It has been over a week since the election in the US, and I, for one, am still reeling. I’m still angry, and I’m still scared. I have Black, brown, immigrant, LGBTQ, and Jewish friends who are terrified. My son has a disability, and we’re questioning whether or not we need to go ahead and move to a more disability-friendly part of the country. People are terrified that their family members will be deported or go into hiding on January 21, scared for their trans partners, and a lot of women (though not 60% of white women, as we are all Very Aware) are still, still, coming to terms with the raw misogynistic reality that their, our, country handed them a little over a week ago.
And yet: life goes on. I find myself struggling with the littlest, most meaningless things. Two days ago, for example, I pondered aloud if I should post a photo of my dog on my Instagram page, since I had only been posting photos of us protesting or angry and hurt responses to this new American life. It also feels weird, and wrong, to be thinking about Christmas and Hanukkah presents, and yet… I am.
My current struggle goes something like this: I want it to be obvious that I do not, will not, absolutely can not accept this President as a normal experience. I have moved past my initial shock and rejection and realized that hi: lots of people have always felt this way in America. I can get used to it. I’m still scared, every single day, for what will probably happen to my kid’s healthcare. I am even more scared of the white supremacists (let’s not legitimize them with the term “alt-right,” ok?) that have been appointed to various positions in the administration (and been endorsed by the Nazi party, even). I’m so worried about what will happen to the Earth in the next four years that I can barely breathe (though I’m also surrounded by wildfires this week… which, just like openly government-sanctioned misogyny and bigotry, is probably also a new normal to adjust to).
However, if I’m keeping it real, I need to also acknowledge that even though I, like many of you, am living with these feelings… I’m also still going out for drinks with friends. I’m still shopping online (and will be peeking at Cyber Monday deals, you best believe). I’m still laughing. I’m going to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them tomorrow night, and I know that I can’t spend the next four years feeling bad about seeking laughter and enjoying life and finding smiles wherever I can (like in purchasing this coat because it kind of reminds me of Hills).
How are you coping, processing, and just doing life these days? How do you find your normal without normalizing our new reality?