A few months ago I made the classic young Millennial move of “graduating from college and leaving home for a big city”. And not just any city, New York City. The place I dreamed to one day live in, the concrete jungle that would make my every wish come true, the place I could be 100-percent me. I’m still telling my 22-year-old self that this fantasy is now my reality, but like any good fairytale, there’s a plot twist. Recent events have reminded me that my rose-tinted view of the world is actually a little more gray.
On Thursday, my mom broke the news of the NYC bomb scares. Despite her living in Seattle, no distance can keep her from making sure I answer every call. Moms, am I right?
“You hear about those bombs? Oh God. Please be extra safe out there. Okay?”
It’s pretty hard to feel safe in a place where someone can face a violent death for simply expressing their political party affiliation.
Hearing about the packages sent to people's' personal addresses was terrifying. It’s still scary to think about. It’s only been a couple of days anyway. Who knows what would’ve happened if each person actually opened up what was inside? I sure don’t wish to know. I’ve read about these kinds of things online, heard about this stuff happening in other countries. I was naive to think it couldn’t happen on my own soil. Clearly, I was wrong.
A part of me thinks I shouldn’t be too concerned because I’ve never been a nominee for public office (excluding high school but my student body days are behind me now). I’ve never directed, produced, or starred in a movie on the silver screen. I’ve never delivered a live, national newscast on TV. I’ve also never publicly announced what political party I stand for.
And that’s because I choose not to identify with any political party. Things like the bomb scares are reasons why.
Some folks wonder why young people don’t care about politics like they did back in the day. Why we aren’t as politically active or why we don’t turn out to vote. While I don’t deny some of these things to be true, I disagree with the idea that people my age are apathetic to the world around us.
We care about things, all right. We just show it in our own way.
Do you even see what we Tweet and post about online? Have you seen what movements we’ve been able to create through the use of social media? We practically share our every thought to the world and here I am talking about why I hide a part of myself in fear of being persecuted by a package.
I’ve been told to not live my life in fear. That’s what my parents have instilled in me. That’s what teachers and bosses have said to me. That’s what my faith says I should believe.
But what if I do want to run for President of the United States? What if I do have plans to one day be an actress and later decide I want to direct or produce a film too? Will I have to mask parts of my identity just so I can achieve those ambitions?
Call me crazy or call me a coward. I’m calling myself calculated and careful.