I’m not okay. And not in some worryingly exit ramp from life sort of way. I’m not okay, because I don’t know what it means to be okay. Am I contented? Am I happy? Am I depressed? Am I stressed? I don’t know. What I feel is that I am no longer myself. Or some part myself has changed in a way that other parts are unprepared or unfamiliar. I function, but only just. I wake up tired and remain tired. I walk and get sun. I eat and drink. I shower and dress every morning. And yet the routine feels completely and utterly pointless.
Somewhere between ending a job that others would kill for at the end of 2019, and venturing on an unsteady path into 2020, I along with the rest of the world, entered a time of uncertainty. Not only a literal pandemic, but a mental and emotional one as well.
We collectively fought either with the truth or distraction or delusion. And the loss of life multipled. Perhaps there will be no tomorrow. Perhaps all our plans are no better than our vanishing breath. Perhaps there is no one who can protect us from ourselves. Perhaps everything will not be alright. That unrelenting shadow is heavy and exhausting. All of life is foolishness, if not for the fact that we refuse to acknowledge its unknowable trajectory.
The mounting anger we see everyday is just this fear expressed without thought or empathy. The most base of reactions: fight, flight, or freeze. Flee into fanciful fictions that trick our minds into appeasement and justification. Battle against the projections of our worst imaginations. Settle into placid distractions of nothingness.
Yet we are supposed to navigate our way back into some normalcy. Amnesiacs stumbling in a reality that remains foggy, pretending as if we understand the confusion. That everything is a video game and we can just begin again. The great pretending that we are all okay. Except are we? What is normal and why should we want to be it and even go back to it.
It seems many of us have discovered it’s time we stop living our life as if its only purpose is for the benefit of others to accept or reject. Using social equations to judge whether our choices, our actions, our personalities, our roles, our views are normal or not. So many want to drag us backward to a time when they felt powerful and important, unchallenged protagonists, clearly known and enforced hierarchies, comfortably mandating fealty, reigning supreme. Your entire life, in all its brevity and unknowablity, ought to be worth more than completfely molding it around the perceptions of strangers.