You know what it is, this mid-summer doldrums I’m in right now? I’ve realized the news is really dragging me down. I don’t even know why I click on every headline about some crazy person killing their toddler over some nonsense, but I do and I need to stop. Not to mention the Norway shootings and this whole debt ceiling stalemate. I don’t even fully understand how the debt ceiling works, but it’s just a larger picture of the state of things around here. It’s sort of easy to just get caught up in your own little bubble world, your own circles, your own friends, your own life. You read the news, but file it away because what you do read doesn’t necessarily affect your life in the immediate sense. But something did catch my eye, a little headline link on CNN that I clicked. “Are America’s best days behind it?”
I read the article and the reader comments and it made me think (for once, a good majority of the comments to this article was on point and not so much like the crap you’d expect to read over at Perez and not a major news site). Most people thought, yes, the best of America is behind us. It made me sad, not necessarily for my future, but for Mia and Claudine’s. I have no idea what kind of state the country will be when they grow to be adults. There’s so much pessimism about the economy out there, and rightly so. It’s such a weird contrast to the general chatter that fills my little internet world – you know, striped shirts and credenzas and summer “frocks” and the like. I’m not exactly saying that this is superficial stuff. We all need this “stuff” to maybe cope and distract, but what I am saying is that the disconnect between this bubble world and the world out there, at least on the surface, feels a bit uncomfortable. I can’t stop thinking about what kind of world the girls will grow up to be adults in. I can’t stop thinking about how we’ll afford quality healthcare in the future when we really need it, or how we’ll afford to send the girls to college.
I’m not one to put this country down, despite all its problems. I may cringe whenever I hear that obnoxious “USA USA” chant that we seem to really like to do, but I also dislike hearing people go on and on with complaints about this country. I don’t know if it’s because my parents were immigrants and so was I (granted, as a baby), but I do have to think that it puts a certain spin in the way I see America. Sometimes I wonder how different my life would have been had my mother never came to NY and stayed in Korea. Even if we still have a ways to go, gender equality isn’t the same everywhere. Maybe she wouldn’t have been a business woman. Maybe she wouldn’t have been the breadwinner, and maybe I wouldn’t have become these things either. It would certainly be unlikely that I would have the family that I have now. It’s weird to think about your life in an alternate universe had an event not occurred. Of course, I will never know, but I can’t take my life here or my lifestyle for granted. For members of my family, the American Dream was real.
I don’t want to believe that our best days are behind us, but I don’t yet know what I believe in my heart.