COPING & ADJUSTMENT
The author of this response is asked to offer a journal of personal reflection and observations about the author's life up to this point from several different perspectives. It will be described how well the author has adjusted as it relates to four overall dimensions. Those dimensions are adjusting to life in terms of subjective well-being, diversity, contexts and thinking critically, the balancing of life priorities including home, work, school recreation and family, the developing of the author's identity including self-esteem, self-concept, ethnicity and/or gender and coping with stress via means of social support, multiple coping strategies and/or self-control. While the author of this report has more than a few things that could have done and handled better than they were, the totality of the author's life reflects a decent amount of balance and solid outcomes.
As it relates to subjective well-being, diversity and so forth, the author of this report is not really focused on that sort of thing as diversity factors and the social contexts that seem to be forced on people are largely a waste of time. Indeed, what makes people who they are is often defined through racial or gender prisms. While race, gender and other personal traits are certainly not irrelevant, that is largely due to society being ham-handed, if not obtuse, about that subject and the author has learned over the years to tune out the noise and banter that clouds the airwaves every day.
As for the balancing of work, school, recreation and so forth, it can be hard to keep all of those proverbial balls in the air. However, many people do it every day and they tend to do it well. The author of this report certainly thinks that inclusion in that group is a given based on results garnered thus far. Balancing school and work in particular, let alone family being thrown in the mix, can be quite hard. The author has learned full well that planning out one's life course in advance rather than making silly mistakes saves a lot of time, aggravation and money as opposed to bungling one or more of the above. When it comes to self-esteem and self-image, the author of this report would refer again to the points made in the first part of this response, that being that the author's self-esteem and identity is not tied to diversity-related or personal traits in general. There is so much more to a person than all of that and those items are usually (but not always) irrelevant. Of course, when speaking about conditions and outcomes like illegal immigration, the current unrest in Ferguson, MO and so forth, race, gender and other personal traits are certainly on the lips and tongues of those speaking of it and there is good reason for this. Finally, the author is able to cope quite well as the amount of family and friend support that is available is off the charts. Self-control is a huge part of living a purposeful and proper life as becoming unhinged and out of control with life choices including those pertaining to relationships of all sorts, family and so on is less than wise and should be avoided.
The author has learned full well that pouring one's faith and priority into foolish endeavors and foolish people can literally set one back for months to years at a time. It is not always welcome by many to point out where life choices matter greatly in terms of outcomes. However, there is also credence to the "garbage in, garbage out" saying whereby people only mimic and do what they know. However, this society is so information-rich and pervasively filled with context that this excuse is becoming more and more hard...
Indeed, the author readily found two stories from the last month or two that relate to precisely those sorts of issues. One pertains to a working single mother growing up in poverty and the other relates to a soldier who came back from Afghanistan and was unable to communicate normally with regular people in regular situations like he was able to do prior to going to war. In both situations, people outside of the statistical or qualitative norm are in situations where they have to adjust and cope with situations that are outside the scope of what most people have to deal with on a given day. While there is hope for most everyone in terms of adjustment and coping issues, saying it is one thing but doing it is quite another.
The first story relates to a working mom who has finished raising a child while being very poor and without a husband to directly assist her. Indeed, Sonia Vasquez, the mother in the story, spoke about when she lived outside of New York City and would sometimes have to work extra jobs if the money was shorter than the amount of bills during a given month. The daughter was certainly not immune to noticing that there were money issues and other struggles. It got to a point where the daughter would tune out her mother when she tried to tell her bad things. However, the daughter found her voice and actually admitted that if the bad information was positioned after the good information, rather than the other way around, then she would listen and absorb the information more completely and effectively. Rather than just sauntering off and perhaps not taking this seriously, the mother replied by saying that she would make every effort to do so and that the daughter should speak up if the mother did not abide by that request. Indeed, as it turned out they were "two peas in a pod" thereafter and there were not any major issues after that (NPR, 2014).
They bonded in other ways as well. The pair would go to Denny's to eat but would share an entree rather than each of them having their own. The servers and personnel at the restaurant took notice of this and would bring them extra food that they would not normally get for the price that was paid. Further, the daughter would adjust her expectations regarding gifts and toys in life and would expect only modest to small gifts rather than allowing her dreams to exceed the realities of her mother's life situation and budget. All of this stood in sharp contrast to when the daughter was three or four years old and she would role play and pretend with her dolls. As she would engage in these life simulations with the dolls, she would include arguing and ordering that would not be considered normal. The mother was taken aback because she took this as a representation and parroting of what the daughter saw in her and she immediately asked herself if that is how her daughter perceived her actions and relationship patterns with her or others. This caused her to immediately adjust her actions so that this pattern did not continue (NPR, 2014).
The other story mentioned in the introduction relates to that of a soldier named Drew Pham. Drew was deployed to Afghanistan and indeed wrapped upt hat tour in October 2011. However, Drew found it hard to return to the ebb and flow of normal life post-deployment and he found he was unable to smoothly and normally interact with people in social and family situations like he did before he was deployed. Indeed, the fog of war affects the soldiers who were in it but it also changes and affects those that are exposed and that are connected to the people that suffer and then need adjustment. Pham recounted how he shot a man and he shared this with his wife. His wife was unsure how to take or respond to that. Indeed, shooting and killing people is not a normal part of regular life here in the United States, even for police officers, but is something that Pham had to deal with. There was also the story of a schoolteacher that was 60 to 70 years old. He had what a sniper thought was a rocket but it turned out to be a bottle of water (NPR, 2014).
Seeing such things made it extremely hard for Pham to have even normal conversations and interactions with people post-deployment. Pham leaned heavily on this wife and told her straight up as part of the NPR interview that his wife was the only thing that kept him going. The wife's reaction to this was that it was "tough" to shoulder that burden but that she was absolutely accepting of doing so. Pham says that even with the support of his wife and the struggles he has endured thus far, he suggests that it…
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