Moving Inward

There is a growing part of me that wishes someone could have told me that by twenty-eight I would be spent, hollow and bent low, low, low to the earth. How is it that I feel like an old man already? Creativity, gone. Curiosity, banished to some dark corner of my being. Some dark corner of the soul that I cannot find a light bright enough to illuminate.

I wept hard the other night. The small room I inhabit absorbed the sobs and threw them back at me, bringing me no solace, only a sad ringing in my ears.

A recent phone conversation with my beloved mother found me saying into the receiver, “if this country wanted to break me it has”. Here stands one broken citizen of the crumbling empire with nowhere to turn. You can leave this country one of three ways: by throwing large sums of money at whatever country you want to inhabit, holding a degree in something “in demand” (a lot of money is needed to obtain this education as well), or marriage.

What about the penniless wanderers? Is there a place for them? When my great grandfather came to America he held no degree, had little money and was not marrying anyone in this country (but would eventually do so). My, how the world has changed in less then a hundred years. For most of the world’s population they are effectively “trapped” in whatever shit hole they happen to be born into.

I’ll stop there. I’ll climb down off this horse and hitch it to the old worn out post for a while. I’ll give you the reader a break. I’ve been talking in circles, feeling very much like a caged animal. I did not ask to be born into this zoo and as a result have found myself feeling infinitely embittered by the cage that is the United States of America.

The utter lack of anyone to seriously converse with about my perspective of this country has been the final blow, the one that’s really taken the wind out of my sails. I wish, for my own sake, that I could say I had a group of others who felt the same way I did about this place, a group who saw the writing on the wall and were making serious plans to escape. For reasons beyond my understanding this is not the case. It’s as if the whole populace has been lulled into some sort of collective lie that “this is all there is”.

Sure life is kind of crappy here in the States, they say to themselves, but it’s much worse everywhere else. Right?


I am beyond appalled at the lack of any sincere foresight for the future of this country by my fellow countrypersons. I am broken and absolutely devastated by it. It makes me sick to the point that I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it.

How can I feel so alone in something that seems so apparent?

This has struck too close to the soul, too close to the core of my being, for me to speak on it much more. A silence will soon be necessary. I’ll plug away internally, finding strength from a place within I still have yet to tap in to. The Titanic is sinking and I am not going down with it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You aren't the only one fighting.

Maybe we can change things.

7:59 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Going to another country isn't going to fix everything, or it might. I don't have much out of country experience. It isn't worse everywhere else but the US is better than some places. Guess you wouldn't go somewhere that was noticeably worse than the US, or you might if you were feeling adventurous. It would be nice if you could go to a place where everyone used common sense and everything went as expected, there was no violence or shit like that, let me know if you find it!

Oh, Liz and Luke might not be going on the first canoe week so Libbe and I might just go backpack the PCT for a week or so. Have you ever done that trail. It would be pretty sweet to take it all the way to Mexico and back. We should set up a backpacking trip some time soon, it's probably the cheapest way to get away from the US for a bit, well except for all the rules on the trails and the parking costs...Just don't pull a Ron Burgundy and trap yourself in a phone booth.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

As someone who left America (via the expensive-education option) I think I can safely say that you'd be up for hardcore disappointment if you left with the worldview you expressed in this post. BUT I can also say that yes, it is better in other places.

But since you're stuck in the USA, you should probably keep on sharing its beauty with the rest of us (via photos and stories) and also keep on being a prophet. You see the writing on the wall, eh? Well some of us are stuck in offices starting at glowing rectangles all day and come home with brains too tired to see any writing on any wall -- this is why I read this blog.

12:00 AM  
Blogger Carlene said...

It is so much easier to agree with your perspective when looking from the outside. I can see how hard it must be for some to realise they are wearing rose coloured glasses when everywhere they look all they see is a reddish haze.
In Australia we were fed the American dream through our media from a young age but with a healthy dose of scepticism. We have perhaps not shouted down our free thinkers who questioned the divine right of America.
While I know that each country, county and village have their own issues, I understand your angst at the hypocrisy of a country that makes such claims and promises to the World and then becomes the problem instead of the solution. The tragedy is that it could have, and should have been able to deliver.
I remember a time when I felt the same angst when being torn apart by the vision of what the Church could and should be... and what it was in reality. I went from crying out against the wrongs, to crying in the wilderness.
I can't tell you that I found peace from retreat, but I did find relief. I found a place where I could accept the way things were without accepting that this was as good as things could be.
Whether you need to leave for a while or for good you need to do something to gain respite for your soul.

1:49 AM  
Blogger wilsonian said...

It's always the beautiful souls that see things clearest.

Like Lisa, the word 'prophet' came to mind. Not an easy path. Filled with loneliness and misunderstanding. But world-changing. More than one penniless wanderer has changed the course of nations...

3:44 AM  
Blogger Corey said...


you said, "I think I can safely say that you'd be up for hardcore disappointment if you left with the worldview you expressed in this post." I totally agree with you. I left for Ireland a couple of years back with a very similar attitude to the one I have now and found myself just as disappointed in what i found there as here in the States.

Unfortunately i'm not really at a point in my life where I can muster up the energy to find a new perspective. Perhaps it will take me running fully into a wall, then being admitted into a psyche ward for a spell to find a new way to view life. I'm not joking when i say this. A very good friend of mine found himself in a mental hospital at 28 due to a similar breakdown.

I know other people have figured out a way to survive in America and keep their sanity, I just dont know how they did it.

Thanks for following along on this crazed journey. It's good to know some cubicle dwellers are reading this.


Much of the heart break that wakes me up at night comes directly from the fact that America could have been this beautiful place, a nation of true peace and justice. It kills me to realize just how far away from that vision this country truly is.

I am desperately looking for that solace, that peace, that retreat. I pray it comes soon.


As always, thank you for your words of support and understanding. I hope you are doing well yourself.

7:42 PM  
Blogger rodmanicus said...

I feel as you do about the state of our nation. I am completely cynical when it comes to our government, our media and our society in general. When I contemplate our 'situation', I often wonder, when was the tipping point? I realize that there wasn't one. It's been sliding away for decades, and it's not even the politician's fault, because the nature of a snake is to bite, right? No, it's our very own fault as blind, ignorant and apathetic citizens. I realized along time that the only thing that I can confidently change, is my own state of mind, not the tragic path of a country, that was once a symbol of freedom and hope. I am no better than the hypocrites that 'represent' me in every branch of government. And it's not just the government, it's media, religion, entertainment, schools...every institution that we have become. It's like an event horizon for our country, a body of light that can't escape the irresistable force of gravity that is a black hole. What should I do, join the Libertarian party, and try to directly effect the political landscape? Maybe I should saty in the shadows, trying to jam a monkey wrench into the gears, as an active anarchist. No, I'll most likely just stand by watching and laughing at it all, while tears trickle down. Take care bro.

7:24 PM  

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