The past couple of years have been hard for all of us. A time of growing and experiencing new things while just trying to stay above the oncoming tide of pain the world keeps throwing at us. It seems like a never ending shit show. Every time we start to move past one crisis another starts up. It's to the point where it seems like we can't even catch our breath anymore.
Covid of course being one of the biggest hells we have had to face. Each and every day we get news of the latest death toll, the latest case numbers. You walk through the town and see people wearing masks. You feel the sense of panic the moment you hear someone cough. It's all too much and it never stops. One thing after another. With the news stuffing it down your throat every chance it gets.
Sometimes I can't help but wonder if the world will ever get back to normal. If we will ever be freed from this nightmare. But then I remember that this is what the world is. It's a challenge that we have to get up and face each and every day. There will always be obstacles in our path, but we can't let them defeat us. We can't let them overwhelm us.
Life is cruel, but we can't let it make us cruel along with it. We must always remember all the blessing we have been giving. All the good that life has to offer. There is so much good out there, if we just remember to stop and pay attention. Far too often we get lost in our own thoughts. Our own way of looking at the world we forget to see what is really there, and how are actions and inactions affect other people, and when we see something we've done wrong, we need to own it. It's far too easy to erase it, or bury it, but there is no growth in that.
I was adding episodes of Clean Jeans to the archives and I came across the episode #101 Our School Conspiracy, where me and Ashley talk about the shooting at the school. I still remember that day like it was yesterday. Events like that don't just happen, I guess unless you live in America, then they tend to happen a lot. Ashley wanted to skip school, I wasn't taking a lot of classes, so I told her if she skipped, I'd take the day off. To this day it is still one of the luckiest decisions I ever made.
I started getting calls and texts a little after 11 that a shooting had happened at North Lake, it happened in the art gallery, a room I was normally in around 11. At first that part didn't really hit me until I talked to Ashley about it. Once I did the truth of how different my life could have been if I had gone to school that day hit me. It would have been bad. It could have been the end. That's not a moment you get a lot of in life.
Maybe in part that is why we made light of it on the podcast, as a way to alleviate our own stress and shock at what happened. As a way to take power back from a sick twisted kid who stole a poor woman's life right out from under her. Either way, we shouldn't have done the podcast, shouldn't have really talked about it.
I've spent most of my life calling out police when they mess up, and I stand by they did a horrible job with this. They allowed an armed man to run from where the shooting happened to the other side of campus when they were so near. Maybe I thought I was pointing out police mishandling yet another case, but this involved the death of a fellow student. Not everything needs to be discussed, to be examined. Sometimes it's okay to have thoughts you leave unsaid, that's something I'm still trying to learn. I really hope our words didn't cause anyone any pain. There is too much pain in this world. Too many people trying to hurt others just for the sake of hurting others, as if it is some kind of sport. I don't ever want to be that person, and I hope that I never was.
I thought about removing the episode, but decided against it. It was a mistake that I made. And something that I have to live with. It would be too easy to just erase it and rewrite history as if it never happened, but that would be a lie. I made the episode and I regret it, but it happened. I decided to leave it up as a reminder of bad choices I've made and my promise to be better.
It's a new year, what better time to start a new page and try and be better, but we shouldn't wait for new years, or for others to call us out on our mistakes. We should spend everyday trying to be better than the day before and we should always call ourselves out for our past blunders. So that's what I'm doing. That's all any of us can do.
I hope this new year is better for everyone. I hope this new year we can put the pain of the last few years behind us. We can start to find our way back to normal, even if it is a new normal. With regards to Covid. With police reform, I stand where I always have. The whole institution needs to be torn down. We don't need to return to normal in that aspect of life, because normal never worked. It's time we stopped pretending that it did.
Jonathan Gutheinz vents about everything under the sun.