Thursday, November 16, 2017

Me? No. Never! Well,... hand me that ring.

I am getting married.

Written out, black on white, it brings up so many emotions, thoughts, memories, and a lot of curiosity. People who know me will be surprised and say, 'but you never wanted to get married'. To those I say, that I never say never. At least not fully convinced. I just don't like to restrict myself.

Granted, I doubt the usefulness of marriage and I'm puzzled by women and men, who start dreaming about and planning their dream wedding before they have left their diapers. I understand the concept of marriage and how it evolved but I do not agree with what religious fundamentalists, mostly men, and marketing machines have made out of it.

I accept it as a union of two people of any gender, religion, orientation, or geographic origin. I understand that they might want to show the rest of the world that they committed to spending their lives together, come what may. And I love that idea. Although, it still doesn't explain the institution of marriage. A party, vows and stuff, and a contract would do just as easily as that. 

It makes sense if there are children involved, to give them certainty and in case that one of the parties rethinks their commitment, given the stinky diapers and sleepless nights combined with stretch marks and the loss of a perfect set of boobs. Or the acquisition of a perfect set of boobs by the other party. In that case there needs to be a legal basis without having to employ a lawyer before you get married. But even then, this should be based on whether or not someone is the mother or father or the child.

A big tax saver it is. But mainly if only one partner earns a lot of money and the other one not a lot.

My favorite feature of marriage, is the fact that you can bring your spouse to your home country. I love this. While there is a lot of paperwork required and it does get abused, oftentimes commercially, many times crossing the threshold into human trafficking. But overall, it's one of the best parts of marriage. Especially for someone who is torn between "Heimat" and home.

So yeah, while I did think about it and even talked about it with former partners, I never felt the need to get married. And eventually, I let go of the feeling of failure that I hadn't gotten someone to marry me by the age of 30, of the idea that there must be something wrong with me. And began to enjoy the prospect living my life like I want to live it. Do what I want to do, ignoring any expectations society might have, whether real or imagined by me and my inner critic.

Yet, here I am now. I do feel the need to tell this world that I want to commit to this man for the rest of my life. Come what may. I want to share everything I have with him, without a second thought. I know that he will let me be who I am. If anything, he will help me better understand who I am and who I can be. I will not be absorbed by an institution and a spouse and disappear. I am and will be myself will remain so. As is and will he. And soon, there will be this third entity. This new, pristine union of two human beings, an unimaginably powerful,  kind and compassionate combination. Not to mention totally weird and silly. And scared as hell, facing this world with its newborn eyes.

I do not say "never". I am not sure about "forever". But I am sure as hell about "I will do what I can for as long as possible".

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Burning Inside

I want to stay optimistic. I want to focus on the positive. I want to be happy about the fact that the German Supreme Court ruled in favor of adding a “non-specified” gender option and a transgender person won a seat in Virginia in the US. I want to be glad that a global network of investigative journalists repeatedly risk their and their families’ lives to uncover how the 99% are being cheated out of trillions of tax money by the 1%, who want more, more, more, all the time and have become less willing to pay their fair share, than ever.

But it’s hard. When I hear that German politicians, the ones that rule the country, are not required to disclose ownership in businesses if their share is 25% or less. When you know that these people, who have a vested interest in who knows how many companies which will profit from whatever they decide are the same ones that could change that rule. What are the odds, they would? The same politicians that cannot escape the lobbyists, they’re far outnumbered by who are throwing money at them, or, I can only guess, if they don’t succeed with that, threats? It has become harder and harder for me to believe that politicians are in it because they want to make a difference. Because they want to improve the lives of the majority of the country they represent. That they are willing to do the hard work and ignore the offers from big money to rule in its favor.

I can’t. When I see one article in the German public news that talks about how Germany’s economy is booming like crazy and another one that says that 20% of Germans live below the poverty line. How can I remain optimistic? Unemployment rates here and in Germany are very low, which sounds fantastic. But, given that the social security payments have been severely cut since the Social Democrats ruled Germany and never were enough to speak of here, and corporations find more and more ways to ignore the minimum wage, and taxes, while rents and general cost of living keep rising, what other choice do people have than to work any job or as many jobs they can get?

I am lucky to have gotten a very good higher education that taught me how to think, see, and understand how all of this is interconnected. And I didn’t even have to pay a shitload of money for it. I am even more lucky, to have chosen the right industry, and the right company to work for long time ago. An industry that pays well for, albeit stressful, not really meaningful, but relatively easy work. I should count my blessings and enjoy the life that I have. Or I should get off my ass and go into politics. But I can’t. I don’t believe that things will change via politics. The system will collapse, eventually, but it will not change because of a good leader and hard work of dedicated and honest politicians. We saw what happened to Bernie Sanders, who could have been such a person. Someone who we wanted to follow. Incorruptable, driven, smart, and charismatic. He got kicked out of the race that he would have won (Yes, don't try and tell me otherwise!) by his own party. Good job, Democrats, arrogantly ignoring what the majority wants only to get slapped so hard in the face that you fell hard on your fat pantsuit millionaire’s ass.

It’s dark in my head. All the meditation practice, then Tonglen, the Koan work, I’ve been doing doesn’t seem to be able to change that. The “epiphany of positivity” my colleague calls me, feels flattened, and terrified. My only hope is that burning anger that is still there. Not a destructive kind of anger. None that would cause me to lash out violently at anyone. That powerful, mighty fire, that is getting stronger every day, seeking an outlet, a target. Not wanting to sit on my ass anymore. Not accepting that just changing myself to be a better person will be enough to make a difference. Needing to make myself feel that I am making a difference. And I know there will be that moment, where I cannot ignore it any longer. When it will come out, be heard, seen, and become impossible to ignore.