It’s officially the New Year and for the past two years I have rung in midnight at home, alone, in tears. Granted I always get emotional around these kinds of things (you know, countdowns, singing, fireworks) and last year’s tears were courtesy of the attack in Istanbul and my fear of the future in an uncertain era of politics and greater-world anxiety. This year I am mourning all that is lost and will never come back. This hits much closer to home. I have been numbed by the tragedies and atrocities against women, minorities, nature and as a result I have in 2017 largely shut it all out to focus on personal goals of becoming more financially, socially, and psychologically healthier because after all, what good am I to anyone if I am no good to myself?
In a very real way I was conditioned to think for the here and now. For those of you that read my Tragedy Porn post (which I highly recommend you do for insight on the trauma and obsession that large-scale crises can cause), you will understand that for my own health and wellness I can’t spend hours pouring over the news reports and stories whenever something bad happens — which is all the time. I absolutely believe in the work that women, minorities, and scientists are putting into the fight of a seemingly periling world and I support their protests and activism but there is only so much I can control, especially in a healthy way. Eating an apple in its entirety save stem and seeds (true thing I did for 6+ months) does not large-scale reduce food waste and the compulsion to not waste anything can become all-consuming and lead us into very detrimental patterns.
I am just one person and the biggest slap-in-the-face realization for me was not that we live in a male-oriented world, or that sexism, racism, misogyny, homophobia, global warming etc etc are still active parts of our communities and accepted and defended as freedom of speech even in 2018 (and trust me that stung) but that there was largely nothing I can do about it. I can promote equality for all races, genders or non-genders, sexual orientation and readily speak out that love is love IS LOVE and absolutely vote to use the full extent of my rights to have a government represent my beliefs and values. Even then though, as easy and second nature as it is to me already I don’t see much of a payoff from it. There are still people with terrible beliefs whom I have no control over and even living my everyday life in love and compassion I cannot prevent these people from doing harm.
In 2017 I felt my limitations as an advocate, a daughter, a consumer, citizen, and a disabled person in the work force. I don’t always have smart things to say and at the end of the day, even a good day, I live with a disorder that can sneak up at any given hour of any day or night and it can turn everything upside down.
NEW YEARS TEARS are a real thing that I’m gonna bottle and mix with some kind of essential oil and wax to turn into a candle to burn the next NYE and vow to hopefully not cry over the same thing next year. I hope for one day peace and justice on earth to every living creature and maybe, just maybe, not too far down the line those tears will turn from fears to joys.
Keep fighting loves, don’t give up hope.