Overwhelmed

It’s hard to shake this feeling of being utterly overwhelmed by life. Whether it’s simple things like keeping my house clean or bigger things like how I can make a difference in the world, it’s too easy to feel lost these days.

I keep thinking about how we grow up learning about super heroes or magical girl squads or whatever else – single people or small groups that protect the rest of us from the evils of the world. But as an adult, it leaves me feeling helpless; wanting to be a super hero, but that not being an actual option. A single person cannot save the world.

I used to stress my brain a lot wondering how I could use my leet computer skillz to help the world, or to protest in some way, or otherwise for activism. Then some children got stuck in a cave and I watched Elon Musk on Twitter fuck around with a stupid unwanted tube he invented and delivered with who knows how much testing. Instead of just using a more useful resource – money – to fund other people to save those kids. The kids got out safe thanks to professional divers, and Musk just left his stupid death-trap tube in a cave in another fucking country and tried to play it off, like “in case somebody needs it later.” That event made me realize that I don’t need to necessarily use my knowledge of programming to do Good if it just isn’t what the problem calls for – don’t try to egotistically shove a square block into a round peg.

And with the singular super hero… a single person isn’t important. A single person is vigilantism. A group of people is a movement. And a group requires individual people to be part of it to go anywhere.

And there are good groups that exist. Sometimes when I’m overwhelmed I think about all the other people here who want to do Good and make the world better for others. I know I’m not alone, even though I look at politics and the alt-right movement and just see pure evil.

Groups exist like KC4Refugees – they don’t have to exist, but they do. A volunteer organization where we all work together in different ways to support the refugee community here in Kansas City. Sometimes I think about how I’m helping out only a couple of families with my volunteering, but then I remember that I’m part of a group and each person is helping their own family, or doing organizational volunteering to get families the resources they need. And, the families I mentor are happy I’m there for them. Even if I’m “just” helping the kids with math homework, or “just” tutoring the stay-at-home mothers in English, or “just” helping them move from an old home to a new home, I am helping enrich their lives, and I’m hopefully drowning out any of the Islamomisia they may hear second-hand with my love. I know that if we’re out together and they are targeted first-hand, I will physically be there to protect them.

But, back to feeling overwhelmed.

Unfortunately, I don’t think anything is going to change until the end of this semester. I’m applying for software development jobs again because I’m really craving the routine, and I need to not be bringing so much work home with me every day, every week. We’re reaching the end of October and we still have November and December to go, and it seems like such a long time. I’m so burnt out, and I’m just trying to power through. Until then, I feel like I’ll be a less-than-ideal house keeper, wife, friend, game developer, artist, and so on. Like I have to take all my creative inspiration and drive and just shove it down into a box because if I think about all the things I want to do but can’t, I’ll just dive deeper into depression. But it’s always there. I feel like I’m just a robot getting through this semester, executing the tasks I need to perform, all the while feeling like the world is falling apart around me, and feeling helpless to affect our politics, our policies, or to somehow remove the alt-right threat.

I’m just so drained.

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