I often think about when I changed from a goofy optimist who never really cared about the news to a more jaded, sad realist and I think I can pinpoint it almost exactly to December 14, 2012. The Sandy Hook shooting broke me.

To see that I lived in a country where not only was it possible for 20 little tiny kids to be massacred at a school, but that it was possible for that massacre to have zero affect on our society broke me. It broke my faith in religion, it broke my faith in government, it broke my faith in humanity, and I struggle almost daily to make sure it doesn’t break my faith in giving my kids a childhood free from the over-protection, paranoia, and stress inherent in so much of the accepted parenting and schooling wisdom these days.

I can write about anything. I have opinions on everything. But in six years I’ve barely written a paragraph on this. I’m trying to work through it in a novel for the first time, but it’s a cancer I’m not sure will ever be fully gone from my body.

Hug your kids, love your kids, love other people, and stop being assholes. Stop caring if someone gets something they don’t deserve. Be happy for people every day they survive this shitty world with a shred of humanity intact. Stop ratting out parents and figure out how to help more parents. Don’t bitch about people taking advantage of the system, do what you can to solidify the system. I can’t figure out if I’m a hippy or an anarchist, but I just know that there aren’t enough laws or regulations or ordinances to compensate for a broken society.