The Year After

It’s been a year. You all know what I mean. It was time for Nanowrimo, but we were still at home. The pandemic was raging with a high body count. And the elections were going on, with some states being blatant about their rigging. A few more are continuing with these tactics, this year, as trials carry on where mass murderers may get off the hook after being coddled by authority figures, and the dead can no longer face the person who tormented them.

I still have that rush in me, and not a good one. It’s that memory of going day after day, wondering if Twitter would bring a new round of nonsense and trauma. You could unplug or only follow a few accounts, but that lingering, nagging feeling would remain. Doom hung over a phone. A person would wonder if that was the day that a moment of stupidity would invite sudden death, and how would one calculate the mortal cost of it all.

Some people like me wrote letters. We printed them out, added our signatures and notes, and prayed for a miracle. Others went the extra mile and volunteered to help those waiting in line to place their ballots in-person. We hoped that despite the past four years being broken, that a chance to be brave just for a few more weeks would prevail. Some news helped, that the ballots were working. They were causing runoffs and breaking ties. Somehow we were makinga. difference.

The end of November 2020 came, with the first good news that promised things would be different, and some of us breathed more deeply. A few more of us were feeling the aftereffects, emotionally and physically. I was tired, of the whole thing, and trying to find reasons to laugh. That is the only thing that a person can do in all honesty, to laugh. With that said, do not let anyone belittle your pain. You need to find the joke funny for it to be kind rather than cruel.

Here is the other thing: the battle is never over. Trump happened once, and he or others like him could happen again. The difference is that actually sensible people are trying to undo the damage. There is a sense of hope, of soil being cleared for fresh seeds to sprout, for actual change.

You can’t forget those who made it happen. Remember they have a disregard for your life, and for the lives of others. Keep your distance, and focus on repairing yourself. Engage in the self-care you need.

2021 has been a long year. Frustration goes with the hope and emotional recovery. That means helping yourself recover while waiting for this pandemic to end.