I’m entering a serious period of disenchantment.

I’m 30 now, and maybe that’s why. I’m two days away from finishing my third Spring semester as a teacher, and that could be it too.

This year, 2016, has been a real down spiral of life. We are in the midst of a political season that promises nothing but turmoil. The entire nomination system has been nothing short of a joke where nobody who’s in on it is laughing and we’re all going to be worse off for it. I don’t have to tell you that both candidates are horrible choices, you know that for whatever reason you believe in. But how are we supposed to just sit back, choose from the less of two evils, and pretend like life will just go on?

We can’t, because it’s not going on.

Life is not going on because it’s being blown up, shot at, deployed, ruined by racism. Life is not going on because we cannot just sit back and appreciate what the next person brings to the table. My students, who are juniors in high school, repeat the racist rhetoric that their parents spew – and they’re supposed to be the future? Life can’t go on, and it won’t, until everyone can act like someone’s god damn neighbor and not like their personal judge and jury.

I hesitate to say that it’s about guns, because it’s not. It’s not about access to them, the background checks that will make them harder to get, or the amount of them that will be sold illegally. The problem is we offer thoughts and prayers to band aid situations, when we need hardcore legislation and an overarching overhaul of the way we think that will prove, once and for all, that we’re not just a nation of bible readers and wishful thinkers. We cannot think and pray this away. I do not want to raise my daughter in a world where I have to worry about taking her to the movies, because someone who doesn’t agree with our lifestyle, our religion, THE COLOR OF OUR HAIR, wants to wipe us out. Life is too meaningful and too short to say “I’m with Orlando/San Bernadino/Boston/Newtown/EVERYWHERE” and not do a god damn thing to back it up.

We will go to the polls this year and vote for someone who promises change, but nothing will change. Everyone is in someone else’s pocket. NRA pays you to say the things you say. We can’t pass legislation because we will offend someone, go against their wishes, destroy our personal friendships that America has suffered because of. This period of disenchantment, sponsored by whatever messed up thing that happens this week, is making me feel nervous to go out and live my life.

And what about my daughter’s life? She’ll be born in 2016, a month before the presidential election. She will never be carefree in a public space, because I cannot be. She will hear stories of the Boston Marathon and wonder how her parents felt, how her Nanny and Poppy and Aunt Allyson made it out in one piece. I will tell her that physically we are still whole, but mentally and emotionally we have never recovered. I will have to explain why people hate other people and why we’ve been at war with another country for over 15 years. I hope that she will know a peaceful time, but it’s very possible that this backslide we’re on, unless we can seriously come to our senses and derail, will continue.

In my sophomore year of college, someone told me that every country has a revolution every 200 years or so, and since that day it’s all I can think about. We are all angry, and for all different kinds of reasons. It’s more than just a divide in beliefs, it’s a divide in morals and doing what’s right. When I have to correct my students for saying something racist, often times they have no idea why it was wrong – and how should they? They live in an area, in a state even, that perpetuates that kind of behavior. I can’t expect them to have a confederate flag flying at their house and then be completely PC in my classroom.

One of the ideals that I force feed my students is the need to appreciate everyone else in the class. You don’t have to agree with them, you don’t even have to like them, but you can’t discount them just because they’re different than you. HOW DO ADULTS NOT GET THAT. As an adult, someone’s sexual preference, skin color, race or ethnicity, is not something that should affect you in any way. We need to stop using outdated texts as reasons for making horrible decisions. We need to stop thinking that more guns will keep us safer. We need to teach our god damn kids that life cannot be one long show of them getting to do whatever they want to whomever they want. Boys need to learn how to treat girls. Girls need to learn to demand what they want. People need to learn and understand that everyone matters. My daughter needs to learn that her mother is angry and disenchanted with life and she’ll do whatever’s possible to make it a happy existence for everyone she comes across.

I am tired. I want to feel safe. I want my friends to be safe. I want to live in a country where we can actually respect each other. I don’t want to worry that my daughter will be the 1 in 4 girls that will be raped just because she goes to college. I want these things, and it makes me angry that others do not.

I am tired. I am disenchanted. I want more. And we deserve more.