I woke up this morning and couldn’t believe it was only June; that we’re not centuries into our dystopian future and existing only within our districts. May alone brought us enough news for the next several decades, and ended with the Kathy Griffin controversy complemented by Trump’s use of the word “covfefe.” This is the year we’re living in. This one. Right here.
But we’re halfway done. And while this obviously means nothing because we thought 2016 was the worst it could possibly be (LOOOOOL), the passage of time is important as it reminds us that we are living. So, as we approach the second half of 2017, here are some things to keep in mind as this misery marathon continues.
- You will make it through this because you don’t have a choice: You don’t. You do not have a choice. You are going to keep going because that is the option you have. This is the mantra I say to myself whenever I’m about to panic, and it’s the thing that jars me back into the moment by reminding me that whatever this is will pass and in minutes I will be on the other side. The same applies to you.
- We’re all in this shit together: Most of us, anyway. But look: you’re not alone. Everyone feels terrible. Which is not a terrific point to ponder, but it certainly is better than me saying, “Everyone feels so good except for you, what’s your problem?” No. We all feel bad. You aren’t by yourself in this.
- You can take a break, BTW: Man alive, take a minute away from the news cycle, I beg you. Five seconds. A breath. Maybe a walk around the block. A movie. A night with your friends. Recharge your brain because otherwise it will be useless to you.
- Revel in your anger: You know what I hate? Being Zen. I’m not Zen. Don’t tell me to be Zen. I tried it for like, two months last year and it was fine, but I didn’t get very much done. Anger, however? That’s an emotion I can control and use. And guess what: everyone, including me, has been operating in a flurry of anger and “Are you fucking kidding me?” You know how much change you can incite under the umbrella of developing very deep frown lines? A LOT. You can tap into energy you didn’t even know you had. And while you do absolutely need to take a day sometimes to have fun and experience joy, don’t push that anger down: put it into work or volunteering or protesting or listening or using your gifts to make the next little while more bearable for yourself and everyone.
- But for real, find a source of joy: Like, you have to have an outlet unrelated to reality. Is it baking? I’ve been baking. I’ve been force-feeding my friends and family for months, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it because if I don’t spend eight hours on a Sunday making loaves of bread and batches of cookies and a cake, they will be force-fed days of me reading tweets in real time.
- Use “mute” and “block”: Here’s something nobody needs: anything tweeted by GOP apologists. Anything tweeted by the President, for that matter. Hell, anything tweeted by that person you met once and cannot stand. Life is too short! It’s June! Filter that shit!
- Remember the phrase, “Absolutely not”: This is my favourite thing to say out loud to things. I say it out loud to Instagram photos. To tweets. To Facebook posts. To parties. To event invitations. To people I see in restaurants. No thank you. Hard pass. Life is easier when you know what you don’t like and what you won’t put up with, and MAY I SAY the last six months were survivable because I channeled the majesty of Jessica Chastain in A Most Violent Year when she says “This was very disrespectful.” I know we’re living in the lean-in/saying yes phase of popular culture, but honestly, time is precious and passing quickly. Draw that line in the sand.
So look. We made it (almost) six months. Just six more left. Then another year! Another year with . . . okay, don’t think about next year. Think about just getting through this minute that will turn into an hour that will turn into a day and then a week and then a month and all of a sudden it’s 2018 and you will look in the mirror and say, “I made it, I am here, I can continue this.” You can because you don’t have a choice. And anybody who stands in your way? Absolutely not.