For some people religion is how they center their lives. By believing in the lore and moral laws of a set belief, they structure their world around believing in texts and stories. I grew up in this world. My family was very religious.
But somewhere, around the age of 12 I started to question things.
Then, I started to think all religions were kind of the same.
Then, I was sent to christian camp that same summer and I started to feel like all of it was completely manufactured and fragmented and twisted in order to manipulate the masses.
I remember sitting in one of the church services in the middle of the week and feeling completely alone as everyone around me started balling over a sermon that was given. Everyone was crying because of Jesus’s sacrifice…his life…for others.
I believe Jesus’s sacrifice is also a good story on giving up things for others. It’s moving. But I didn’t feel like crying. Not in front of 100 teens being manipulated by adults with their own ego trips and megalomania.
These same people tried to tell everyone that Catholics weren’t true christians.
These same people tried to say that if you watched R-rated movies Jesus would be upset with you.
The camp counselors, teens, mocked and made fun of us younger kids if we were awkward or didn’t want to do a game. I was meant to lick another girl in the face.
This whole thing made me feel suicidal.
Christian camp made me sink into a dark place that I have never fully recovered from.
Because that it was then that I realized I didn’t fit in with these masses. I was not like everyone else. I had questions and deviant feelings. I had opinions and disagreements.
Not only that but the “friends” I went to camp with began to bail on me because I didn’t “participate” or “care” enough when I didn’t cry over Jesus.
So I was left alone a lot. People I had known since I was 3 bailed on me because I didn’t conform.
As painful as it was, and as much as I was told “Jesus is watching” over things or actions others viewed as not “Christian” enough, that was when I found a part of me.
I found that I was different than these groups, and that made me stand out against mob mentality. I realized that religion wasn’t to be found in church for me. So I must seek elsewhere.
Before this time I had been learning to sew with my mother and grandmother. I made dresses and a skirt that won a blue ribbon at the state fair. I tried embroidery. I escaped into writing poetry and stories. I had been doing these things for a few years when Camp IANA in Divide, Colorado but the final nail in my religion coffin.
There was my chance to find a new religion. One where I create. One with needles, thread, fabric, paint, buttons, patterns, clay, glass and anything I could get my hands on.
This turned into a love of art history.
That turned into a love of design and storytelling and media.
Photography was my safe place.
I played some music and sang too.
I did theatre and wrote essays on my favorite books and made elaborate history projects.
I found my calling in creating. Though it may not be everyone’s path or faith, it’s mine and it is very important and personal and life-altering.
This is not to say there is anything wrong with belief in a defined religion, I’m just taking a different and agnostic path.
I read an article by NPR that discussed the moral and ethical concerns around having a child in the age of climate change. Read it if you haven’t already.
I have been having these same concerns since I was about 13 and took a child development course in middle school, which meant that I had to bring home a fake screaming baby monster…. Which had the effect of making me really consider the child commitment. A good shock factor for protection, but it also opened the door to talking with adults in my life on the moral qualms on what it meant to be a parent in an over-taxed and mistreated planet.
A dear family friend made sure to inform my sisters and I of our choices. That we had them, first and foremost, and that our choices had an impact on others around us. My family is big and classic examples of midwestern protestants that have babies and their babies have babies all before 30. Therefore the pressure was always on us, and the real expectation pressed on us, to have children in our 20’s and pass on the family traits.
My sister’s and I have always hesitated at this idea. Instead we all want our own time and opportunities to travel, get degrees, and make sure we’re better prepared for children. Then there becomes my climate anxiety on what exactly it means for children in the future.
My fiance has a daughter that is 9, and I think very often how much she will be left with in the future. I think of the recent flooding in Louisiana and how it DIRECTLY was influenced from climate change. It was also personal in that one of my best friend’s had her entire home submerged in water. She now has to figure out what can be saved or has to be destroyed. Yet the headache doesn’t end there, because future predictions and melting ice caps mean that many areas will be underwater, soon and permanently. Including many part of recently flooded Louisiana, parts of Florida, New York etc. Learn more here.
src=”http://www.climatecentral.org/wgts/human-caused-flooding/index.html?utm_source=Robinson%20Creative%20Enterprises&utm_medium=embed&utm_campaign=2016HumanCausedFlIt’s not just the ocean rising, but it is the weather that comes with rising temperatures, melting ice caps, cold and hot water hitting together and more.
It’s all around not great news, and YES we are taking a few good, and feel good steps by countries signing contracts and reducing their output. However, the reality is that our children and grandchildren are going to have a lot of issues to sort out.
In Colorado we may not have the ocean to worry about, but rising temperatures in the summer pose risks to human wellbeing, crops, livestock and water supply. By 2050 they’re expecting summers in Colorado to be significantly higher than they were previously. Meaning we can expect a lot more 100 degree+ days. That also causes issues to snowpack in areas that typically have snow reserves later into spring and summer will then run off earlier, which can disrupt natural growth patterns and farming.
Precipitation is harder to determine, but Colorado has had many droughts over the years and with various parts of the state growing dramatically in population, and there being more need for natural resources, it could be the perfect storm for a difficult life.
So here is the kicker. With current estimates on life expectancy, it’s likely I’ll live to be around 80. Or until about 2071. If I’m 32 when I have kids, they’ll be 10 in 2043 and maybe will have kids within a decade of that. If projections are where they expect, for a 2050 estimate of hot, dry, and scary changes their 30s, and possibly their life with those repercussions are frightening.
That’s if things DON’T get worse than they’re expecting. Which, so far, isn’t looking promising. Yet many, myself included, want to be hopeful that times will be ok. While many scientists point out that it’s all too little and far too late. Therefore it haunts me to think that we may just be running out of time to be here and any children I bring into the world will have to fight much harder just to survive.
Terrible images flash into my mind of Mad Max, The Road, and the Book of Eli; desert landscapes, little hope, and near starvation. It’s an abysmal and depressing idea, that may be closer to reality than science-fiction.
Finally, I will leave you with that trailer for This Changes Everything and have you mill about that even though the United States could face terrible strife, it is nothing compared to the horrors that poor countries will have to face and the untold millions that will suffer as a result of our selfishness and lack of care.
No one can know for the future but maybe, just maybe, we could take this all more seriously and make choices, vote, support and demand action to make the hit a little less.
Tea is one of those almost bizarre human things that we gather around in ritual and enjoyment. Imagine the first person that decided to take a plant, dry it and throw it in a pot of hot water?
Well I am sure it was nothing that simple or elegant. Likely someone tried eating said plant, noticed it gave them energy, tried drying it, tried eating it, then tried water, tried it as powder, tried it……okay you get the idea.
Tea is this sort of elixir of life, it goes back centuries and it compels the drinker to ponder the world, ponder flavor, wake up, dream, and explore new things. With so many tea blends and kinds there are endless options in the world of tea!
My favorite place in Fort Collins is Happy Lucky’s Teahouse in Old Town. They are one of the first places I found when I moved to Fort Collins and they have become an absolute favorite over the years. I’m even lucky enough that they let me do their social media for them ;). They sell over 180 kinds of tea, which means there is something for everyone. Their funky and modern but relaxing design makes for a lovely sitting and sipping experience and I am friends with almost everyone on the staff. They are wonderful people that do a lot for the community and the world. 10% of their profits goes to Sustainable Schools International which helps educate and empower children in Cambodia. It’s pretty damn cool!
Before Happy Lucky’s I spent hours at Montague’s in Colorado Springs, and before them it was my kitchen and my living room in the mountains of the house I grew up in. Where tea parties were frequent and company split a pot with us.
Tea has been a constant event and enjoyment for myself, and I hope to enjoy it for years to come. As Happy Lucky’s Teahouse suggests, enjoy daily and nourish your happy.
Hi yes, hello it’s me, another 25-year-old bitching about their privileged life with a macbook and an iphone 6s next to me.
I don’t earn a living wage, and I live in income-based housing, the sweater I am wearing has a hole in it and I haven’t had a real haircut in five months.
But by god I have the newest iphone. Yet, what if I told you it’s because I do most of my work on these two devices and without them I couldn’t do ANY work in my field right now? These two devices also guaranteed I could do my MA work and get my degree.
Okay, I could go and work for a retail company, again, or I could flip burgers. But I have a MA and I am trying to understand why that means the only job interviews I have got recently are for Kohl’s and a bank teller position. Both jobs only require a GED or a high school degree. This depresses me.
I have a really fun job right now, taking photos for a local teahouse, and creating newsletters, and running their social media pages. It pays okay, and I love who I work for, the teahouse also donates 10% of its revenue to education in cambodia, so I feel really high in Karma points with this job and it makes me happy. I get a lot of free tea, but it’s hard to pay all my bills and my fiance, who only has a GED makes about three times as much as me as a manager for a gas station.
Yet, this is the reality for most people my age. Some of us are back living with parents, and some of us are having rent paid by our parents. Some of us don’t even have a car, or ability to afford internet at home. I have been able to have both. Most of us have astronomical student loan debt. I’m part of that club too.
I have probably applied for 150 jobs in the last 5 months and have only had 5 interviews. For the majority of jobs I have been perfectly qualified or overqualified for, but I still haven’t got an interview. And I am not only applying for jobs in what I am educated to do, I have stretched and applied for everything in every corner of everything I am qualified to do. Thus, I have only interviewed at Kohl’s and a bank. I turned down Kohl’s because I wouldn’t get much pay, and I wouldn’t have consistent hours. I didn’t hear back on the bank.
This is my life right now, and what is frustrating is that I bought into the idea some 8 years ago in my junior year of high school that if I went to school and graduated, even if I got a lot of student loan debt, things would come together for me to have a good job, even $40,000 a year. Which in reality, if you live in as affluent of a city as I do, that 40k doesn’t go that far. However, I bought into the idea, found things I was good at, got a double major in my BA, and an MA in a year. I even went to less expensive schools and made sure I applied like crazy for scholarships, grants etc. I chose my MA partially because it was half as expensive and half the time of other programs, so that I would have less debt and less problems. I don’t regret my education, but my stomach churns at how much it cost me.
The average income for someone my age is $24,000 a year. At the moment, I would be happy just to make that. The average for other generations is $38,000. Note this includes people of all education levels.
I am not the only one in these shoes, these debt-laden and insecure, scary shoes. It’s no surprise that I am on several medications to deal with my anxiety and depression. Compound that with existing problems like post-traumatic stress disorder, and the loss of 10 relatives and friends I cared about just in the last five years and I sometimes feel like I’m drowning.
I have been very lucky too, but I also have to be honest about the trap I am in. At the moment, I don’t know if there is a REAL opportunity into success and I know a lot of people also feel that way. I have talked to career coaches and I’m even making my own company to freelance. Yet, I still feel in limbo, following coaching and steps that I know work for others, wondering when my big break is coming. It’s not that I or anyone is doing anything wrong, but that so much of the deck is stacked against us.
Anyone that wants to say we’re entitled doesn’t really understand the struggle all of us face. The ones of us that are succeeding are the ones that had resources to avoid student debt, and parents that could financially back certain endeavors. They’re the ones that didn’t have to work part time through school and could afford to join sororities and take unpaid internships. While I was trying to figure out the cheapest way to make and eat gluten-free because of my celiac disease.
I don’t want sympathy in writing this, I just want respect in my struggle. I want to afford my basic needs, and I just want a grown-up job. I think most of us can agree to that. The reality is that the economy compounded with a minimum wage that doesn’t reflect a living wage, and companies and systems that don’t give us benefits and full hours are a big problem. I’m not even talking little guys, but big players that refuse to pay for healthcare….I’m looking at you Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, Target etc. I also want a hand up not a hand out, meaning: someone give me a fucking chance!
“The most educated generation in history is on track to becoming less prosperous, at least financially, than its predecessors.”
Thanks for listening. I’m going to go apply for more jobs now.
Rebecca Lee Robinson
I love LOVE. I love romance, and stories of two people fighting the odds. I enjoy laughter, and nights in with my partner to watch the x-files. I enjoy sushi dinner dates and picnics. I enjoy rare vacations where we dress up and eat fancy and enjoy each others company.
When it comes to weddings I feel a little twinge of anxiety. Not for others’ but my own.
I have been to a lot of weddings the last three years, I have photographed most of them, been a bridesmaid in one, and attended numerous others previously. So far in my photography career, one couple has already divorced, but the others seem happy and intend to stick it through. I’ve seen dad’s cry, and mothers wear white to weddings. I have seen dress malfunctions and brides that went barefoot most the nights.
I have seen flower girl meltdowns, and ring bearer run offs.I have seen pretty much every do, and DO NOT in the book. Or even just things that seemed great at the time, but really failed in reality. Regardless of all of this, the truth is that because of working in the wedding industry I think some of the romance has worn off.
Ryan and I are talking marriage in about 16 months. A fall wedding, because that’s our favorite season. A touch of Halloween because that’s my favorite holiday and the rest is kind of perplexing. I would say Ryan and I are engaged, but he didn’t ask me formally, and that throws people off. We talked about it and both agreed, like feminist adults. We’ll just say we got engaged February 29th for humor’s sake. I had him buy me a $40 silver ring with lab-created diamonds and sapphires and within two months I had left it in my cousin’s house in Texas….luckily they found it and I will get it back this summer. Because I knew that eventually I would misplace or lose the ring Ryan bought me, and $1000 missing ring would kill me. I haven’t bought Ryan an engagement ring since we’re kind of struggling on this already. I suggested matching tattoos, but he doesn’t like needles…sooo
We have a venue picked out because they do 80% of the work for us. If we buy everyone dinner, the big things for us, then we get the venue. Add on a few more fees for drinks and sounds equipment and flowers and we have found the best deal in town. They serve almost 100% local food, and everything is organic, they also can accommodate our list of weird allergies. And they even decorate with pumpkins all year as they use them in food!
I know who I want for bridesmaids, and I know what they will wear. I know who will stand on Ryan’s side, and who will officiate our wedding. I figure we’ll have matches and cigars for party favors etc. We want a little bit 1920s to our theme.
I think I have even found my dress, and it’s custom made by a company in the Ukraine. It’s silk and gorgeous, and my aunt is giving me crap but I love it anyway.
The hard part about all of this is not the guy and not the planning, I love event coordination, it’s all the other things that come with marriage. It’s the pressure to take Ryan’s last name and to have kids in x-amount of time. It’s the pressure to “settle down” and not want to seek out adventures and fun. It’s pressure to spend a fortune on one day, just to prove to someone that we love each other enough to want to plan a life together. It’s the pressure on women to look their best, and drop 20lbs. It’s the pressure to appease everyone and no one at the same time.
And this is all probably why I haven’t done something in the last, almost five and a half years with Ryan.
For someone that also thinks so many of these traditions are just fabrications of a consumer society, which they are, I have a hard time wanting to be happy about it. I don’t want a dress beaded by children that make $1 a day. I don’t want my veil, or bouquets or headpieces to just end up in the garbage. It’s just so hard to imagine spending so much money to have so much just thrown away after. Anyway, does anyone else have stories to share? I’m struggling on this one.
can I just be this raptor? She’s got her eyes on fleek….
Here I am admitting my fears in public, when I struggle to admit them to myself. I know Ryan is the one that I want to call old fart, and I can’t imagine living through this mess without him and his daughter by my side. Yet I fear I am not good enough, that I lack something and that he doesn’t deserve a wife with so many student loans, and a wanderlust that could kill a partner. Yet here he is. Long-distance, mid-distance, months apart, still here and welcoming me home.
One of my feminist idols was wed and in the past out-spoken against wedding mumbo-jumbo. Which brings me some comfort in just embracing what I love and discarding the rest. So maybe I’ll stay in love with my Ryan, plan something fun, and enjoy the moments that surround us everyday as much as the one where we say I Do.
Maybe the reason we as a culture stick together around the idea of the big wedding is that we don’t get many moments like this as a culture anymore. Even a century ago small communities would get together to celebrate each season, they would have dances, new births were greatly celebrated and everyone came to funerals. Today, weddings are sometimes the only chance everyone gets to be together to celebrate, and in this case it’s something very happy and enjoyable. At least it should be. So maybe all the pomp and circumstance really is just a way to say, hey thanks everyone for raising us, for loving us, and helping us find each other?