2022: A Year Of Hopeful Rediscovery

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So, I guess COVID-19 is over?  It seems that way as far as our government and, for the most part, the media is concerned.  So I guess that means we can finally move on with our lives like it’s 2019 again and feel a weight taken off our shoulders and…oh.  Oh, now there’s invasion happening on the other side of the world?  What’s that about the gas prices?  What’s that about food prices?  Wait, why are conspiracy lovers going crazy on social media like a nuke is just about to strike us?  What…?

It has been just about two years since the COVID-19 pandemic first exploded across the globe and we’re now seeing increasing signs of the pandemic, or at least the fear of it, subsiding to near nonexistence.  It’s actually happening quicker than I expected.  Where I live, you’re not required to wear a mask in most places.  Evidence that there was ever a pandemic to begin with is rapidly shrinking.  This is just several months after the Omicron variant was first announced and a fresh new fear over COVID gripped the country and most of the world yet again.  There’s a multitude of reasons why discussions of the pandemic has fizzled out, one of them being that it’s no longer the hot topic that it was back in March 2020.  Now the conversation is about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and how this move has impacted people on an economic level.  A kind of impact that I myself am starting to feel slowly but surely.  With that being said, with the bulk of the COVID pandemic behind us, I feel I’ve adopted a somewhat new mindset, changed from a different one I had even just over a month ago.

To start off, I am really tired.  We live in a country that is thankfully full of different perspectives, opinions, mindsets, and views that can be freely shared (to a certain extent), but there is a disadvantage to being surrounded by so many different mindsets.  They are all trying to get your attention.  Even intelligent people with good intentions whose views I agree with (mostly) are trying to get your attention and keep you coming back to listen to them more.  What’s more, even their views change, and when you put so much stock into their words and allow them to be a factor in how you feel during the day, it becomes stressful when those views suddenly take a 180.  Throughout 2021, I was confident in what I believed and the amount of thought I put into something.  It wasn’t always easy.  A lot of anxiety, fear, stress, and depression followed me around that year, but I still stood firmly on my views and beliefs.  What I realize now is that I was naive.  I foolishly believed that if we could just get past the COVID pandemic and all the government overreach that came with it, we would find ourselves entering a new era of peace.  We’d be able to release a great sigh of relief.  I was mistaken.  One crisis may be over for the most part, but the powers-that-be drew upon another crisis to make Americans fear for their lives and their livelihoods.  It’s a seemingly never-ending cycle, churning out a series of crises to keep us all afraid and compliant.  And I’m tired of it.

I used to listen to at least six different podcasts that covered news, politics, and social issues from perspectives that I agreed with.  Now I listen to only three at the most, two at the least.  In the rare occasions that I go on Twitter through my business account, my blood boils at the tweets I see, but not by any mindset in particular.  It boils towards people from all views and political positions, because all I see is constant complaining, whining, finger pointing, shaming, and lecturing from all sides.  People that I used to look up to and whose tweets I used to like just annoy me now.  They used to talk about how important it was that COVID mandates and restrictions get lifted so that ‘individual choice’ can take center stage again, but once that finally happened, they continued complaining about the fact that they existed at all and cherry picked other things to whine and complain about.  There’s no room for even a moment of celebration,a sigh of relief, or joy anymore in this culture.  Meanwhile, a lot of these people don’t do anything differently to improve their own lives or the lives of the people around them.  They emphasize how much people need to ‘wake up’ and separate themselves from the system that holds them, but they themselves stay beholden to the system they lash out at, unwilling to practice what they preach and step outside their comfort zone too.

The truth is, this is my life.  I’m tired of being told online that I can’t or won’t be able to function in this world well enough to succeed or leave a mark.  I’m tired of hearing politicians, social media personalities, and corporate media figureheads spew their own versions of fearmongering and ‘doomspeak’.  The last couple weeks have been discouraging, when I thought they were going to be the most refreshing weeks I’ve had in a while.  But no.  There’s always a reason to be scared according to everyone else, there’s always a reason to panic.  I’m done allowing those ‘reasons’ to control my life.

I’m still young, I have time, but I can’t take that time for granted.  Lord knows I’ve done that too many times before.