💡? The frustration and outright opposition I've felt and experienced here in the past 6 years seems to possibly make more sense now, and it's never just about me.

It always seems to be about what groups of people go through. I'm sure it'll be used later somehow.
There was still classic "I swear this only happens to me" sort of shit (there always will be). But starting from understanding a little bit of what my parents went through immigrating here to just getting tossed around this town a rag doll as money went up and down...it's a LOT.
I'm still like: I came down here to write a book and to be warm...and then all this other stuff happened-- which was basically seeing how America really is.

I didn't think I was drunk, or even tipsy, on American optimism, but I am stone cold sober now.
Before I came to Florida, I didn't really have a lot of experiences that people could empathize with because they were so extreme. My life reads like a novel--even now. BUT.
I still think about this Lyft driver, this older white woman who was bringing me back from Target. And we're in my driveway. I think maybe the creep was outside.
For the most part, if I think you're cool, I'm not going to pull punches on anything. Life is too short. So I lamented having to go back in there, blah blah blah crazy evil etc. And she told me about the theft and sexual assaults she had to endure while she was living in a place.
It made my shit look...less intense. But she was really proud that I had been taking a stand for myself and had said that she was still learning to do that. 💔
I've just had so many random real connections with strangers having going through THIS particular tropical hell, vs. before--I really felt isolated in my experiences. You had to have gone through some insane shit, too, which is a very small club.
I think it's really easy for me to connect with mostly anyone now, like people I would think--you know, they're probably thinking I'm the n-word, and then we have these meaningful conversations.
I thought I was really good at that before, I don't think I actually was. There's something about being stripped of things, multiple times--well, it can definitely embitter and harden you. I have my fair share of that.
But I think there's a humbling that happened that I didn't really notice until...right now.

I came out as a nerd with nerdy parents, so there was a bit of some sort of "better than" mantle on me because everyone looked at me that way.
My education, which I really strongly identified with, doesn't mean shit here. I'm just some random transplant who hates it here.
I don't know if I would have liked to have gone on this extended tourney through poverty to be more connected to people, but I just...I don't think I'm as haughty. I hope, LOL.
I mean, there are still times I'm like--as much as I say I'm from earth, I do not get earthlings at alllll.

But I think whatever plexiglas walls that were around me...at the very least there are air holes in them now.
I know Florida had its purposes, which were not going to be" fun in the sun, live at the beach." This is most easily the worst place I've lived in in my entire life, hands down. And I chose to be here.
I didn't want to be here this long, but I honestly don't know how else this walls between me and the rest of the world could have been lowered besides ditching evangelicalism and then ditching Chicago (and apparently trashing my credit score, LOL--yay grad school).
I feel like a child sometimes--I have met some truly awful people here. I didn't know people could be so cruel. I don't know how unlucky I've been to just meet people whose souls are full-on dumpster fires but look so nice on the outside (my Scorpio MC has put the work in, WHEW).
I totally met some dumpster fire people in church (where they congregate and never get salvation, but that's another story). But to have people just be really cruel about housing been really mind-blowing for me.

But this isn't something novel--and that's the real kicker for me.
As someone who is allegedly empathic, it's taken so much to not take this cruelty inside of me and let it, well, kill me. Lots and lots and lots of practice.

And even my dad has been cruel to me before, but...I don't think he'd be this cruel--that's saying a lot. EVEN MY DAD.
And that I'm not the only one who gets shit on on a daily basis. I'm just really open and vocal about it.

Those people are cruel because our society, my state and its evil governor, make it OK to be that way. This doesn't happen in a vacuum.
Oh, just realizing what's funny is most of these cruel people have been Christians because of course they are.
This chapter feels really closed. I feel I'm handing in my final exam (Please goddess pass me!)
I really want to reiterate how I really understand the country I live in now and how helpful and yet completely heartbreaking it is to have these new self-evident truths.
So, thank you, Florida, armpit of America, for making me want to be a better person, for both toughening me up and softening me. Though this was an expensive masterclass on my own humanity, I'm glad I feel less alien and more human. Just wish pain & suffering wasn't the gateway.
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