Not going to lie – I am struggling a lot lately. After all, so much is happening in the world right now: Covid quarantine, Black Lives Matter, ongoing protests, unemployment, phase 2 or 3, no graduation/yes graduation, next fall’s school year, etc. There is so much information being thrown at us and none of it makes me feel more settled or peaceful. I want to avoid the news but then I feel an ethical responsibility to know what is going on. I am using every coping strategy that I know, but I am still feeling unsettled, ignorant, and confused. I find myself rereading some of the books that make sense to me; Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink is on my nightstand right now, just because it is more tangible and I can read it without having to stop and process aloud with my long-suffering husband. With every report that I read or see, it leads me to look up one or two more articles or videos, and those leave me with more questions.
And through all of this, I keep coming back to the same feeling: I am uncomfortable.
I am uncomfortable with the dichotomy of wanting to open our economy and yet being afraid for our vulnerable population.
I am uncomfortable with all the people who are struggling right now – whether it be emotionally, physically, financially, socially, etc.
I am uncomfortable with the need for protests and yet all those people exposing themselves to illness.
I am uncomfortable with wanting my children to explore and change the world, and yet wanting to keep them home and safe.
I am uncomfortable with challenging my own history, long held beliefs, and things that I took for granted.
I am uncomfortable with my own biases and the need to uncover them and walk towards them.
I am uncomfortable with my own ignorance about systemic racism and white privilege.
I am uncomfortable with the inhumanity we are showing towards one another, over and over and over.
I am uncomfortable.
But I keep telling myself, things don’t change when people are comfortable. Things only change when people are uncomfortable. It drives them to find a better path, a solution, or, at least, more knowledge as we move forward. Things change when people realize that the discomfort is not a way of life, but a sign that something is wrong.
Therefore, I am choosing to embrace my discomfort for now. I am going to let it drive me to do more discovery, to do more reading, to have more unsettling conversations, to uncover more parts of myself, and to bring up those topics at the dinner table that make us all want to eat quickly and escape. I am going to watch those videos that make me cringe and I am going to show them to my kids so that we can talk about what we saw. I am going to read both sides of every issue and debate it with people on both sides of the aisle. I am going to keep journaling, listening to podcasts while I walk, searching out people who talk about ideas, brainstorming for solutions, and praying.
And through all this exploration and discomfort, I am choosing to stay optimistic. I believe that all the lessons we are being taught this year will have a lasting impact on us. 2020 has highlighted the vulnerable people in our world. We should feel uncomfortable. They NEED us to feel uncomfortable.
So, I am ending this blog in the only way that I can with this topic. Uncomfortably.