I try to be optimistic. I fail regularly, but I keep trying. I don't know when it happened, but over the last year or so, amidst so much upheaval, terror, and violence, it became much harder for me to keep a smile on my face. Every time it would appear, another terrible event would occur to wash it away. It feels wrong to smile when innocent lives are being lost. It feels impossible to find joy some days when a fear of doing simple things now seems justified. Are we really safe anywhere in our own country? What will become of our planet and all the nut jobs on it who are on suicide missions to take out innocent people with them?
It suddenly seemed that the way I had always viewed the world: with a little bit of paranoia, and a whole lot of fear, was not only justified, but perhaps not even intense enough. The world has become such a terrifying place to me, it sometimes seems like what has happened to our planet and the people on it is just part of a bad dream. So what do we do? Keep looking through our instagram feeds and double clicking pretty pictures of tulips, making hot toddys and decorating christmas trees and buying wool sweaters online?
Yep. That's exactly what the fuck I'm going to do.
Because short of never leaving my house again, I don't know what else to do with this world. Most days, I don't really like or understand it. But then I think of all the people who are hurt, just like me, at the violence that seems to surround their cities and states and countries. People who are driving home from work to eat pasta in front of their television and try to have a good laugh instead of thinking of all the ways the upheaval of society can tear a person apart. People who are playing with their dogs or working on their art or making jewelry. And I realize I can't give up on trying to have hope, because if everyone did, then the world might really go to shit.
What do you do with the world when it starts to seem bleaker? Do you ignore it? Do you drink? Do you gamble? Do you shop? I've tried a few of those, but I wish there was a way to turn this pain into hope again, to feel like the world is on the verge of something good instead of something maddening. So if you have any spare hope today, would you mind sharing it with me? I'll be over here petting my dog, baking cookies, and trying to stay focused on the good. Because I think thats all I can do. And I'm incredibly lucky and blessed to have another day to try--to love my loved ones and breathe deep and look for the light.