All this shit has got me riddled with anxiety.
The world is opening back up after quarantine (too fast? too slow?), the criminal justice system is being blown open, while still more black people are dying violent deaths, politics is more polarized than ever, and people are vehemently choosing sides about everything from kindergarten to the KKK.
I feel this constant simmering inside as I try to navigate my family through this changing world each day. Am I doing the right thing? Will my children be safe? …too sheltered? …too exposed?
I try to write, but maybe I am saying the wrong things and revealing my …ignorance? …privilege? …arrogance? Have I offended too many people? … or not enough? Does what I say even matter?
I don’t know how many friends I’ve ostracized by posting a viewpoint that opposes the agenda they are pushing. Do I even care at this point? Maybe I should just get off of Facebook…
Playgrounds are open again. The neighbor kids are now outside playing together. Finally, my son has some distraction from tormenting his sister and whining about TV. Go on, get out, go play! The kids must have gotten the memo that the state has moved into Stage 4. They are getting on with their lives. But wait! They don’t even know what six-feet-apart looks like… hey, did that kid just pick his nose?
I can’t wait to get out of the house and be somewhat normal. Get a haircut, maybe? But… shouldn’t I get permission? From… who? I feel … guilty? …afraid? …judged? Can I invite any of my friends? Is that disrespectful to their health or opinions? I can’t take any more passive rejection…
I took my kids to the pool. The sun beamed down. It was marvelous. No one wore a mask. Should we be shamed? Or celebrated?
How has ‘maskers’ versus ‘anti-maskers’ become a thing to hate each other over? Is ‘my science’ better than ‘your science’? No one knows! Everything changes day by day. But we will stand on our pedestals and let our fear fuel our outrage.
School boards are buzzing – they might reopen schools in the fall. They might not. Masks? Separation? …probably… More rules, definitely! Things will be different… and the kids will obey. No, perhaps they won’t. People are scared to send their kids back. People can’t wait to send their kids back.
How many friends have I unintentionally offended by speaking my position on this issue? Does my opinion even matter? Should it? …I’m no expert! (But neither are you…) What about our beloved teachers? Do they get a say in all of this?
(By the way, I cannot stand to join in on another Zoom call – no offense – it’s just that my blood pressure is too high and I might quite literally explode.)
I’m so tired of being afraid. I’m so tired of second-guessing everything I do or say.
I’m tired of trying to understand the conflicted, contradicting views of all these people I know or don’t know on the news and social media in order to navigate the best course of action.
The internet has driven us all mad with the platform for extremism. Perhaps we’ve become so socially awkward that all we can do is fight with each other.
Yeah, I’m riddled with anxiety. It feels good to get all of this out in written words, my place of comfort.
I know it is too simple to say that we need more LOVE right now, but it’s the truth. Love and fear cannot coexist in the same space, and at the moment our species is collectively drowning in fear.
©Vixen Lea 2020