I haven’t posted since August, which I *think* is the longest I’ve gone without posting since I started blogging. So, this is just a post to say “hi,” to update you a bit, and maybe to force myself to reflect on where I am right now.
On the surface, the fact that I haven’t posted doesn’t mean much. It means my job is even more demanding than usual this year. Even when I have the time to write, I’m exhausted and don’t feel like it. It also means I’m still figuring out how to adjust my time management now that I’m married and sharing much of my free time with another person (delightfully so, but it’s still an adjustment).
At the same time, if I were motivated enough to write, I would absolutely carve out the time to do it. It’s not like I didn’t have demands on my time before.
The truth is, I’m discouraged. With the advent of the “Trump era” (or whatever you want to call it), it has been alarming and defeating to see how deeply people will lock themselves in to their position, denying objective fact and disregarding basic standards of common humanity.
A few months ago, I heard a British talk show host genuinely ask (and I’m paraphrasing here)–“I understand why Trump’s approval ratings are historically low, but why aren’t they zero?” The fact that people still support him is unbelievable, but it’s true. When you witness that willingly blind allegiance not just on a societal level, but on a personal level, it’s incredibly disturbing. It beats down any hope you have that people can grow and change.
In terms of my own writing (much of which is not directly related to the above), the discouragement comes from being tired of explaining myself. I usually get a few responses that immediately “get it,” a few that admit they’d never thought of it that way, and then a few that want to argue in a way that disregards (if not devalues) my personal experiences. I’m also to a point where I’m past just verbalizing my experiences and current convictions; I’ve internalized them to where they’re not as readily explainable. I find trying to explain them exhausting. I’m not that interested in talking about them; I’m ready to live them and take action based upon them.
Probably also related to my lack of blogging is a closed facebook group I stumbled upon a few months ago. It’s a group of people who have rejected simplistic faith and subculture living, and the members range from progressive Christian to atheist. My point, however, is that in this group, people share stories and ideas and are met with affirmation and genuine discussion. It is such a relief to me to not only not have to explain myself, but to see others share thoughts and experiences that I could have shared myself (and in many cases, have already written about publicly). It takes much less energy to engage with that group than it does an audience of mixed-reception.*
None of this is to say I’m going to stop writing. I’m discouraged, I’m tired, but I’m not done. And, as Stephen Colbert pointed out a few weeks ago–in the face of yet another mass shooting and the likely inaction that will follow it–our discouragement is exactly the goal of those who would further deception and injustice. So, I will keep looking for those slivers of hope, and I will balance on them, however precariously, so that I might stand long enough to tell others that those slivers exist.
*Two things: One, if you’re interested in the group, send me a message and I’ll share the name with you. Two, the reason I didn’t share the name is because some people would simply use it as an opportunity to gather more “dirt” on me. Understanding why I’m discouraged?