As a person who has long prided oneself on not being normal I have to admit; I really miss it.
I miss being able to just get in my car and go to the store without anxiety.
I miss seeing friends whenever our schedules coincided.
I miss packed restaurants, bars and music venues.
I miss normal….
Ive been thinking about why everything and everyone seems so shitty this year, and I had a thought the other day that I can’t shake. I believe we are grieving. People are shitty when they are grieving and we Americans are, at best, entitled in normal times.
The order and nuances for the stages of grief can be argued by those more scholarly than myself; however, I do tend to see around me Anger, Sadness, Denial, Bargaining, Depression, and sometimes… Acceptance. I’m not sure if I’m ready to enter that last one but it seems that 2020 is trying to teach it to me anyway.
Since I had this realization a few days ago I have been trying to keep grief in mind when I interact with others. This is not only the understanding that I have grief and it affects how I interpret things, but that others do too. Their world’s have also been upended and they too miss their normal. Perhaps they are in denial that their normal is gone. Either way: understanding and sadness, or possibly just cognitive dissonance. I don’t feel that any of us are ok. Our new ‘normal’ requires changes, understanding and flexibility.
We may be tempted to ask “why me?” “Why should I be the understanding one?” Or even just “why did this have to happen to us, now?”
The best answer I have, and it is not perfect, comes in the form of a quote.
Frodo: “I wish none of this had happened.”
Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”