Some of you will relate while others will be surprised to know that each and every time I reach for my partner’s hand in public, or he reaches for mine, a feeling of doubt, of fear, of apprehension creeps up inside me. Sometimes the fear is stronger than other times. Sometimes I feel brave, other times I don’t and I feel ashamed of my fear. That such a simple gesture of caring has – in the wiring of my brain – been paired with feelings of fear is difficult. It is perpetually confusing and always will be.
If you’ve been anywhere near the media or social media this past month, you’ll know that January has been characterized by extremes. You’re thinking Trump, of course – we all are – but locally for my city there was also a ruling made by Pride Toronto in regards to Black Lives Matter that pushed everyone to one side of two coins (for or against?). Then this past week in Quebec terrible news of the shooting has affected all of us deeply. And now our prime minister has just backed down on one of his primary platform promises: electoral reform.
Are we in the middle of a meltdown (along with the polar ice caps)? It sure feels like it sometimes. I’ll admit that my mind began to wander on the subway last night as I was crammed into a tin can with a bunch of people (How will I get out of here if the shit hits the fan?) – and I can only make a vain attempt at imagining what the person sitting beside might have been feeling, a young Muslim girl.
It’s perhaps a bit early in December to be posting a year in review blog, but what can I say: I’m thinking ahead. How was your 2016? Social media is currently circulating a whole slew of “Me at the beginning of 2016 vs. me at the end” memes that suggest 2016 wasn’t the friendliest of years for many of us.
I mean that.
This week has been an interesting one thanks to you – those who read this stuff I throw out there. In response to a call for advice last week, you came through. I’m feeling like the stifling pressure (I was putting on myself) has been lessened, and I owe that to you, not only for responding, but also listening.
I think. A lot.
I don’t mean to; it’s a part of my personality. The wheels in my head are constantly spinning, constantly in motion, constantly looking ahead for what’s next.
As much as I’ve honed an active imagination into a strength to push me forward – Where do I wanna go? How can I improve? What’s the next big idea? – in the past it has equally been a problem, something I’ve had to learn to manage in a healthy way. At one point I was taking three types of medication to help me manage it.
So there I was the other night after a fresh haircut feeling particularly dapper, when a compulsion washed over me and I did something I’ve never done before:
Oh, the Internet! So much information, so much connection, so much innovation – and so many opportunities for people to be assholes. Leave it up to certain human beings to transform an incredible opportunity for dialogue, idea exchange, and social improvement into another place to whine, complain, and – most of all – have an opinion.
Life is filled with in-between moments, those times when you find yourself wading through life’s water, having left one shore to get to another. You’re never quite sure how far off that other shore is; it can be foggy, or wavy, or cold – so you just keep wading forward with heavy feet trusting (and hoping) that you’ll get to where you’re going.
Even if you’re not sure where you’re going.
Sometimes it isn’t enough to just flip on the next Jennifer Aniston feel-good, stick your nose into the latest Dan Brown book, or turn on bubblegum happy time Katy Perry music. No, sometimes you gotta take a deep dive under that water you’re wading through to get some answers.