Getting Out Of Bed

Hi there. Yesterday, a friend of mine challenged some friends of his:

“I want you to share something that is making you get out of bed these days and one thing you are working towards that might be scary to admit.”

I was tagged in that post, and so therefore challenged to write something. Although I had some lofty shit ready to go, under the illusion that I had to be a role model or something for the younger folks in the group. But as I started writing, nothing came out honestly. Delete-delete-delete. Start over. Here’s what I ended up posting, and felt the need to port over here:

“If we’re playing honesty box right now (and I do think that’s the point here)? I’m having a hard time identifying what I’m getting out of bed for. Right now, it’s in service of others in my union leader capacity – which, in the short time I’ve been doing this work, has been some of the most gratifying and infuriating work of my life.
But I’m struggling with depression and anxiety and waves of not-good-enoughitis and here’s-a-new-thing-to-feel-guilty-about syndrome wherever I turn, and I’m having a really hard time maintaining it as my artistic career seems like it’s falling apart before my eyes. I’m not sure what to do next, so I try to dig in and be helpful to others wherever I can. But sometimes it hurts to get out of bed, and it hurts to manage my own expectations and the expectations of others, and it hurts to feel like I’m falling far behind. I’m tired and I just want to try to save the world.”

 

I can’t say it made me feel better or lighter or anything to write this, because it’s still permeating every cell of my being no matter where I turn, but there it is. I am wondering how much pressure must be released before any relief is felt, or if the release of pressure just invites new pressure to fill the empty space.

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Look.

There’s nothing I can say about what’s happening in the US right now that hasn’t and won’t already be said by people who are much smarter and more articulate and better writers than I – and I encourage you to find those people, those voices pinging clearly through the shouts and violence in the crowd.

Follow these people and the people they follow. Sit in your own privilege, and USE IT TO DO BETTER FOR YOUR FELLOW HUMANS. Breathe into what makes you uncomfortable and sad and angry, but do not stop there. Let it fuel you to BE better and fight harder and use your body to stand up.

My heart hurts and I’m afraid. But no matter. I can do better today and tomorrow and the next day and every day after that.

Young [blank]

Young Existential Crisis

Young I’m Terrified Of Losing My Health Insurance

Young Haven’t Set Foot Onstage In Eight Months

Young PMS

Young Mana Allen’s Facebook Tribute To Barbara Cook

Young What In The Actual Fuck Am I Doing With My Life

Young Threat of Nuclear Winter

Young I Haven’t Accomplished Enough

Young Pension Statement

Young What Am I Supposed To Do, Just Cold Email Choreographers And Beg For A Job?

Young OMG My Cat Is So Cute I Can’t Handle It

Young Middle Of The Night And Can’t Sleep

Young Slipping Through The Cracks

Young Why Is Nobody Listening To Me In This Meeting

Young Last Episode Of Parks and Rec

Young Being A Woman Is Fucking Exhausting Sometimes

Young Being In Show Business Is Fucking Exhausting Most Of The Time

Young Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Young That Isn’t My To-Do List, Right? Oh, Fuck.

Young No, But Seriously, My Cat Is Incredible

Morning Meeting

We are all catatonic, the executives.

This week has been a challenge, and we’re not quite sure how best to handle and sift the mountain of actions and emotions laid out before us. It’s okay, that’s what morning meetings are for?

The agenda is some scribbles that turned into meeting doodles, and the CEO keeps staring out the window.

I guess brains get summer Fridays too?

No News Is Good News?

As a basic idiom, “no news is good news” was a fairly simple, self-explanatory little phrase: if you didn’t hear about something, things were probably going pretty well, and the best course of action would probably be not to fuck with them too much. If something went wrong, hopefully someone would send up a flare, and you’d be able to figure out how to solve the problem.

Somewhere along the way, everything changed. The 24-hour news cycle began. During the OJ Simpson trial, the TV in the kitchen (usually reserved for dinnertime news-watching) was turned on during the day so my parents could obsessively follow what was happening in that courtroom not so far from the house they were in. The TV never really turned off after that.

Somewhere around 2005, YouTube appeared, and with it, the emergence of something that was in us all along – that we could be stars. All of us. The rise of reality TV didn’t help that. After the writer’s strike, we were suddenly in the throes of Web 2.0, and it started moving faster than anything else. With the advent of social media, humans began existing on a brand new connected planet. And, even more suddenly, we were expected to make EVERYTHING into news. Every meal, every piece of media we consumed, every outfit change, every night out- it’s no longer about living a life we’re okay with, it’s about the population of our own personal news feeds in our own personal 24-hour news cycles. Just being a human in the modern world now means we have to create news, and no news is no longer good news. No news means you don’t exist. “No news” is now tinged with the threat of irrelevance. The idea of “no news” isn’t even a fathomable idea anymore. Who are we without news? Who are we if we’re not making the news ourselves? If there’s good news, does it still exist if we don’t share it? (yes.) I feel intense pressure all the time to say something or create something and to make sure it’s consumable or sharable or otherwise digestible by an audience. Despite my overwhelming reticence to do something for the sake of doing it, I feel the pressure. Whether I give in to the pressure or not fluctuates on a daily (hourly, to-the-minute) basis. My struggle with making sure that I seem okay (busy) and happy (successful) is often directly at odds with how I’m actually feeling (staring down the barrel of time into a deep existential vat of nothingness and obscurity) on any given day.

Then we entered this completely insane political climate. Again, as during the OJ trial, the TV is on all the time (not in my house, but in many houses) because we’re terrified to look away from the implosion of everything we’ve known to be true up until this point. We are, again, at odds with “no news is good news” defining itself as a third thing entirely. Now, literally, none of the news is good news. Okay, very little of the news is good news. No news is good news, aside from the few Twitter accounts I follow that devote themselves entirely to calming people down with photos of adorable baby animals. And the great @tinycarebot, which reminds followers to do things like “take a sip of water” or “stretch your arms over your head” when you’ve been staring at the internet too long. It’s really good, and I recommend giving it a follow.

I’m exhausted. I don’t have anything good to say. I have no news, and the news I have is not good. It’s a delectable combination of lingering depression/anxiety, confusion about the world, and the feeling that I’m being held in place by a thousand forces and I can’t escape. But you’d never know it, because I keep that locked away here, on the internet, where anyone can see it.

…waitaminute…