Life Just Doesn’t Add Up

In the United States, around 50% of Americans live in the middle-class. Then on the downside, about 30% of Americans live in low-income households. For the upper-class, that translates to about 20% of Americans. What I’m trying to convey in this article is; does economic class relate to the difficulty or the effort put into work?

One very interesting topic is the minimum wage. There are many arguments that it brings about. There are also many pros and cons to even having a minimum wage. Many people rely on the minimum wage to even keep afloat. They can be doing very stressful work, whether it’s stressful for their body or mind.

But sometimes you have to look past minimum wage and look at company success. It isn’t very fair for a small business that is barely making ends meet to have to pay employees $15 an hour. On the other hand, it isn’t fair to employees of a large successful company to only be paid $15 an hour. And that doesn’t even factor in the difficulty of the work.

Often you’ll find that low-income to middle-class individuals are working their butt off and putting their body to the limit just for minimum wage. People often blame people in low economic groups for their own poverty. They say that they don’t work hard enough or blame them for not even having a job. Which anybody that lives in these groups would undoubtedly dispute these claims.

It can be very challenging to climb the economic ladder. Which I believe it should be that way. However, sometimes it isn’t very fair. The upper-class can be very unforgiving of your past and expect so much out of how you were raised.

One example is, running for the presidency. You often hear the claim, “He’s an outsider!” But is anybody that actually has a chance to run ever truly an outsider? Definitely not. The media and top dogs would never let a true outsider run. In order to run for the American presidency, you must have come from an upper-class family. You never see candidates come from truly broke homes. And sadly, every kid’s true dream of being president is smashed before they were even born.

The only chance to climb the economic ladder is to constantly fight. It just sucks how much the odds can be against you. The world and society are very cruel. If you are in the middle-class, your chances of climbing up to upper-class are very slim. If the poverty rate continues to rise, and our only solution is to raise the minimum wage, then Americans are screwed.

The only way to really dig ourselves out of this hole would be for the rich to truly invest their money in the people. But the issue with that is that people are born rich. They don’t learn the value of money. Many people who actually get rich and climb the ladder don’t know what to do with their money. So both these groups of people may waste their money on material things. They don’t truly understand the economy and they are the true leeches in our great country.

The best thing anybody with a considerable amount of cash flow can do is to make a business or to invest in one. By doing this, you allow that business to raise their employees’ salary without having to increase product prices. This would, therefore, end minimum wage debates and would lower the poverty rates. This way, individuals in all economic classes would be satisfied.

The investors could be making a commision or some other form of profit from the business they invested in. The business can pay their employees more and still charge a fair price for their goods. The employees get paid a fair compensation for their effort. And the consumers don’t have to pay a ridiculous fee for a good.

Doing this would be a way better option than messing with the minimum wage. Now, of course, the minimum wage would fluctuate due to inflation. However, now we wouldn’t have issues of a skyrocketing inflation rate and poverty rate.

As far as taxes, we could just charge a flat rate across the board. But then if you make a personal income that places you in the upper-class in your city, you will be charged an extra percent based fee. This fee would fluctuate depending on how much you invested in your own business or others’.

I believe that these are some of the key changes that America needs. This would make the economic system better balanced. And above all else, this would satisfy all Americans’ needs. And if you have any opinions on this, please let me know.

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Ways To Focus In On Writing

I will be talking about different ways to help focus on writing. These will be on personal experiences. Through my ability to brainstorm and short experience as a self-driven writer, I have come up with many different ways to help you focus on writing.

Everybody knows that it can be difficult to find that motivation to write. Whether it be for personal exposure, class work, or for your job. And I’m sure some will admit that they aren’t the best writers. I’m sure you’ll find some use of these tips in your life. No matter your writing level or what it’s for.

First off I’ll just list off simple tactics to get more engaged in your writing.  One way to get the most out of yourself is just by getting rid of all possible distractions. So by this I mean, shut off the music, turn off the TV, and just get away from people. This is just about the only time I really recommend isolating yourself. You want to keep your thoughts consistent and constant. With any distractors, you can lose your train of thought or you could get carried away from your work.

Another thing you can do to focus in on your writing is not to push yourself for deadlines. By that, I mean that you need to give yourself enough time before a deadline to comfortably write your work and not to stress out by not constantly writing. One of the best ways writing really hooked me is that I do it when I really feel like it. If I can’t sleep and I know I won’t be able to, I’ll start brainstorming. And if something hooks my attention then I’ll start to type away.

Another common way to get yourself into writing is to look forward to it for some reason. Some of these ways may require money, although not much, money is still money. One thing that you could do is to find a pen you really enjoy. We all know that feeling of finding that one dream pen. At that moment you feel like the world is at will to your fingertips. This is very simple but effective.

And of course, if writing is your job or you really enjoy it. You can really go crazy and buy a whole new laptop. Although I wouldn’t recommend this unless you know that you’ll need to write a lot and enjoy it. Or if you’re writing for enjoyment, you might want to have a large following to help pay off that investment.

One thing that I enjoy doing throughout the day is just brainstorming constantly. I am always thinking of different things to write about. Whether it be about myself, relationships, sports, music, my opinion, or politics. If you’re often writing about various topics, this is essential.

I find that I like to keep myself going once I get started. I rarely ever take breaks, however, depending on what you’re writing or your personality, it may be necessary. One thing you can do to figure this out about yourself is just to write about yourself. Just kind of poke around and see if you can make it through all the writing or if your brain needs breaks.

I find that writing early in the morning increases my effectiveness as a writer. I am able to connect many ideas together very quickly and I’m so into it. But it’s really up to you. Some people enjoy coming home and just writing away about their day or just their thoughts. You just need to find what works best for you.

And my final recommendation is to really find topics you are passionate about. When you are forced to write, it can seem extremely boring, just like anything you’re forced to do. That’s why I highly recommend that you find a reason you want to write. I found a love through writing mainly because I feel like it is very empowering. To know that people take interest and value your work. It is a very amazing feeling.

Honestly, the biggest key to becoming a good writer is getting started with something you’re passionate about. With finding that passion, you can translate that into motivation to write about many other topics. In writing and many other things, you have to truly release your self-drive

You Aren’t Alone

The feeling of loneliness. It is one of the most gut-wrenching feelings in the world. Everybody has been there, either in a physical way or in a mental way. You just feel hopeless, like nobody really cares about you. Even though many people do. You can repeatedly tell yourself that people love and care about you but there isn’t proof in that moment or you want to deny that proof. You just sit there reminding yourself that you’re lonely and nobody cares.

Most of the time you aren’t lonely because of others not caring though. You are lonely because you chose to isolate yourself. Whether you naturally isolate yourself because you just think you do better alone or because you went through a dramatic social engagement. Isolation is the real killer in life…

In isolating yourself, you put yourself at risk of falling under your own thoughts. You don’t have any proofs as to if someone cares about you at that moment. You can remember moments where you felt happy or loved but that past feeling most often doesn’t translate to right now.

Your own thoughts can really eat you alive. Everybody goes through those moments and understands that your thoughts are your own worst enemy. They often doubt your choices and try to make you look at the bad in everything. They focus on your mistakes and it can be hard to think about all your success over these controlling thoughts.

Everybody is going through something. Even though they look incredibly happy, they are struggling with something in their own head. And one thing I’ve found that people often do is that they measure someone’s struggles. They often say, “Others have it way worse.” Just think about that for a moment…

Imagine someone gets robbed and the robbers steal they’re money and beat them up. And then when the judge is sentencing the robbers, he says, “It could’ve been worse.” And then he proceeds to penalize them less just because they didn’t do the worst thing imaginable. Wouldn’t that really anger you? Doesn’t it just seem ridiculous?

So now bringing it back to the mental health side of things, you should realize how damaging that could be. It definitely is one of the most challenging things in life to reach out for help. Especially when it has to deal with a personal issue of yours. People often say how proud they are of someone to reach out. So, why would you want to minimalize the very thing you said you were so proud of?

Of course, others may have it worse than you, but does that mean that your struggle has no bearing? Does it seriously mean that you shouldn’t receive help? Of course not. We should not measure peoples’ pain and struggles. Because are you really ever going to find that one person who really has it the worst? Again, of course not.

So please, all medical professionals, teachers, friends, and parents. Please don’t minimalize others struggles. I’m sure that you understand how hard it can be to reach out. I’m definitely sure that you don’t like it when others minimalize your struggles. All you have to do is be an understanding and caring human being.

Everybody is going through a struggle one way or another. The most essential thing to do is to find that support group that you trust and not to isolate yourself. With those two things, your life and your battle will be ever so easier.

My Life With Music

I find music to be one of the most enjoyable things about life. It’s truly incredible how something so simple but yet so complicated can make someone feels so many different ways. All my life, I have loved listening to and relating to music.

I personally love to listen to R&B, pop, hip hop, and rap genres. I believe the OCD has conditioned me to love music because I remember as a kid always having songs running through my head. literally 24/7 I had songs, word for word, going through my head. I can recall some nights where I would sit there for three or more hours just being forced to listen to many different songs.

As many others would say, they love music because they can relate to the music so much. Often I find myself putting myself in their life and understanding their feelings, mindset, and stressors. I enjoy putting myself in others’ shoes and understanding others’ point of views.

The only problem I find with music is that sometimes it can majorly affect your mood. For the better… or for the absolute worse. I often find that I listen to very aggressive music types. Often that means that I’m on SoundCloud, at least that’s for me. But when I’m feeling good, I’m on my playlists in apple music and I’m listening to mainstream music.

 

Why Is Life Worth It

Sometimes it can get very difficult to find reasons to be here. It can be very easy to get down on yourself and give up. But you have to keep going, no matter how hard life gets. You may not see it right now, but many people look up to you in some way. They may wish they had a skill that you excel in.

People rely on you to be here. They want you here. Nobody ever wishes for you to be gone. It may feel like you’re useless, but believe me, you are needed in one way or another. I personally look up to every person. Everyone has that one trait that defines them, and many people wish they could have that trait as well.

Whether you’re charismatic, funny, caring, or careless. People respect that of you and are often jealous. I personally wish I could be more caring and outgoing as well as careless at times. Sometimes for me, it can be hard to ask how someone is doing. And often I find myself caring too much about what goes on in my head.

All that people ever ask of you is for you to be respectful and responsible. It can be hard at times but once you get in the flow of things you will feel proud of yourself. In order to feel like you should be here, you need that pride in what you do. Whenever I stay home all day or don’t do what is expected of me, I feel like shit. You have to push yourself throughout the day and do the small things.

Pride in what you do is the key to living a happy life. You don’t have to be amazing at what you do but just putting forth effort is enough. People will respect your effort and you’ll feel that respect. Never isolate yourself. Social media is so amazing nowadays because no matter if you’re alone, you have hundreds of people to talk to. Friends and pride in what you do are essential in life.

Why I Love Basketball

Basketball, to me, is such a beautiful sport. I enjoy watching it, playing it, and just thinking about it. There are so many things you can do in basketball. So many different ways to get the ball in the hoop. There are so many moves you can make just to set up a score. There so many small things that make up every play in basketball.

Not only is there the person with the ball, but there are also four others making off ball moves to get open. There are screens which set up so many opportunities and different looks for the offense. It takes a great mind to play basketball effectively.

I just love being on the court. Standing there with the ball. Just thinking of all the moves you can use to get yourself open, to shake the defender, or to help your teammate get an open look. You can get so creative with a basketball. And if you’re playing pick-up ball then you can have even more fun. You can dance around with the ball until you break your defender’s ankles.  Or you could play around with mismatches and just have an overall fun time.

Basketball can be very enjoyable to watch. Whether you’re watching the pros go at it or just some kids play, you can enjoy the highlights or just have some fun by hyping up your friends. I’d say for the NBA, one out of every four possessions there is a highlight play. That keeps the game very interesting. Another thing that I love is that the score is never really reliable. A team can just go on an incredible run out of nowhere.

Unlike some other sports too, basketball is constantly played by the same people. You don’t have breaks in action where they’re switching the offense and defense. It keeps the game very exciting.

One quote that I love about basketball comes from an NBA superstar named Kyrie Irving. He said, “Basketball isn’t a game, it’s an art form.”

Don’t know how I’m here. Depression, OCD, Psychosis

          I am 18 years old and depression and suicidal thoughts really hit me in early 2017. I was nearing 17 years old. I would drive my car recklessly but only in isolated situations. I never had the intention of hurting others. I just wished that my car would flip and I would either die or survive without any serious injuries. I had been doing that for nearly 4 months and then the thoughts got worse. I began to cut on my chest. It just felt good to get it out of me. I was folding under the thoughts.

          The next school year began and it was harder than ever. I am a bright kid, I had a 4.0 GPA up until this year. I’ve always had that hidden love for school but I couldn’t make it through the day with all these thoughts roaming through my head. I began to drive recklessly again and it came to the point where I talked to my counselor. That helped somewhat but it didn’t stop all the thoughts. A couple of days later I ended up writing a note and sneaked out of my house to my car. This was it, finally the day I could do it. I let all those thoughts get to me and I felt like there was nothing I could do. I was prepared to do it but something held me back, then my sister texted me wondering what I was doing out this late. I snapped and had a total breakdown. I cried, I had an anxiety attack almost to the point of passing out. Somehow I convinced myself to get home and I slept in the next day.

          My girlfriend told my family that I had made the note and what had happened to me so they decided to take me to the hospital. I figured it was for the best. Honestly, the only positive I saw out of going there was for them to prescribe me some medications. I got out after four days and didn’t feel too different. But at least I had a diagnosis. I have OCD, Depression, and Psychosis. So I went home and went back to the normal routine but I just could not make it through the day. often I would go through the day feeling so awful and then see my girlfriend at the end of the day and I’d feel like living again. Time went on and then I had my left kidney removed. I would just keep going on that cycle for a couple of months. But then, I decided to make a change.

          I dropped out and decided to just work for a while. That went alright for a while but then the thoughts built up once again and I snapped, I ended up crashing my car into a cornfield. I didn’t wreck the car but it now has quite a bit of issues. A couple of months later I slipped once again. I ended up buying razors and I cut at my neck. It was a couple millimeters deep and a half inch long. I was so scared at that point and no clue why I did it. Surprisingly that wasn’t enough for me to be taken to the hospital.

          Summer went on and I got my GED. I was feeling good about myself. I felt like I was getting my life together. Then I decided to begin college and work at the same time. It was just too much. It came to the point where I was missing school and then missing work as well. And then things really took a big shift for the worse. I cut myself in late August and then on September 9th, I decided to take 20,000 mg of Tylenol. A couple days later it felt like my belly and chest was just constantly burning. And then I told my girlfriend that I didn’t feel like I’d be here much longer. She ended up letting my mom know what had happened. So, of course, I went to the same mental hospital.

          As I was explaining to the staff why I was there, they questioned if I had been medically examined yet. And no I hadn’t been yet so they took some blood and somehow the only thing apparently wrong with me was my liver enzymes. They kept an eye on them throughout my visit but nothing spiked they’re attention. I was there for about three days. I got switched to three new medications and I’m currently on four right now.

          Ever since then I haven’t felt right. I’ve been having issues sleeping throughout the night. And I’ve noticed I can’t handle much. Something as simple as my girlfriend saying we can’t hang out is enough to trigger so many thoughts and send me down a spiral of depression.

          I truly don’t understand these thoughts. They want to ruin my life so bad to where I just feel like giving up and killing myself. But I have that feeling inside me that wants to keep living and somehow that feeling keeps me alive.