Submitted Date 06/11/2020

I've been away from my writing for quite some time. Between dealing with my own mental health struggles based on trauma, the pandemic, the death of George Floyd, and subsequent uprisings of protests for much-needed change with regard to black lives in this country and around the globe, I found my mind in a turbulent amount of overload and overwhelm. I felt as if the walls around me were closing in thus giving me writer's block. Then, of course, I felt the grip of guilt about feeling this way. But after speaking with my therapist, I discovered that I shouldn't feel guilty. I should just let myself FEEL. Feel however I need to. Sit with it. Be with it. Honor it. Act on it in a productive way. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have felt at times as if I am living in some weird, skewed universe much like an episode of the old Twilight Zone series. Pushing 63 years old I am not used to feeling this way. But as strange and uncommon as it all is, I can't help but wonder if there isn't a higher purpose at work here. Its as if the planets have aligned themselves now in this particular way and at this particular time in our history to usher in a new way of life for all humanity. I would love to think that once I am gone that my grown children and my grandchildren, as well as their children's children, will end up not living in a perfect Utopia, but clearly in a much better society than the one we have created for ourselves in the present as well as in the past.

However, as history has shown us, none of the necessary changes will happen overnight. It took us centuries to develop into the society we are living in now and it will take who knows how long to unravel, dismantle, abolish and destroy all the old patterns of behavior into something far less destructive than we have become so incredibly anesthetized to. It will be hard work. And everyone of every race, creed, and kind has to be on the same page, willing to learn. Willing to open up a book and READ. Willing to educate ourselves and our children like never before, and do it in a completely different way than ever before. Willing to have extremely hard, difficult, and deliberate conversations with people who look different than we do about the inhumanities which in the past have been completely ignored and never fully addressed. Which will be the hardest part of the whole process. Because we are all so used to the status quo. Same shit, different day. Well, today is a NEW day. It has arrived. And all of us can either rise to the occasion or implode on ourselves once again. Think a civil war can't ever happen again in our history?? Think again...think the pandemic is over and we can just return to what life was before it swooped in and killed an unimaginable amount of people?? Think again...

We need to start thinking in ways we never have before, completely outside of the box. Ways of thinking that we are not used to. And that will mean further exploration, education, and productive discussion. I lost an older brother to suicide back in 1980. He was so incensed and appalled by Ronald Regan's presidency that he felt that life, as he knew it was ending and emotionally he couldn't handle the fallout that he perceived, was he took his own life as a way of protesting. It makes me wonder how many people are contemplating the same thing over our current POTUS. And this makes me so incredibly sad. Because that's NOT the answer for anyone. The problems we face as a people and a nation are like the ocean. The tides come in and they go out and are ever-changing. I keep thinking how much my brother could have helped had he chosen to stay and fight the wrongs he felt were happening at that time rather than checking out. He studied journalism and was a writer too. I never went to college like he had but I feel as though he has somehow passed the torch onto me in a way, now as I have discovered a love for writing. I just need to keep at it. No matter what curve balls life decides to throw my way.

Julie 🌺


Please login to post comments on this story