1. So I woke up and Drew had put up a post-it on the bathroom door that read, “Confirmed: U.S. Kills Osama Bin Laden.” What? I must have dreamed that…I’ve been having really strange dreams lately.
2. It’s a rather divine moment when cramps disappear with 3 advil. Instead of writhing in pain I suddenly realize that my stomach has a glowing, sore feeling to it which makes me fall asleep easily and be thankful for a comfy bed and 1.5 more hours of sleep. This is honestly one of my favorite feelings in the world.
3. I am wearing a rather ridiculous outfit to work today. I blame it on the fact that I haven’t done laundry in weeks and I didn’t want to do my hair cuz I felt kinda crappy and so my messy bun of damp hair didn’t really mesh with my button up DVF printed top, so I threw on a tunic over top to grunge it down a little. I have mixed feelings about the results.
4. After thinking about it for a couple hours, I still don’t know how to feel about #OBL (do you see what I did there? I think I am getting a little too obsessed with Twitter). I read about crowds showing up at the White House to party, fans chanting “USA! USA! USA!” at the Phillies game, students at my alma mater rolling the quad in celebration, and yet…I can’t share in that joy. I don’t think I could ever feel happy about someone dying, and I think this brings to light a fundamental difference in how people view the military. Don’t get me wrong–I am very thankful that the military protects me and my family and my country, that they risk their lives for our freedom and safety. And I totally get and respect that killing Bin Laden is a big win for them, and they should be happy and proud and accomplished. And I guess I do feel RELIEVED that someone who terrorized the world has been stopped. But I can’t get past the fact that he’s dead, and we killed him…that the army kills people. I know, it’s ridiculous that I’m surprised, and it’s ridiculous and naive to think that the army would ever NOT be in a position of fighting and killing others. But there it is, that’s how I feel.
I realize it’s a fault of mine, too, to not be confrontational, to not stick up for myself, to not fight back. I don’t know when this came about really, because I certainly can be explosive in arguments with Drew sometimes, and I definitely had what my mother refers to as my “dark period” from the ages of 13 to 16. And so maybe this way of being, to just take the criticisms or sit there silently whenever I’m thrown under the bus is impacting how I view the military in a more negative light, while many others view it as a higher calling. And then again perhaps it is all confounded by the fact that we’re watching The Wire right now (if you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it) and at the end of every episode I am devastated that there are kids out there being forced into selling drugs to fund their parents’ addictions, being beaten to death every day, being failed by our school system and the police who should be there to protect them. It’s a hard enough world as it is, and I don’t like anything that seems to add to that pain. And I know, opposing militaries are a far cry from rival drug gangs, and that it’s idealistic to think that we can all just get along–but I guess that’s where I still end up every night, wishing that it were possible. So if ridding the world of Osama Bin Laden brings us closer to that ideal, then I guess I am glad. But my heart also breaks as I look back at what it has cost us, and as I look forward and realize there are so many more casualties yet to be paid.
And what are we to do then? I can volunteer to rescue dogs, build houses for the poor, give money to charities I believe in, mentor at-risk kids…but you can’t save them all, and there will always be more, and more, that need help. As an individual my influence is infinitesimal. And while I believe strongly that each person should be free to decide how he/she spends his/her time, money, and intellect, and that it should not be institutionalized or forced in any way even if it’s meant for good, I can’t help but wonder, what if we all did just get along? What if we didn’t have to worry about the lives of our soldiers, of men and women who are taken too soon, fighting for what they believe in and what’s right? I’m not going to be depressed that Bin Laden is dead, as that’s ridiculous since he did much more harm than good while he was on this Earth. And I refuse to dwell on the strong possibility that the concept of military will exist forever, that fighting will exist forever, and instead I’ll focus on what I can do to help, to move the needle even infinitesimally closer to good. So thank you to all of those that were fought this war on my behalf, that aided in the capture and killing of a horrible terrorist. I could never do what you do every day, and most days I can’t even think about it or watch some distant portrayal on television without feeling sick. And while I can’t understand how you do it or can find the glory in it, I am thankful for your service to keep us all safe. I just naively hope it won’t always be necessary. That’s all!