take a walk to Zuccoti Park and you’ll see it all firsthand.

We are in a state of crisis.

My confidence in my own success, the stability of my country, and my sense of security erodes on a daily basis.

I am left with an uncontrollable sense of panic and helplessness.

At thirty-four years old, every day of my life feels harder than the one before it.

When my parents were thirty-four, they owned a home and were raising two small children.

While I’m sure their life wasn’t all roses and sunshine, on the whole, they were living the American dream.

Having a child of my own, becoming a mother – something I never doubted would happen – is now a pipe dream.

Owning a home, which I assumed would be a natural milestone of my adulthood, will most likely not be possible in my lifetime.

I never imagined while playing house as a child that I’d find myself divorced after ten years of a marriage in which my role was one of the primary earner. That my wedded bliss would in reality be a liability that left me emotionally and financially drained.

I never imagined in the years that I worked my way up my career ladder I would find myself less professionally stable at age thirty-four than at age twenty-four.

In my twenties, when I got a bonus, I’d celebrate with the purchase of a designer purse. I’d take a group of friends out for a five star dinner. I’d buy a hundred dollar bottle of champagne and lease a newer car.

Am I being punished for every time I made a foolish decision? Are we not, as humans, allowed the room to make mistakes, learn from them, and move on? Must I worry so deeply now because I didn’t save every dollar as if it were my last then?

I’ve made some poor choices.

I take responsibility for them.

I apologize.

I admit that my every action has not been flawless.

I am not an impeccable human.

But I have committed no crimes. I’ve participated in politics in hopes of joining my voice with my community’s to maintain and equalize all civil rights and privileges. I’ve volunteered to help those in need. I’ve extended myself as a friend and a professional associate in every way possible. I gave my marriage all of my best, with my whole heart.

Yet I feel I have been left with nothing. I am emotionally, spiritually, and financially bankrupt. I am one false move, one bad week away from not making my rent. I am so stressed with the dawn of each new day that my chest feels tight from the second my eyes open.

And I am completely alone. The years I invested in building a mutual support system around me now feel like theatre, like a play that I watched on a stage, and the curtain closed before I realized we were in the final act. It is literally every man for himself at this stage of the game.

At thirty-four years old, I am simply out of energy. I am devoid of hope. I am tired of fighting for a standard of living that used to qualify as the bare minimum and is now deemed luxurious. I am lonely, scared, and paralyzed at the thought of the future.

I share these thoughts with you as humbly as possible. It is not my wish to whine and play the victim. I am a solution-oriented person, one who wants to move forward, who deeply desires a brighter tomorrow.

It’s just that I am out of ideas.

I simply want:

  • to be a good person
  • to contribute to society in any positive way I can
  • to love and be loved in return.

These are my goals, wishes, hopes, and dreams.

Screw the kids and the house. I can do without.

But love? A livable wage?

These two I actually need.

Without them, what is there?

What am I?

Dearest Universe, God, Angels, Buddha, whatever you are, wherever you are, please. Forgive me my doubts of your existence, because tonight, I need to believe in a miracle that you can produce.

I need your help.

image – Phillip Chee

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