There’s not much I can say at this point that I would be confident in attributing to all Americans.
Most generalizations are pretty dicey right now.
We are such a divided country with such widely divergent experiences that it’s hard to speak for everyone.
It feels most days like the political divide has us living in completely different realities from one another.
But here is a generalization that I feel 100% confident in attributing to pretty much all Americans: we are really, really tired of not knowing what’s going to happen next.
If you’re like me, you let yourself be lulled into a false sense of optimism coming into 2021. It’s like we all thought that if we could escape the literal numerical reality of being in 2020, the Year of Doom, things would look up.
Everyone knew 2020 was a wash, but 2021! Things are going to be different!
We earned a fresh start.
We stuck it out and didn’t go (completely) crazy through a pandemic that restricted our movements and took away friends and family too soon, massive racial justice work on the streets and in our hearts, lost jobs among soaring income inequality, and rounding it out with murder hornets of all ungodly things.
We made it. We were all so ready for a new year with a fresh start.
And then on day 6 of the new year, right wing militants led an insurrection that invaded and desecrated the United States capitol.
After thinking for so long, “Things can’t possibly get worse,” they did. In spades.
If you’re like me, you’re exhausted, afraid, disappointed, embarrassed, and losing faith that this dream called America is even real anymore, if it ever was—and we know it wasn’t for generations of oppressed people.
White violence was tolerated and apparently even welcomed in the halls of Congress, as capitol police put up a pitiful defense against the insurrectionists and in some cases ushered them directly in.
White supremacy ran amuck in the House and Senate for five hours—or rather, it did so in flag-waving openness rather than just in the polite, buttoned down, suit-clad form in which it usually manifests there.
I can’t take any more crises. I just can’t.
The constant swerve between adrenaline-fueled panic and apathetic exhaustion has worn me to a paper-thin facsimile of myself.
I need to have something to lean on. I need something to count on. I need to know that tomorrow is going to be okay.