Just poking my head out of my little bunker of work and of fighting despair to think out loud a little. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about how events since about late 2016 have impacted what I create and what I consume for pleasure. And I’ve been alive and watching the world and dealing with depression long enough to know that this isn’t normal for me.
I’m not going to list the events that are influencing me; you and I live in the same world and can see the same news items and current events. I’m not trying to say that the world is worse than it’s ever been…Though I’m not trying to not say that.
But what I am trying to say is that it’s all changed what I want to read and watch and write. I can no longer bear the grim post-apocalyptic or dystopian stories that I used to love. I am hungry for happy endings and journeys to them that aren’t too rough. I comfort watch and read and listen even more than I used to, leaning into characters who feel enough like me that I have a sense of being even less alone in what hurts. I unexpectedly weep when there are loads of marginalised characters in something…and I get even crankier (by which I mean, yikes, do I do a lot of snarling into the air) at bad representations of marginalised people or at stories heavily dominated by non-queer, non-disabled, white men.
On the other hand, with how much I cannot get enough of grim poems, unhappy songs, and dancing like I think I can exorcise the despair in me? I’ve always been this way, but haven’t been so very much this way since I was a teen.
Anyway, the world is a very hard place and I have no shame about the changes I’m making to all this in the name of self-compassion. After all—and this is for you too—the parts of my time and mind that I don’t have to give over to barely surviving in this capitalist dumpster fire? Those are mine and I am not going to feel bad about using them to build joy, hope, recovery.
(I should have made this a post about the importance of art for how we cope with and survive life, but I just don’t have it in me to do that topic justice today. And plenty of others are constantly writing about that, so you probably already know.)