I’m looking at two big anniversaries. The first is my 2nd wedding anniversary, which is today. I’m considering how much our lives have changed in these two years, how the world has changed, and how much better Tyler and I know each other and love each other now than we did on our wedding day.
Tonight, we plan to order takeout. Something nice like steak. And I’ll join my friend Claire’s Zoom book launch (for Lightbringer) for an hour, and then I’ll sit with Tyler and watch Atlanta play the Dodgers to try to reach the World Series. It isn’t the trip to Europe we’d hoped for, or a trip to the coast to see my family. It isn’t anything we could have anticipated two years ago on the beautiful day we hosted a big party and got married. And, thankfully, nothing happening today can take away that beautiful day.
The second is the election. I consider it an anniversary because four years ago, I was deeply anxious, waiting and wondering. And those of you who know me or have done a deep dive into my blog know that the results of the election sparked two months of the most intense and prolonged depression I’ve ever experienced. And at the end of that, when I started having some good days again after the new year, I reconnected with Tyler, and we started dating, and it was soon clear to each of us that we were going to get married. We dated for a little over a year before becoming engaged. We were engaged from March-October of 2018. And it’s been such a blessing and also so weird that I’ve experienced such immense personal joy alongside such immense pain in our country, such frustration and anxiety, both as a result of the president’s incompetence and in the GOP’s decision to roll over to all his whims, as well as to double down on behavior that would have been unthinkable prior to this administration.
I’ve learned so much in these years, particularly through conversations with friends and by listening to people share their stories and perspectives, especially on Twitter.
NaNo is approaching, but for the first time since 2015, I’m not interested in participating. I’d like to keep up my streak, sure, and I have several in-progress drafts of books on my hard drive, and I’d like to finish one of them. But I feel no urgency to do so.
Maybe it’s the pandemic. I lay awake a few nights ago, telling God how helpless I feel that so many are dying or dead or forever compromised in their health but I’m expected to attend baby dedications and weddings and go traveling. “You can wear a mask if you want,” they say. But I saw what the pastor posted about masks—lies so egregious that Facebook took the post down. I know most people won’t be wearing them because of the culture among those people. I know how unsafe that makes me, even if I’m wearing a mask.
Maybe it’s looking down the barrel of this election, surrounded by reckless disregard for others’ health interspersed with temper tantrums. I see the definition of court packing: refusing to approve 100 judicial nominations by Obama months ahead of the 2016 election but trying to shove through SCOTUS and federal judicial nominations mere days before this election. And I see the unconstitutional threats being shrugged off.
Maybe these 4 years are just getting to me.
I can’t make you recognize the insidious creep of fascism. I can’t make you see the pure evil of this administration. I can’t make you realize that people having to wait 11 hours to vote is voter suppression, and unheard of elsewhere in the world. I can’t make you believe that the planet is dying, that this year of wildfires and hurricanes may be the most stable of the next 100 years.
I can’t make you care about other people as much as you care about yourself, though that is God’s command. I can’t even convince you to act in your own best interest by voting for Biden, who takes suffering seriously, and who apologizes, and who is capable of doing this job, and who isn’t motivated by greed alone.
Writing is so hard right now. And feels useless. And takes brain power I have to put into my work and my advocacy. I don’t want to write 50,000 words this year, not when the world is on fire and there’s only more fire to come. I’d rather crochet some more cute animals and make some decorations for Christmas (I delved deeply into pumpkins during September and I regret nothing).
Work has calmed down some for now, as have freelance work. The weird friend situation from a few months ago is more up in the air than I had wanted. I deeply appreciate everyone’s support and gentle advice and encouragement when I shared about it. I feel far less confused, and I need strong boundaries to keep it that way. Boundaries that also take energy to maintain. She’s trying to guilt me into expend extraordinary energy into convincing her that she’s wrong. She thinks she’s owed that because we’re friends. Or we were.
Do I want to keep writing books? Do I want to keep writing for this blog? I don’t know. This blog meant so much to me over the years, but I’m not afraid of it ending either. All things end eventually. It’s tempting to burrow and let my creativity renew itself, then let it push out in a new direction, no matter what this election will bring, and no matter what evils will be forced upon us in its aftermath.
Crocheting something other than a scarf is already a stretch for me, and I’m enjoying it. I need to enjoy something. I need to fight despair so I can fight fascism and injustice and racism and the evils of selfishness.