a rebel without a clue

Category Archives: Food For Thought

I was reading an article today titled “21 ways rich people think differently” and immediately it put a bad taste in my mouth. This list goes on and on about how “poor” people think.. and the first thing I thought of was a rich person definitely wrote this. By poor, I think they really mean normal, but those things are probably synonymous to the people who actually subscribe to this bullshit. I’m going to review a few of my favorites that they outlined:

1. Average people think selfishness is a vice. Rich people think selfishness is a virtue.
“If you’re not taking care of you, you’re not in a position to help anyone else. You can’t give what you don’t have.”
REALLY. I mean REALLY?! This is saying that in order to help other people you must be selfish. What kind of bullshit line is that to live by? I should just go through life believing that the only way to help people is by throwing money at them? What about kindness, being there for others or just simply offering anything you can even if it’s just a smile? I would much rather be rich in spirit than ever think that selfishness is a virtue. Looking out for yourself is one thing and being selfish is another.

2. Average people earn money doing things they don’t love. Rich people follow their passion.
That sounds so lovely doesn’t it? Just follow your passion. Fuck all of your bills, debts, obligations.. just follow your passion, and if it doesn’t work out.. oops, excuse me.. that must be something only average people think about. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a safety net to fall into if my “passion” doesn’t quite work out.. nor do I have the funds to “follow my passion” in the first place. No one works at jobs they don’t love for no reason.. C’mon.

3. Average people teach their children how to survive. Rich people teach their kids to get rich. 
Man this list gets more and more upsetting as I keep reading it! My parents taught me how to be rich in ways that have value far greater than any amount of money. They taught me how to care about others around me no matter their social class or shortcomings in life.

4. Average people would rather be entertained than educated. Rich people would rather be educated than entertained.
Average people are such dummies.. isn’t it obvious? ::sigh:: this is such a far-fetched statement it’s unreal. Since the article already covered that average people work at jobs they don’t like and never look toward the future.. Rich people, poor people, the want to learn is something inherent in all of us, it has nothing to do with our social class. I’m not “rich” by any means.. actually, I probably fall under the average to poor category, and I want nothing more than to learn as much as I can all of the time. Sure, having money would make that goal a lot more attainable, but HELLO? have you ever heard of the internet? There are so many ways to learn new things now it’s ridiculous, rich or not, information is at everyone’s fingertips.

Basically, after reading this list I realized a lot of things about myself. I am the average person that they’re talking about. Maybe I’m naive and poor, but I know that I’m rich in many other ways. I care about other people, I have a curiosity that will never be fulfilled, I would rather spend time with people I love laughing together and crying together than living my life for money. There should be an article titled, “when life isn’t just about money” .. or “real life lessons from the average person”. No person is protected from hurt or loss in this world, so all the money in the world isn’t going to teach you what the real world is about. I’m totally cool with being average. 


Holy cats. I haven’t written here since July.. WHAT UP WITH THAT! (that’s an SNL reference for those of you that are judging my poor grammar right now) Well anyway, long time, no complaints.. Okay wait, let’s be real.. I’ve had PLENTY of complaints, I just haven’t taken the time to write them down.

A whole bunch of things have happened since July.. and of course I can’t think of a single thing that seems interesting or riveting enough to write about. Do you ever just feel out of sorts like that? I definitely have written before about getting into a funk and not really knowing why or how or what you’re supposed to do next. I think that it comes with the territory of my age. It’s sort of a joke between my friends to say that someone is going through their quarter-life crisis when they turn 25. Maybe I’m just having mine a year too early.

I have friends on both sides of the fence of marriage / living the single life, which helps me feel comfortable somewhere right in the middle. I’m not married, I don’t own a house, I’m not thinking about kids.. but at the same time, sometimes I think to myself.. uh oh – what am I SUPPOSED to be doing? Is anyone SUPPOSED to be doing anything? I don’t really know. There is this unspoken expectation of people that you HAVE to meet someone, you HAVE to get married, you don’t necessarily HAVE to have kids.. but it’s definitely seen as “normal” to follow that path. It seems like everyone around you pressures you about these things if you don’t have them or if it seems like you aren’t interested in following this yellow brick road to the life you’re SUPPOSED to want.

Well, what if I don’t want those things? What if I’m just content in being me.. living in a rental house.. unmarried.. figuring out what I WANT out of life and not just living within this standard of “I should be doing this.. or that.. or the other thing”. I think I’m going to spend my quarter-life crisis not succumbing to the pressures of living by society’s rules regarding MY OWN LIFE. So fuck it, I’m throwing away the rulebook right now and pursuing my own happiness wherever it may be.

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I’m a pretty lucky kid. I have a sister who kicks ass, but I was also born into a crazy, huge mess of a family. I think sometimes there are special people in your life that you know are going to stick by you no matter what and the best part for me is, we’re both best friends and family .. so I mean, I guess they’re kinda stuck with me. Today is my cousin Lynn’s birthday and I just wanted to take the time to write about how awesome she is. If you don’t know her, you’re really missing out because she’s definitely one super special person.

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It started out, well.. that we were cousins, duh. But we both have sisters and they are really close in age, so they would walk to school together, leaving little old me in the dust. Instead of me feeling like the baby of the group (which I am anyway) Lynn and I would walk to school together every morning .. and boy did I feel cool. She would always let me cross in the middle of the block instead of waiting to get to the crossing guard – super ultra badass for a kindergartner.

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As we grew up, Lynn has always been there for me and made sure I was included with all of the older kids even though I was probably the pesky little cousin. She let me come to her 16th birthday and play flour power, watch scary movies but my all time favorite was watching Vegas Vacation on repeat. I eventually got old and moved away to college, which sometimes seems like you live in your own little bubble.. but it didn’t matter, she still came to visit me (even in WAUKESHA!)

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After graduation, I contemplated moving away but there’s always been this thing in Milwaukee I didn’t want to get away from.. my family. I know they’d love me no matter what, but the truth of it is, I love being around them. Until I was older, I never realized that not everyone in the world sees their family 3-4 times a week and that it wasn’t common practice to just stop in at your aunt’s house and be invited to stay for dinner or to chat for hours in the kitchen. I don’t really care what anyone thinks about me being a “homebody” or how lame it is that I moved back to my comfort zone when I graduated college because these people love me and always will.

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So here’s to you Lynnie. You’ve always been one of the most compassionate, sweetest, lovable people I know and you always will be my best friend. Love you!

 


I write about my mom a lot a lot a lot on these blog posts, but I guess this is just an outlet for me, a coping mechanism even.. at least I think so. Sorry if I ever come off as a real Debbie Downer.. no one likes having that kid around, but sometimes it just feels better to write things down. Anyway, lately I’ve been feeling all kinds of mixed up. Like someone took all of my thoughts, feelings and the kitchen sink, threw them in bucket and stirred it up until I didn’t know what was what anymore. I’m not sure if anyone else ever feels like this, but it’s just the strangest thing.

I’ll try to make better sense of this. After my mom passed away, finding meaning in things was really difficult for me. Nothing I did was ever going to bring her back and it brought this sense of emptiness about me. I was constantly searching for something, but I couldn’t even tell myself what it was. A constant struggle between my mind telling me, “hello dummy.. you know she isn’t coming back” but my stupid heart saying “find something else to make you feel better, there has to be SOMETHING” — but there’s not. At least not to me. I guess I’ve realized it isn’t about filling a void, but about just being the best me I can be. That’s all I can be.. Me. The other pieces will eventually find the right place.

There are so many things to just sort out, the journey I’m supposed to be on is very muddled to me. There are all of these expectations that float around in society about what I “should be” doing with my life.. but I often find myself not following the path of ordinary people. As much as I want to fit in and just be like another person, I’m beginning to see that’s pretty unrealistic. So what do I do? Where do I go? What should I be looking for? Sometimes it’s just so frustrating to ask these questions and not be able to see any sort of clear answer. No guidance, no recommendations or advice that exists.

I’m not exactly sure how long it’ll take me to get all of those different facets of my life out of that mixed bucket and put them back where they belong.. and maybe I never will, but that’s fine with me. I don’t know if anyone ever really “figures it out” .. so why do we try so hard to do so? All of this thinking, over thinking, messed up mix of a mess cluster is enough to make a person feel crazy.. but you know what? I know that each and every day that I reflect on myself and the way my actions affect others I will become a better person. I’m building myself bigger and stronger each and every day.. To quote Walter White: “I’m in the empire business.”

p.s. – I swear I’ll post something more funny and upbeat next time.. this just happens to be my thought of the week.


So I live in a pretty cool little neighborhood in Milwaukee (as most of you probably know since I talk about it ALL OF THE TIME) but anyway, I try to stay involved within the community now that I have a little more free time on my hands. In the wonderful world of the internet, a few Facebook groups were formed for the neighborhood. A few a pretty cool places to post items you have for sale / trade.. I can get down with that, but then there are these other 2 groups which started out as basic information of things going on around our neck of the woods, but it seems like it’s slowly turning into people complaining about EVERYTHING. Yes, I know.. I’m complaining about complaining right now. Deal with it. Basically, I usually skim through the posts and keep commentary to myself about rowdy teenagers and other really stupid arguments that occur on there.. but today there was one thread in particular that really bothered me. It was about homeless people in our neighborhood.

It all started with this video:

if you didn’t notice, the description that goes with the video states this:

“This is a short video of some homeless men living under a bridge in the Bay View neighborhood of Milwaukee. Notice the construction going on around them as they grill out. There appear to be about a half-dozen or so men living under and around the bridge.

This is a new bike path being built for all of the liberals and yuppies in the area. Hope the homeless don’t ruin their view of the river!”

Obviously, this made some local people pretty upset. Hipsters never like to be called hipsters, and especially not liberals or yuppies. The thread immediately blew up with some of the most socially ignorant things I’ve read in a really really long time. It was super disappointing to think that such a progressive neighborhood can have such basic and elementary thoughts. There were a few examples that stood out to me:

“Please DO NOT FEEL SORRY for homeless people they are more then likely HOMELESS because the way of life the choose. Drugs and alcohol play a big part in that. They are also rapist and pedofiles. I know this for fact my mother used to try to help them.” 

I wanted to throw up when I read this. First of all, think of how ridiculous it is that people are complaining about a homeless person on the internet, from the comfort of THEIR HOME. You are making judgments about a group of HUMAN BEINGS that are never going to even be able to read this post because they aren’t as privileged as you are! Think outside of your tiny little box for one minute, and try to consider.. hey, maybe I shouldn’t just assume that ALL homeless people are pedophiles — excuse me pedoFILES or rapists but rather some people that may be down on their luck or have had a rough go at life since the beginning.

Chances are, if you’re sitting at your computer, replying to a community forum in the middle of the day, your socio-economic status is above poverty.. and even that word “poverty” is subjective. Either way, let’s try to go back to the beginning. If you’re sitting at a computer on the internet right now, you’re more privileged than 70% of the entire world. Seriously. Only 30% of the entire world has internet access. So besides the fact that you’re already at an advantage to the majority of the population, now you’re casting judgements on people, on the internet, that you know nothing about. Cool.

Moving on, I’d like to get to my second favorite quote from this discussion thread:
“Homeless people are kind of scary, whether they are innocuous or no. Sorry, but that’s the same with mental illness.” 

Mind fuck. I thought my brains were going to spill out onto my desk upon reading this. I know that ignorance is alive an well in this world, but jeeze.. generalizing about the homeless AND mentally ill in one post.. are you fucking kidding? What happened to people being understanding or stopping for one second to think about what they are saying. I know better than most what it’s like to have your foot in your mouth, and yes, from time to time we all make fools of ourselves. I just ask that if you’re reading this you take one second of your time to think about someone you know who has a disability, would you ever want to make them feel bad or would you categorize them as “scary”… how about someone you know that might be going through a rough patch? lost their home, can’t afford rent, barely making ends meet.. should we cast them out too? Well of course not right? Because we know them and we love them.

Look, I guess the whole point of this rambling anger post is that we have no idea where people came from, why they are the way they are, what ended them up in that place. So how about instead of casting a judgment on a public forum, where you’re helping no one and fueling the fires of hate, you try volunteering. Help someone else for a change, or get out and make a change because groupthink is definitely not helping fuckall.


Some of my recent posts have been about how I’ve started volunteering now that I have more freetime being done with school.. supposedly. Either way, when I first met my hospice patient that I volunteer with, she asked me a question that I still haven’t been able to fully answer: what kind of hobbies do you have? For whatever reason, I was so dumbfounded by this question and stood there with my mouth open, looking like a fool with absolutely no answer.

I guess the definition of “hobby” is subjective. I guess in my eyes, I have lots of interests but not necessarily any hobbies per say. So I started going down the list of things I like to do and literally drew a blank. WHAT DO I DO!? Suddenly, I had a panic moment.. like jeeze! I don’t DO anything! Sure, I cook once in a while, bake some cookies here and there, read a book when I find time, re-decorate the house when I get bored with my surroundings.. but really? are any of those things hobbies? I don’t know.

I guess I’ve never really thought about what I’m good at. Is it possible to be hobby-less? Because I really think I am. There isn’t one thing that interests me for long enough that it becomes something that I want to do over and over again. The saddest part, is that I thought about what I spend the most time doing, which is probably read / research things online for my own personal pleasure. THE INTERNET? That’s my hobby?! I wanted to die when I realized that, and what an embarrassing thing to admit out loud to someone.

I suddenly thought to myself.. whoa, now I understand what my parents were talking about when they said things about kids these days being drones who don’t ever experience “real” things.. and I thought to myself, well, I guess that’s me. This question of “the hobby” haunted me for weeks.. and I just figured, I don’t have one since THE INTERNET definitely doesn’t count. But wait a minute.. The internet has taught me so many things and is a wealth of useful information and knowledge. Why is that worse than me saying “reading” is a hobby of mine. I’m reading, maybe not a book or novel — but I read news, articles, trending fluff that doesn’t matter.. but you know what? At the end of the day, I feel like I’m an informed individual that possesses a wide array of information from sources throughout the world. I’m learning about things that are important to all people, not just individualized to my own little bubble. So I guess here I am.. admitting that my #1 hobby is: THE INTERNET.

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Today I had to run to the grocery store today on my lunch break to get some soy milk for a friend. Now, if you’ve read my previous posts, you know I work in what is classified as “the hood”.. I’ve tried buying soy milk there before, but apparently no one on the North Side of Milwaukee drinks it, I don’t know. So that left me with one other choice.. to drive to a boutique grocery store in one of the most wealthy neighborhoods in Southeast Wisconsin.

I don’t want to be rude so I won’t name names, but I walked into this grocery store and immediately knew I just didn’t fit in there (then Radiohead started playing in my mind.. I don’t beloooonggg here) . I don’t know if it was the 10.00 chocolate bars staring me in the face or the overwhelming amount of North Face fleeces buzzing around me, but I just wanted to get the fuck out of there ASAP. Don’t any of these people work during the day?! What’s the deal!

I put more thought into it as I passed by the duck roasts and 89.00 cheese slices, no matter how much money I ever make in my life, this place and people were the antithesis of me. Living a cookie cutter lifestyle as if I’m a Stepford Wife  is my idea of personal hell. I mean, I love cooking so that would work.. except for the fact that my favorite grocery store is a hispanic Piggly Wiggly that has the weirdest people known to man working / shopping there, but the ethnic food choices are fucking awesome. A Stepford Wife wouldn’t be caught dead there.

There is just something about being a people-person that I’ve always been drawn to, and I guess I exude that attitude because strangers are constantly approaching me. In my opinion, and please read the preface I just said (IN MY OPINION, so don’t get mad this is how I feel) suburban living equates to being in a cult for me. Now, if you grew up in one / live in the suburbs now, I’m sorry, but this is just how I feel. I love the fact that there are all different kinds of people where I live and sure, there’s crime, it doesn’t always look picture perfect, my house wasn’t built by a contractor that made every other house on my block – but that is exactly what I love about it. I see something new EVERY SINGLE DAY. I love being able to walk into a store and strike up a conversation with a stranger and meet someone completely different one minute later. Sure the houses may be nice, and you rarely hear about anything unruly happening in the wealthier areas around here, but they’re also missing out on a culture of people who strive to be different.

If we all look the same, shop at the same stores, have the need to wear certain brands or drive certain cars to show our “class” or superiority over others, please explain to me why I shouldn’t just be a fucking robot instead. There are so many great things that exist around me, so I guess I would love to challenge people who are stuck in the bubble that is “them” to step out of it sometime and realize, hey.. I’m not better than anyone else, maybe I shouldn’t be segregating myself. What are you afraid of anyway? Terrible things happen no matter where you live or what kind of car you drive, so living your life in fear of uncontrollable circumstances is going to SUPER suck forever. Try something new.. it’s the least you can do.

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