Last year was a flaming garbage fire. For everyone. I started 2016 by attending my Grandfather’s funeral on my birthday and it was pretty much a preview for how the year was going to go.
And now we’re here. And we have to figure out how to live every day in this world.
For a lot of reasons, I didn’t blog much last year. On January 2, 2017 I sat down for the first time ever to do Goals and Intentions. I worked through part of The Desire Map. I set goals about my writing project, about my relationships, about my therapy sessions. I felt grounded and ready to take on the year.
And then the Inauguration happened.
While I found the protests to be empowering and inspiring and all the things, the weeks since the earth started rotating the wrong direction on its axis have felt just completely overwhelming. I’ve alternated between obsessively refreshing the news every three seconds and forcing myself to unplug for days at a time. I want to know all the things and DO ALL THE THINGS, but I also have to be a person who goes to work and has a life, otherwise the Large Cheeto wins.
I can NOT let him win.
But then this weekend I had an extra day off because I live in Chicago and in Illinois we get Lincoln’s birthday as an actual holiday (thanks dude). I had lunch with a friend and went to the local Witch store and because it was 45 degrees and sunny- which in Chicago in February is considered practically t-shirt weather- I decided to walk the mile or so home.
I walked past groups of kids and partners holding hands and college students looking stressed. I walked past small businesses and national chain drug stores and libraries and churches and schools. As I walked, I remembered how much I love this city.
Chicago has a lot of problems, don’t get me wrong. It’s possibly the most racially divided city in the country. It has a history of systemic racism and discrimination that runs deep to it’s very core. The police department needs to be cleaned out and the city politics make me crazy.
But, it’s also beautiful and I love it.
I love how every neighborhood smells and feels and tastes different. I love living a block from a lake that looks like the ocean. I love having all the culture I could want and not be in NYC. I love the tiny remnant of Midwestern Nice that prevents (most) people from being (complete) ass holes (at least some of the time).
I’ve lived a lot of places. And I mean A LOT. Chicago is the only place that has every really felt like home.
During this walk I also remembered how important it is for me to take walks. It helps me connect with myself, my inner thoughts, my biggest desires. Chicago is also a place where the air hurts my face three months out of the year, but we’re getting to the other side of it now and I’m going to take walks more often.
For whatever reason, I found this weekend to be invigorating in many ways. I feel grounded again. Like I’m not completely crazy.
Part of this is because I unplugged and I spent some time reading my favorite website Autostraddle.com and found myself falling down the tarot rabbit hole through their series Fool’s Journey. This led me to Little Red Tarot and next thing you know it’s 2am and I’m searching through a dozen different tarot decks trying to decide which one speaks to me most.
To say this is not what I ever expected to be doing is an understatement, and one I’ll be exploring in more depth in my new series here, Happy Squirrel.
All this to say, I’m back. I will be writing more. I’ve condensed the categories and will be writing on some more serious topics. I’ll be talking about intersectional feminism in pop and “high” culture and queerness in a heteronormative world. I’ll be continuing to talk about my work as a librarian in this emerging world of “alternate facts.” I’ll be reviewing books that come my way, because I still read a whole lot for my job.
Come along on this journey with me.
We’re all fools here.
Are you struggling to find your feet? Striving for some kind of balance? Want to just scream until you run out of air? Have any advice for staying sane? Let me know in the comments.