I’ve developed a helpful coping strategy that I’d like to share with you. After we read the news, my boyfriend and I pretend we are the showrunners of the dystopian horror comedy that we’ve all been reluctantly cast in right now. Whenever some new inanity happens that drops our jaw, like

  • Boris Johnson testing positive for Covid-19
  • The public call to fire Fauci because he corrected Trump’s lies with facts
  • Trump not letting Fauci answer a question
  • MY BODY MY CHOICE signs made to protest…a virus (lol)

Our eyes naturally widen in disbelief, our shoulders slump in submission, and then we role play.

“Hey, brilliant detail babe. You’re a great writer.”

“You don’t think it was too over the top?” 

“It has to be over the top! That’s the show we’re writing!”

“Okay good.”

“What did you think about Trump hiring WWE villain Vince McMahon as an advisor to restart the economy? I was worried that detail wouldn’t play.”

“Listen, you’re a nut! And that’s just what this show needs!”

“You too, babe. We make a great team.”

One thing that comes up a lot, when you’re co-writing a show about a global pandemic in 2020, is not the fear that we’re jumping the shark, it’s that we’re jumping the shark too often. But listen, when the setting of your show is a shark infested cesspool and your characters are all wakeboarding maniacs, shark jumping is par for the course.

(Please feel free to steal this coping strategy. It adds levity to the horror, momentarily.)

I’ve been reading More Myself by Alicia Keys this month, or rather, I’ve been listening to her read it to me on Audible. I wish Alicia was my mom and in a way she is. I trust her wisdom implicitly and I feel guided by her life advice. Two lines from the book are on my mind.

“Our society’s standards of oppressive beauty left its deep claw marks in me.”

And “I own my body and it’s presentation, that I know for sure.”

I am wondering about the ways that I still don’t fully own my own body. Whose perception am I thinking of when I judge something about myself? Is it really mine? Can my perception ever be purely mine? How can I continue to purify my perception of myself? Is self-love a practice that ever becomes perfected?

___________Here is the scariest thought I’ve had during the pandemic>

There is no escape for me in this life, from leaders who don’t have my best interest in mind.

____________Here is the most hopeful thought I’ve had during the pandemic>

Making art for the sake of making art isn’t selfish. It helps me, and those that it speaks to, too. Making art is not hoarding time, it’s using it well.

||| > I am learning who I am with less.

||| > I am learning about how lack of money has prompted me to do things that make me feel bad about myself.

||| > I am learning how important feeling good is.

[[Growing up, I wasn’t taught that happiness was important. Piety was. “As long as you’re happy” was never my programming. “Most fun things are forbidden” was. I’m still rewriting my code. The experience of happiness for the sake of happiness still feels odd to me, like a visiting thought still making its home in my head; still new to the space.]]

I’ve been asking myself

  1. Can the foundational purpose of my life really be that I feel good?
  2. Does that apply to everything and if so, why? And if not, why not?
  3. If so, I still have some things to lovingly change.

*extras have been stripped away. essentials only. small things are big things now, everything matters. what is essential to me? i’ll add ingredients back in from scratch.

*i remember reading somewhere that it’s good to keep your toenails painted in the winter, even though you’re wearing boots, because you can feel the difference. i didn’t believe there was any truth to that, but i do, now.