It's Sunny Here in Chicago and No One Knows What To Do

By Lauren Huffman

I don't know what to do. I'm at a loss. It's nearly 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It's sunny. It's a Saturday in April. And I feel this immense pressure to be outside. And if I'm not outside I internally scold myself for not being outside. So, I go outside on my balcony to write. And I am immediately hit with strong winds and pollutant smells. And I'm uncomfortable. And unhappy. But being outside on a nice day is what I am supposed to do as a Chicagoan. I was born and raised in a Chicago suburb. I can safely say the amount of times I have seen the sun in my lifetime can be counted on four hands. So I have to enjoy it while I can. Otherwise I will be persecuted. 

This thought seems a little irrational.

Then I remember a page I read in some sad book at a corporate-run clothing store where it states, and I loosely quote, "Making you feel guilty for being inside on a sunny day is something white people do."

Why do (most) white people have so much time on their hands they can judge everyone's actions so minutely that there are books dedicated to their ridiculous critiques?

And why can't I unhinge my mind from these ludicrous empty judgements?  

I think this is some semblance of white guilt. And it was passed down from generation to generation. Each generation becoming more diluted with the why, and we end up with youngish adults hating themselves for cleaning their apartment on a sunny day and channeling that guilt into more selfish activities in an attempt to override the initial shame. It has been instilled in me I should be enjoying the weather because I am lucky enough to have free time as a result of my pricey education that earns a living where I can have days off. 

Why isn't it instilled in us to channel our self-condemnation to help any of the multitude of areas needing assistance? If we stopped being so self-involved and passing this on to our offspring, would equality and peace on earth be closer?

Who knows. But what I do know is I may have made no sense to everyone who reads this. But I follow the thought process. And isn't that all that matters?

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