This has been, beyond a doubt, one of the toughest weeks I have had in a long time. I have been challenged and pummeled and poked and prodded and quite frankly, I am done. I have reached my limit. I am at the end of my rope. I have hit the brick wall.
Do you get it or do I have to come up with some more cheesy metaphors?
Suffice to say I am struggling with the reality that is my life and the dreams I have of what life could be (and should be, in my humble opinion). Whenever this happens - whenever I am sort of brought to a halt and made to look hard at what is going on around me - I always end up in tears on the side of the road somewhere, or before the Blessed Sacrament begging for help, or sitting in the back row of chairs in a 12 Step meeting I never go to, wearing sunglasses and hoping everyone thinks I am sniffling because of a cold or because I have an addiction to cocaine - anything but the truth.
And what is the truth?
The truth is I am discouraged, I am hurting, I am tired, I am disheartened and I want to run away to Denver.
For those who do not know me, 'running away to Denver' is code for going somewhere no one would ever think to look for me. I chose Denver years ago because I hate the Denver Broncos. I also do not particularly like Colorado. I figured if I went to Denver my friends would never look for me there. They would be scouring the streets of Manhattan, London, Rome or Toronto (Keanu Reeves lives in Toronto). I would be safe in Denver.
Now what has brought on this latest bout of self pity?
Nothing in particular. I mean, look, the scandals in Washington are stupid but I am one of those people who expect the Government to lie to me. I have never read the history of any era in American politics that spoke of the inherent honesty of our leaders and their willingness to share all that is going on with the great unwashed. Unlike so many I am not shocked by learning that government officials at the highest levels have acted in direct opposition to American ideals, skirted dangerously close to breaking the law and out right spat on the US Constitution. I have always figured that every administration - irregardless of which party is in power - does stuff that I would go to jail for if I did it.
As far as I am concerned, the unwritten rule of American Political Life is "When you get caught, you will be vilified and the American People will be Outraged".
We were outraged at the McCarthy Hearings (never mind that the government at the time was riddled with Soviet Spies - Joe McCarthy was a drunk and an idiot and anyone who testified against the Communists were horrid). We were outraged when we found out about the Tuskegee Experiment and we have been outraged by Japanese Internment Camps and we have been outraged by the FBI targeting the Black Panthers and the Catholic Workers Movement.
Once we express our outrage there is appropriate debate among the intelligentsia about stricter controls over the government, the necessary protections we owe our US Constitution and our way of life and the reason we have to make sure this never happens again.
The next time it happens it is disguised: Instead of Internment Camps it is Gitmo. Instead of the Communists and the Black Panthers it is The Tea Party and the Catholic League. Instead of the Tuskegee Experiment it is unregulated abortion mills.
Right now, I am sitting here looking at a job that requires a specific level of manpower and resources to do correctly and I am absolutely certain I will not be given either; rather, I will be held responsible for the failure of the new system. Me, and my ilk, will be vilified in the press for being lazy government workers who just want more benefits and more money. No one will point out to them that their local and county officials are spending millions of taxpayer dollars on IT systems that fail because no one bothered to find out if they would actually WORK before they BOUGHT them. No one will pay attention when I say, "We need the system to do such-and-such because we do not have the business processes in place to do it the way you have it set up now" only to be told that no one thought of that, despite the fact that the people who bought the systems in the first place make three times the monthly salary I make AND will be getting RAISES at the end of the year. I won't. I'm just a lazy government worker who is sucking the taxpayer dry.
So I am discouraged today. I feel like everything I was taught as a child about hard work, education and determination is a lie. I feel like a failure. I feel like I can't win for losing.
I feel like going to Denver.
Have a great weekend, everyone...please pray with me and for me that this Pentecost fills the hearts of the Faithful with a fire for justice, for holiness and for TRUTH.