It’s been months since I last blogged, and it isn’t for lack of content. It is the overwhelming amount of content filled with an overwhelming amount of emotions that has held me back. It’s fear of backlash. It’s fear of saying too much. It’s fear of not saying enough.

This world. Man. This world is a hot mess.

Just last night I was skimming over news articles, and I had a brief thought. I sometimes feel like one of those extra outside characters in a movie. The ones who don’t really know what’s going on, and that are going to be impacted by the plot but the story doesn’t care about them at all. You know, the shop owner whose business just got blown up by the space alien ship, but all we care about is that the guy saving earth gets the girl. What about that shop owner!? How’s he going to feed his family now?

Yeah, I kind of feel like the American people these days are the shop owners. We are all being impacted by all these huge plots and the main characters have forgotten about us.

Many days I wake up and when I read the news I find myself just overwhelmed. Or I go to work, and I have to ask people to please put on their mask so many times that I feel absolutely beaten up. I have days where I just go, “I give up.” I think about the possibility of not getting to go home for Christmas and my husband not getting to tour again until 2021… if then.

I find myself depressed, lacking any sort of motivation or purpose. I look around and wonder why I am here. Where I mourn what was our life. I find myself without any interest in anything that usually brings me joy. Where I just find myself holding back tears. When its really hard to not just hang my head and wonder what am I going to do next.

Luckily, that’s not an every day occurance, but I’ve learned to just let myself have those days. They’re a part of navigating and surviving in this world today.

I also let myself feel anger.

Anger that this whole pandemic was bobbled from the beginning. We had an opportunity to prepare and we didn’t. We had an opportunity to mitigate its impact on our country. And we didn’t do it. Anger that ever since then its been a game of catch up. A game of not paying attention to what lies ahead. A game of not learning from our past. Anger that people are so stubborn and ready to believe every conspiracy theory out there that they’ll put others and their own lives at risk to try and “be right.” Anger that people can’t follow simple rules to allow businesses to remain open. Anger that so much hate has begun to show itself in this world. Anger that everything is so different right now.

But, again, it doesn’t last and I know anger doesn’t fix anything.

I also find myself marveling at things that probably wouldn’t be happening if not for the pandemic and people staying at home. Dialogues have been opened that were pretty much ignored previously. I’m finding there is more and more interest and openess to things like race relations, gender biases, and how we can all make an impact by simply voting. We are all so busy in our own worlds, that we fail to notice those around us. We fail to talk to each other and really listen.

I could argue there’s not much listening going on these days. There’s a whole lot of shouting happening behind computer screens, and the hate and anger boils over way too often. But within it there is something beautiful happening as well. There are tiny little revolutions happening, one spark at a time. One seed of truth at a time.

“We cannot force someone to hear a message they are not ready to receive. But we must never underestimate the power of planting a seed.”

Social media is a funny thing. I have a love-hate relationship with it and all its various platforms. I’ve found myself drawn to Instagram more and more these days. I’ve learned more about other people’s experiences in life through their photos and stories than I have anywhere else. I’ve found my world view widening. I’m seeing people and their experiences in ways I’d have never seen them otherwise. I’d be too busy going out and doing things. I’d be too busy, focused on my own crazy life.

So maybe I’m mourning the life that was. Maybe I’m angry that things happened as they did. But I am also eyes wide open to the possibilities of things ultimately being better in the long run. That this is going to force me and all of us to make changes we’d have never made before. Changes that will be better than what was before.

I already eat better. I already am sleeping more. I’m saving money by not eating out all the time, and I’m much more selective what I do spend money on. And I’m seeing things with much wider and more open eyes than I ever have before. And that’s scary in a way. But its also awesome and inspiring. It’s making me sit back and ask myself hard questions. And despite all the noise in this crazy messed up dumpster fire of a world… I’m finally listening and trying to answer those questions.

We can let 2020 be the year that breaks us. Or we can let it be the year that starts a way better us. I’m going to work towards better…

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