I never intended for my blog to be so…negative? Is that the right word? I’m not sure. There is a lot of anger in my posts. A lot of sadness. A lot of fear. It was never my intention for this to be a place that repeatedly lashes out at all of the stupids in the world for making it so unbearably painful to live in. I wanted it to be somewhere I could vent my sadness sure, but also the things I find joy in, comfort in, the books that I love, the frustrations that come with trying to complete my first novel. That was the intention anyway.
2016 has been a god-awful year. Death appears to be the prevailing theme , which isn’t to say that there hasn’t been death and destruction over the last few years (Paris in 2015 comes to mind). There has. But those years feel like they were warnings. Warnings to our world leaders, to us all really, that we are not ok, none of us are ok and if we don’t do something soon the dam will break.
I feel like this happened in January of this year. There has been unbelievable bloodshed in our world, terrorism, mass shootings, a huge surge in hate crimes, my own country has started to turn on its own values (Brexit), racism is so rife in the US that its own law enforcement cannot be trusted not to murder the citizens they have sworn to protect, politicians are so brazenly corrupt it steals your breath, IS seem to be everywhere, killing even their own and everywhere you turn more and more communities are turning on each other. Blood, mayhem, hate, fear, more blood, more hate, more fear, violence. Such violence. It won’t stop. None of us are safe from it.
I think since 9/11 we were all quite happy to not think on any of it too much. After all, it was happening over there and not here. What were the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria to us? They were conveniently too far away from us to touch our privileged way of life. And in the last few years, we have learned the hard way that this is not the case. We are under threat. They can come and find us. They can threaten our safety. I don’t just mean our physical safety either. I mean our emotional safety, our cultural identity. We are turning on each other now. It’s not us vs them anymore. It’s every man for themselves. How quickly we have all forgotten that we once considered everyone our friend. How quickly we let haters of our culture, our acceptance of all people, get to us. How quickly we drop our minority communities when faced with any kind of threat to us, black, asian, muslim, gay, trans. How can hate be so strong and tolerance and acceptance be so weak in the face of it? How can we be so weak?
I am struggling. I am struggling with all of it. I don’t want to wake up every morning and hear of shootings or terror attacks or how stupendously hopeless the future of the country I live in is because the choice of our next leader comes down to asking the question of who is the lesser of two evils. I don’t want to always have to question the motives of those who have the power to totally ruin us all. It’s exhausting being this frightened all of the time.
I think we all have enough to worry about in our lives as it is. I am struggling with my own life, with how best to live it so that I can be the best person I can be. I’m not a pushover. If you don’t like something I have to say that’s quite up to you. If you say something stupid I will probably tell you or show on my face just how idiotic I think you are. But you also never have to worry about me killing you for your opinions. I can’t say the same for others. I trust no one anymore. I am struggling to find my place in this world, professionally, emotionally, sexually, spiritually and mentally. The job of running countries, the world even, is not mine. It is the job of those who chose to take it. Right now they are doing a terrible job of it all. People are dying. People are afraid. And we are all helpless to it all. We are helpless against the mess these leaders have caused.
I don’t think it is too much to ask to be able to go to sleep and wake up the next day and not be afraid of what has happened, of what atrocity has been committed this time, of how many people have died. It feels like there is no peace, no hope and we are all just waiting for our turn. Our turn to either encounter a bullet, a bomb, a knife, something that will cause more fear, more violence and feed this circle of hate.
We’re not living. We are all just fighting to stay alive. Fighting to not be the next person who succumbs to the hate and intolerance that is now so more a part of our lives than it has a right to be.
We all have enough to deal with, to struggle through financially, professionally, racially and emotionally without having to fear for the lives of our children, our parents, our loves, our friends and colleagues. Is it too much to ask for our world to not be like this?
Apparently it is.