Persevere

I am tired these days. So much trouble in our world, in our society, and in our houses. I see plenty of good things though, and so I must hold gratitude when I notice the trouble and disgusting portrait that appears before me when some individuals speak with a noise that only a child would make when things don’t go their way.

With school out, I find myself wondering what to do and how to spend my time. Christmas is also tomorrow, and I wonder how that will come to pass. I am not the most celebratory of the holiday as I see it as a consumer holiday that circles around buying liquor, presents, and food. Granted, it is a joyous time with family, or at least can be. But, if the sentiment isn’t there, then what even is Christmas?

This year has been an interesting one, if I were to put it lightly. At this point, it is a cliché to say that 2020 has been a terrible year for everyone, but I don’t know if I see that. Granted, the lives lost aren’t something to toss aside, nor are the people and families that were affected by those losses. I can see how awful of a year it must feel with that in mind, but I also applaud those that found a way to move forward. It is your greatest strength.

I found a new path this year, and I find it difficult to say 2020 was a bad, train wreck of a year. I started school this year, I started therapy, I have been learning from the CMHA and am training to be a peer support worker while I attend school. I have been reflecting a lot (though still making mistakes), and I have gratitude to the time afforded to me in being able to do all this. But still, I am a little tired.

I am tired these days. Political correctness is continuing to hold steady in our time, and I am used in such a way for my colour, which indicates that I am a “Person of colour,” a term I find offensive. But alas, humans change, and humans learn new ways of doing things. Words are powerful, and as a writer, I feel obliged to really believe that because I do. Understanding intent and context can really help taper the feelings associated with dialogue, and I think the “correctness” piece is only a way to hold onto our childhood.

I always think of Charles Darwin when it comes to these things since he was the one that brought about the theory of evolution. When he said it was survival of the fittest, he didn’t mean the literal sense. We are human, and we have advanced beyond the need to hunt and kill for our food and housing. So, it comes down to adaptation, and the survival of the fittest is now survival of those that adapt. With the COVID-19 pandemic lessening with a vaccine in our midst, perhaps peace of mind can reach many people that could not find it. I am not anti-vaccine, but I have not gotten a vaccine for anything in over 15 years, so something to think on and perhaps write about.

Anyway, the businesses that stayed alive during these times were the ones that adapted and found a way to stay afloat. The ones that cried foul and harped at the government and others for gross negligence and disregard for their business were the ones that closed their doors. It makes one wonder what was the way forward? And with those crying foul on political correctness, I wonder what is the way forward? I love George Carlin and his bit on words and how they are changing, but I think he is wrong (still a hilarious bit though).

I am not a business owner though, so what do I know about the closures some experienced, but of course, this led me to listen to stories to better understand how some feel right now. I will say, these times have challenged us as a society to adapt and grow as people. This year found me making numerous changes to my life, and COVID-19 only made me reflect further and faster than if I were to continue to distract myself with drink, food, or other forms of entertainment.

There is a lot to be grateful for, but I still have a lot to be reflective of. While I was working on myself, I still spoke out of turn, disrupted people, and hurt them. I am not perfect, but I can see why now, and I know what I need to reflect and work on.

I am tired these days. Phones, social media, and the internet are internal voids that cascade into the abyss if we let it. I found myself reaching for my device when I had no real need to, and especially when I was in the department for affection and care, but I rarely saw any and it made me sad. But when I did see it, it made me so happy that those other times didn’t matter. However, my time alone reflecting, meditating, and finding peace gave me an understanding of myself, which isn’t possible if I am constantly engaged with others. But also, it is good to be able to share honestly and speak openly with people, because every opportunity we engage in conversation is a learning experience.

I see so much hatred right now, but I also see a lot of joy. What is the right approach? Do we stand up and fight against what some are calling tyranny, or find joy and gratitude in our lives currently? Can we do both? Or reject both and find peace? Do we grumble while following what is happening, or submit with no questions asked?

I wish I knew the answer, I truly do. I sense the hostility, I sense the frustration, and I sense the disconnect. But I sense the passion, I sense the joy, and I sense the gratitude.

Ying and Yang is so prominent in our lives that we can’t exist without the other. It is why I cannot advocate for “Positive vibes only,” while also rejecting cynicism on the daily. A bit of both is important for our livelihood. I cannot think for a second that everything is peachy when there are people that don’t have a home or a roof above their heads. I also can’t see the world as totally negative when there are some really positive and loving relationships that exist all around me, along with people following their dreams. It is why, at this point in my life, I believe there is no real bad or good way of life, no real black and white approach to anything. No liberal or conservative way of thinking, and no right or wrong faith or religion. We are human, and we all have a shadow in us, and that shadow can shape us and turn us towards a path that is less gracious or give us a path that we can see a light with. Afterall, a shadow only exists if there is a light, and so, we live and are both light and shadow.

I am tired these days. But it isn’t because of all the sorrow I see, all the complaining I see, or all the righteous anger; it is because the sun shines less, and I feel myself engaged in my shadow. But the sun will rise earlier and earlier, especially as we near years’ end, and the cold that creates this fatigue in me will warm again. The thing about being human is we always persevere; it is our greatest strength.

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