The day started with happy news from a good friend who found out he was not to lose his job as he had been previously told. For some odd reason it put my mind on a path of introspection. Perhaps it is the result of the past week, which has been difficult on a personal level. My sister-in-law, whom I loved dearly, suddenly went into cardiac arrest and was dead three days later. And a not-by-blood grandson (we all have those … we love them as much as we would if they were related, the only difference being that invisible DNA) was in a serious auto accident and suffered a broken neck. I’m still waiting for the third shoe to drop, while hoping it won’t. So, with a bit of good news, there was a whoosh of pent up angst that I didn’t even know was in there.
So, the path of my thoughts as I brushed my teeth and began my daily routine turned toward changes. So much has changed over the past year, yet still looks the same. Most of us still live in the same homes we lived in a year ago, live with the same people, have the same jobs, wear the same clothes, eat the same food. On the outside, nothing has changed. But inside? Everything has changed … or has it?
I remember once, many moons ago, I was telling a friend about somebody and I said that when he was drunk, he became an entirely different person. I will never forget Mike O’Donnell’s response: “Kid, people don’t change when they drink … they just let the person they always were show through.” And I think he’s right … we all wear a mask of some sort. The past year has pulled off a lot of masks.
Like most reading this, I have both lost and made a number of friends in the past year due to my political views. I have found myself saying more than a few times that one friend or another changed, that he/she used to be such a kind person, such a sensible person, and now look at them. But, did they really change, or did I just not know the real person at all? I suspect the latter. And then, I think … can the same be said of me? Are those same former friends saying, “I don’t know what got into her, but she isn’t the same person I once knew?”
We have spoken and joked much about ‘alternative facts’, as first spoken by Kellyanne Conway as she struggled to justify yet another of Trump’s nonsensical remarks. And we speak these days of the ‘alternative universe’ in which everything seems topsy-turvy … a world we no longer recognize, a world filled with hate. So, is it a far leap to ask if perhaps we have also become ‘alternative people’? A point in case: two years ago, I would never in my orneriest moment have wished another person dead, and yet today, almost every day I hope to get up and read that Donald Trump suffered a massive coronary while sitting on the potty tweeting his vitriolic tweets. This is not me! This is not a person I recognize, just as the world of today is not one I recognize. And, just as I no longer like the world I am seeing, I also no longer much care for the person I see in the mirror of my soul some days.
And yet … and yet, I am still the same person. I love my family dearly, I care deeply for others, care deeply about the state of this nation … the state of the world. So, I am not the same person and yet I am. Who Am I?
I started this post sometime last week, wrote 3-4 paragraphs, looked back at what I had written and set it aside, for it sounded almost dystopian and while I doubted I would finish it, I did take a moment to save the file. Then a day or two ago, I was chatting in comments with my Canadian friend and reader of this blog, John Fioravanti, and for some reason that I no longer recall, I mentioned to him that I had started this post, but filed it away. He encouraged me to finish it, saying that many, even in his own country, feel the same and it would be encouraging to others to realize they are not alone. After some thought, I decided to finish and post this. I am trusting you, dear friends and readers, not to call for them to bring a jacket with very long sleeves and take me to that place where the walls are soft and people speak very quietly!
Back to the point … this past year has wrought changes in our world … not only ours, but in the EU and UK, as well. The changes that disturb me the most, though, are those that have taken place in us … in individuals who find themselves in a world that is unrecognizable and are struggling to find ways to adapt, to survive. This is the world that Donald Trump and his gang of thugs has wrought. The ‘man’ without a conscience is putting us in danger of losing our own conscience in order to try to adapt, to fit into this strange new world without losing our sanity. We cannot let this happen!
A large number of my blogging friends have, from time-to-time stepped back from it all, and while I find it impossible to do, I certainly understand why they do it. We must each find our own way to cope, and I cannot advise anyone else, but I only know that we cannot lose our humanity, for the world needs people like us far more than it needs people like Donald Trump, Roy Moore, Steve Bannon or Richard Spencer. Those people will be treated harshly, I think, in the annals of history, but for my part, I just want to be remembered as being a kind person who treated others well. For me, that is enough. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this rambling post. My thanks to John Fioravanti for jump-starting this post and for his words of encouragement. Hugs and love to you all!