That time again; when WordPress asks me if I’d like to renew The Tall Mom webpage. And I hesitated… just like I have every year for the last five years or so.
I’ve not been writing. Not—I haven’t been writing much. I haven’t been writing AT ALL. It’s not that I haven’t been thinking all the random thoughts. I’ve definitely been doing that. ALL. THE. TIME. In fact, I’ve been trying to turn my brain OFF in the last handful of weeks.
I’m drowning in my own contemplations.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a delayed emotional processor. This makes me an excellent person to have in an emergency and a really difficult person to live with when the dust settles.
When the tide goes out, I begin to take in and break down all the thoughts, feelings, angles, perspectives, what abouts and what ifs… My brain goes a million miles a minute. I try to simultaneously learn everything I can about the ideas and issues plaguing my mind, while also attempting to compartmentalize the complex emotions tied to each of those ideas and issues. It’s a lot… for me and for those who have to live with me.
Recently, my usual practices and techniques for decompression stopped working. The world right now is too much all at once. I say that knowing how it may be interpreted. Bear with me…
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; my life is cush. My privilege is real. In fact, I have privilege in spades: white, upper-middle class, American… The advantages I’ve lived with my entire life tint my every experience. I say this in recognition of my situation, not to tout my advantages.
Here’s the thing…
If the world is too much for me—an educated, financially stable, well-supported (emotionally and otherwise) member of the majority—does that make me inept and obtuse? Or does that make this world we’re living in exponentially more difficult for those without my same advantage? Maybe both? Maybe neither? I don’t know.
What I do know is the divisive, hateful, intolerant, and plain nasty nature of so many of the interactions I now witness on social media and “in the streets,” so to speak, has me feeling drained… and gutted.
I’m not so naive as to believe we all can/should get along. Nor am I a person who believes passionate people must always keep their opinions neat, tidy, and within the bounds of polite society rules. But, the overt name calling, the “us” vs “them” approach to EVERY DAMN THING, and the inability/unwillingness to listen—JUST FREAKING LISTEN—to anything that opposes a person’s preconceived attitude/belief/perspective IS. NOT. OKAY… Furthermore, it is inhibiting our ability (as families, neighbors, statesmen & women, Americans, and Global Citizens) to make meaningful, timely, progress… together.
I don’t have answers for how to best solve the many complex and dynamic issues facing us all. No one person has those answers, either. If you are a single human person and you believe you DO have the answers, I have an uncomfortable reality for you: you don’t.
We can absolutely listen to ACTUAL EXPERTS—for the love friends, be choosy when deciding from whom you’re learning. There is a massive difference between an expert in their field and a person who plays an expert on television (literally and figuratively). Can you feel me rolling my eyes? (BECAUSE. I. AM.)
We can learn from and with REAL experts, apply that knowledge, and ride the rollercoaster of new discovery. Eventually, we may actually make some things better. But we absolutely will not, if we are too busy making ourselves hoarse and deaf from listening to only our own screams.
The world—my world—feels strange, different, a little scary, and a whole lot angry right now. I tried burying myself in it to see if I might be able to sort it out. That didn’t work. I tried walking away, ignoring the noise—maybe that would force things into understandable context? Nope. That didn’t make it feel any different, either.
What if… our world needs to be all these things right now?
Strange… Different… A little scary… A whole lot angry…
These things in and of themselves aren’t “bad.” And maybe… they are necessary.
What’s also important to note is… none of them are mutually exclusive with things like; beautiful, brave, new, changing, relevant, better, and more loving.
Any parent can tell you strange, different, scary, angry, beautiful, brave, new, changing, relevant, better, and more loving can coexist in a single person/body/parent/child.
So… maybe, just maybe… they can coexist in a single world too?
I don’t know. But I’m willing to try it on for size. I’m not ready to throw in the towel—not on any of it. I’m here. I’m doing my best to listen and learn from the experts. I’m open to the what abouts and the what ifs. My eariler attempts at forcing my current experience of the world into comprehensible submission—how I decided it should feel—were total flops.
But that’s okay. Failure is part of the learning process.
If at first you don’t succeed…
So, here I sit—firmly, in the glaringly obvious realization my random thoughts persist, even if my writing has not. I guess that means I can renew my site for another year.