Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A little perspective is needed.

When yesterday's hurricane struck into the mid-Atlantic states and into New Jersey/New York, I found myself being annoyed at the constant declaration of this destroyer of mankind reeking havoc upon us all.  At the end of the day, I realized that a little perspective was needed, both for myself and for all these idiot northerners who have no idea what they are talking about.

First and foremost, the north was struck with a Category 1 hurricane.  I personally have been through enough of these storms from my 6 years of living in Florida.  I understand the difference and the destruction that the different types cause.  While I do have sympathy for the people living there without power and water and now about to deal with snow, please do me a favor.  Stop crying about the wrath of God bearing down on you with high winds and limited storm surge.  While NYC is the "center of the world," it was not as bad as it could have been.  I understand the city got flooded.  That happens in category 1s.  It's a constant wind with repeated bands of rain at different intervals.  Last I checked, I saw people constantly on the news out in the streets during the storm.  If you are outside during a category 1, then it ain't that bad.

Secondly, stop calling it a storm of the century, as a hurricane.  It wasn't.  It isn't.  It never will be.  During hurricanes that are storms of the century, your house, lives, and towns are wiped out the face of the planet.  I don't see anything completely leveled and destroyed in NYC.  Granted the Jersey Shore is washed out, but lets tone down the anxiety of a sense of destruction.  The last storm of the century was about 7 years ago.  It was called and is still called Katrina.  That was a massive force of nature that showed the earth could care less for mankind.  Sandy was like a limpwristed slap in the face.

 This is Hurricane Charley.  A Category 3 that hit Port Charlotte, Fl.

 As, is this photo.  If you watch the news, then compare what you see to this for a little perspective.  I'm not saying it's not bad, but lets not talk about the "utter mayhem" of Sandy.

If you want t true perspective on a "Storm of the Century."  This is all you need to ever see.  Stay calm and stop crying.  You will be lucky if you never ever get to see anything close to this.

Last night, I had to listen to people explain to me, in my face, that I didn't understand what was happening.  It took me the hardest bit of restraint to not curse them out and explain that they needed to shut the fuck up.  It took me think back to something my cousin wrote on her blog about suicide.  A couple years back, my cousin's husband committed suicide in front of her.  She has come a long way in how she deals with it.  She wrote about how people would unconsciously make comments about "this being the death of me" or "I could just shot myself."  It offends because people who make comments like that have never had to deal with anything of the sort in their lives.  But you also learn perspective on what is dire and what means the world to you.  For me, when it comes to hurricanes, I understand what a 1 and a 5 are and the difference.  Yes, I would take a category 1 lightly because I've been through them.  Hell, I went through 5 hurricanes in 1 year.  I went through a storm so large, it covered the entire state of Florida.  The weatherman had to guess where Tampa was on his map because he couldn't see anything.  Then, I dealt with Katrina. 

This is where I had to learn perspective last night.  Those guys will never understand what I nor my family dealt with.  They'll never have to experience the worst week of a son's life.  Nor will they ever understand a fractured government response or the struggle of years of recovering sanity in the rebuild.  I realized that it was a waste of my breath to explain to others last night, but not today.  My father, stepmother and sisters all live in the Mississippi Gulf Coast area.  My aunt and uncle and cousins and their families live in New Orleans.  When Katrina hit, it took over a week before I was able to hear that my father, who stayed, was alive.  Northerners have no power, but they still have phones.  My dad had neither.  I worked two jobs at the time, 80 hours a week.  I would leave one job and go to the other daily with no news at all.  I checked in with whomever I could but still no news.  At my job, people could see my stress but they couldn't understand.  That is was a "storm of the century" does.  It leaves you with nothing.  It takes your house forever.  It takes you prized possessions and childhood/family heirlooms away forever.  It takes away your family forever.  Luckily, my father was able to make contact with our family and I was able to receive the news that the family was all safe and accounted for.  The same went for my family in NoLa.

While this storm has caused damage that is replaceable for many, there are some that have lost everything.  My sympathy does go out to them.  I understand what the loss means.  This storm has also taught me a lesson in perspective.  I will never understand what a blizzard is like because I won't live north of the Mason-Dixon.  If I saw about a foot of snow, I would be lost.  Northerners understand that a foot of snow to me is like a category 1 hurricane to them.  Or vice versa.  I also learned a bit that my frustration and anger is not helping.  I can try to explain that it is not that bad, but then I don't know if maybe they aren't in touch with someone they care about and don't know what is going on.  I've learned a bit of my lesson, but I hope that many people out there now understand why Floridians take hurricanes a different way. 

We understand nature differently.  We understand it the same way that mid-westerners do.  You live with what nature throws at you.  You get together and rebuild.  You don't act like you're better than it all.  You respect it, but live your life.  You don't treat it like the end of the world, unless a part of your world is ended.  Maybe now I understand myself a little better, but for the love of god please stop calling it the storm of the century.  Stop referring to it has a cataclysmic event.  Get a grip and get some perspective.  Make sure your family is safe and don't be wasteful with what you have.

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