A Special Mid-Year's Message

By | Wednesday, August 03, 2022 Leave a Comment
I know I've had my "Special New Year's Message" as the featured post on my home page since January. I deliberately have kept that up because I remember thinking it spoke to how shitty everything is, and that I wanted to offer some encouragement to you without some saccharine sense of blind hope or naive optismism. But I only just read the piece again now, over half-way through the year.

Things are a little different now than they were then, but not really improved. I've seen a number of businesses go to reduced hours, and some have even closed entirely because they couldn't get enough employees in. (Which, to be clear, I entirely blame on the businesses for treating their employees like shit and/or not paying them a living wage.) While people seem to be trying to travel more, I've heard more than a few stories of flights being canceled at the last minute because the airlines either didn't have enough staff to man the plane (see previous) and/or they had too few passengers to make the flight profitable. The number of daily new COVID cases is higher that just about any point in 2020 or 2021, and it's uncommon -- bordering on rare -- to see anyone in public wearing a mask any more. Russia has been waging war in Ukraine since late February, which has jacked up prices on everything from bread to gasoline. Similarly, inflation in general has been outpacing wage increases by about double for much of the year.

And then in the US specifically, we've seen abortion rights absolutely gutted by one branch of government, and the other two responding by basically just shrugging their shoulders and saying we should vote. There was primary voting in Ohio yesterday using illegally gerrymandered districts -- not "hey, I think those maps are bad" type of illegal but a state judge rendering an official judgement that they were against the law... but they should go ahead and use them anyway. Thanks to climate change, half of the US has been experiencing a massive heat wave and other portions have been hit with massive, record-breaking floods. The governmental response seems woefully inadequate, having been systematcially gutted over the past couple of decades.

I could go on, but you don't need me to tell you how awful things are. Frankly, you're probably experiencing some aspect of it more directly and more profoundly than I am. I'm still doing what I can to help: pledging to Kickstarters more to help the creator than anything else, donating to GoFundMe campaigns, trying to be as emotionally supportive as I can.

But I want to reiterate what I said back in January. You, the person reading this blog right now, are worth it. It might sound a bit hokey since this post is just out for everyone on the internet to stumble across but, let's face it, most people aren't reading it. If my site stats are accurate, the odds of more than 100 people reading this are minimal. But that means that you're important to me. Not because you're a number in my site analytics, but because you and I are making a connection of some kind here. That you're here, reading my blatherings, means you and I share some thoughts and ideas. Probably some ideologies. I write mainly for myself, which means that, if you're responding to any of this, you and I share a common bond.

So when I say that I believe in you, I am indeed saying that to you. I know you're just trying to get through the day. I know you're trying to do the best you can for you and your family, and that it gets hard sometimes. So hard that even simple chores you've been dealing with for decades -- dishes, laundry, walking the dog... -- seem like massive hurdles to get through, and it's a real struggle to get any of them done. I want to let you know that that's okay, though. Survival is a massive challenge right now. I've seen only a handful of people who've been willing and able to acknowledge how hard it is just to adult these days.

Staying alive and (reasonably) healthy is more than a lot of people are able to manage these days. I don't say that to make light of those who haven't been able to -- I've had three friends in the past fifteen years take their own life -- but to emphasize that life is fucking hard to begin with and the past several years have gotten immeasurably worse. I have said repeatedly and without any intention of hyperbole that literally everyone in the US is currently experiencing a massive trauma. No one is okay right now.

Just do what you can, when you can, with what you have. Reach out if you need help. Physically, mentally, or emotionally. To a friend, a family member, me... even a help line you might not think will amount to anything. Don't just pretend things are alright; they're very much not. We all need help right now. Don't beat yourself up for not being better or doing more. Your survival is enough right now. Stick with me for another pass around the sun. I believe you can do it.

You.

Yes, you.
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