First of all, oops. I guess my “mini vacation” ended up being a smidge longer than intended. I’d apologize, but I needed the break and I’m not sorry for doing what I needed to do to feel better.
I wish I was feeling better.
I’ve been emotionally all over the place since Carrie Fisher died. For those of you who aren’t aware, I’m a big Star Wars fan. Carrie Fisher was a treasure not only as Princess Leia/General Organa, but as a human being. Her death more than any other this year, I think, has had a profound affect on me.
It’s difficult not to be angry, right now. Let’s ignore, for a moment, the wave of incredible talent that we lost this year. Hundreds of lives have been taken in 2016. Hundreds of black, trans, LGB+ lives were taken in the United States alone. And they were not lost–they were taken.
Going into 2017, I had wanted to remain positive. But, for me, a “positive outlook” isn’t going to get the job done. When I look at things like Brexit and the reality show that has become of the US Presidency, it is impossible to say that 2017 “will be better.” At least, better by default of not being 2016, which seems to be the sentiment I’m seeing lately.
As much as we all need it, there will be no rest and relaxation in 2017. The next year is going to be a fight–and an uphill battle at that–for anyone who is not rich, white, cis, able-bodied, neurotypical, straight, Christian, and male.
I’m not trying to knock being positive. Please, don’t think I am. We do need to have a positive outlook going forward–the last thing we need right now is to fall into the Pit of Despair. But what I am trying to maintain, and what I’m trying to encourage in others, as we go into 2017 is to not just be positive, but to be strong. Be ready and willing to scream and fight for what we believe in.
Do not complacently go into 2017 thinking, “Wow, I sure am glad 2016 is over so we can get back to normal!” Because “normal” has changed, whether we like it or not. Bad people are taking control–the world feels like an Avengers movie, but Captain America and Iron Man aren’t coming to save us.
We need to save ourselves.
And we need to save each other.
That is the outlook I am heading into the next year with: Save each other.
Have a safe and happy New Year, friends. I love you all.