You know those pictures of cute little raccoons in big fluffy blankets? I feel like that raccoon.
Only the blanket is on fire and I am in a state of paralyzed distress.
I’m finding it hard to write these days. Well, that’s not true, it’s more accurate to say “this year”. I’d been blaming it on personal issues in life, but I no longer think they’re the culprits alone. Yes, work has been hectic, with enough change and uncertainty to make even the most risk-seeking individual take pause. Yes, this means my mental fortitude is shakier than a game of Jenga played by black-out drunks during an earthquake.
But, it definitely doesn’t help that every day I wake up to some new awful thing happening in the world and go to sleep with the same grim outlook.
I’ve been trying to avoid the news, but it feels inescapable. Since the beginning of this year, it looks like we’ve gone from one terrible “once-in-a-lifetime” situation to a few terrible “hmm-maybe-it’ll-actually-be-twice-in-yours” situations. We started off well, with outright war breaking out at only a stone’s throw away. Just when I finally stopped being anxious about that (tuck those thoughts away, lock them up, then swallow the key), and then BAM, hits the news that we’re headed towards the next big recession.
Even if you rarely leave your house, all you have to do is go to the grocery store – previously what I considered a “comfort” activity during Covid lockdowns – to be hit in the face with how bad inflation is. Don’t worry, you will definitely convince yourself this is somehow a you problem, for not budgeting for the inevitable consequences of global instability.
Pair all of that with the difficulties that come with reintegrating into “normality”. Question: was the world always this fast-paced? I don’t want to go places or do things. Beyond the fact that everything’s become exorbitantly expensive, it’s tiring to meet with people and go to the office and do and do and keep on doing. I don’t want to do anymore. Existing is a challenge in its own right, and I was barely succeeding at that.
When I do choose to scroll on my phone aimlessly or engage in any other “mindless” activity to shut off my brain for a little while, I start feeling guilty for not doing. With so many potential problems creeping up on the horizon, it feels selfish to not do anything at all.
But, if I choose to be productive instead, my brain’s firing on all cylinders, with those same problems gnawing at the back of my mind, like a hamster trying to get out of its cage. Plus, am I then not just playing into the late-stage capitalist mindset that I should measure my worth by my productivity? The Catch-22 comes when I start debating with myself that if I don’t work towards making something or working on myself or exploring potential business opportunities, then how will I get through a short-term future of hyperinflation and shortages and and and… Oh, the cognitive dissonance.
Top all of these thoughts off with the knowledge that in the last days, I now know everyone and their goat’s stance on female reproductive rights – and I’m officially exhausted. Always nice to be reminded that a not-insignificant portion of the population doesn’t believe you should have rights over your own body. Plus, now I finally know what Airbnb’s stance is on abortion!
Even LinkedIn’s become an even bigger cesspool of unwanted opinions. A week ago I wouldn’t have been able to tell you which of my colleagues – past and present – see women as autonomous beings, and which see us as breeding fodder. How things change in a week’s time. Of course, I’m probably expected to keep this information stored deep in my psyche, never to bring it up in person. I wouldn’t want to come across as unprofessional, even though people are choosing to share their dehumanizing views on female reproduction rights on a professional social network.
All this to say that I don’t know how to not be overwhelmed. It’s a lot. It’s a lot that feels like a lot and I need it to be less.
I am but a sad little raccoon, paralyzed under a big, fluffy, burning blanket, trying to find solace in the fact that at least I’ll be warm at night.
Like what you see? I usually post less dystopian blogs where I talk about… whatever THOUGHT interests me that week. Expect a bit of books, travel, beauty, life lessons, and taking pop culture way too seriously.