Millennial Musings: Frankly, 2020, what the actual heck?

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Caitlin Walker

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I did it, you guys. I put on real pants.
And it was awful.
So awful, in fact, that several pairs of (larger) pants are right now on their way to my home via the magic of the internet and USPS.
Did quarantine whoop your trash, too? Did you finally give in and download TikTok? Did the uncertainty of every moment also make you stress-eat bags of shredded cheese at 3 a.m., and order strange things that you absolutely do not need but absolutely must have? Just because?
This is the way of the pandemic (and it’s not over yet).
I’ve been pretty upfront about my mental health struggles on these pages, and I see no reason to stop now. The pandemic has presented huge challenges for me. It’s upset routines (which keep me sane), it’s sucked me into screenland more than I care to admit, and it’s turned my probably naive belief in the world being a generally OK place and people being generally good and rational and caring 100 percent inside out.
While we have been so incredibly blessed to not lose friends and neighbors and loved ones here in our little corner of Colorado, the reality of that happening to other people all over the world has thrown me for a loop.
I know what that pain feels like, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, ever (not even the people who call us ‘fake news’ behind our backs… and sometimes to our faces).
The pain of loss is still pretty fresh (side note — I really, really thought the grief process would at least be a little bit linear. It’s really, really not.)
My response has been to just shut down. It’s almost become too hard to comprehend.
We all do this already with millions of other things, of course. Cancer, heart disease, suicide… all forgotten in the span of a TikTok video.
(Side note number two: the idea that because more people die from those things means COVID doesn’t matter is called a logical fallacy, and you should Google it, figure out which one it is, and write us about it.)
Maybe your coping methods look the same as mine, maybe they don’t. Some people get unhealthily busy, some yell and scream into the social media void, some stress-eat cheese. To each their own.
Life is often exquisitely difficult, and it’s okay to check out sometimes. But pandemic or no pandemic, and regardless of how you feel about all that (side note number three — your feelings and the facts are not the same thing), one thing we can do when we come back to reality is make a concerted effort to be kinder, especially when the world is out of whack.
Do something kind for yourself. Do something kind for your neighbor. Do something kind for your sworn enemy. Do something.
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By CAITLIN WALKER
caitlin@ht1885.com

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