It’s been almost two months since my last blog post! I was so very busy with end of school stuff and getting my book proposal out, and then for the past two weeks I’ve been in a slump–with nothing concrete to do, I’ve been lazing around: half-reading novels then abandoning them, sort-of tidying the house, barely packing for a trip I have this weekend. I think the key word there is “half”–I don’t feel like there’s anything to wholly devote myself to. Well, actually I do–I just don’t know how. And that’s the pressing problem that’s driven me to my keyboard today.
I’ve been experiencing something I’ll call the 4 Stages of Weltschmerz (a German word that means world-pain…gotta love those Germans!)
1. Learn about an atrocity, via facebook or twitter (God forbid you watch cable news). Read everything you can about it, be super-sad. Attempt to articulate your feelings to your friends and family. Fail.
2. Shake yourself out of the blue funk you’ve been in for a few days and get really pissed. Why does stuff like this keep happening? Why isn’t anyone doing anything? Make a ranty facebook post. Temporarily feel a little better, because rage feels more powerful than sadness.
3. Resolve to do something this time. Everything is going to be different. Research groups that are working on the problem. Contemplate leaving your job and throwing yourself at the feet of the organization who’s doing the most good and begging to become their apprentice. Consider making a youtube video in hopes it will go viral. Brainstorm other ways to cut through the noise and make a real difference. Realize you can’t. The problem is way too big. Better, smarter, well-funded groups are trying to do what you want to do and failing. Besides, no self-respecting business wants a 30-year old unpaid intern. Your passion, while commendable, is mostly useless.
4. Anesthetize yourself. Bingewatch something on netflix. Sleep a little later than you should. Ignore coverage on the issue. Eat a lot of comfort food. Tell yourself it will be different next time. Repeat.
Does anyone else go through this? Am I just a big sad sack with high ideals and no follow-through? I could donate money, I guess, but even that seems futile these days with allegations of organizations mishandling funds. Does anyone else ever get like this–depressed that although they have time, compassion, and knowledge, they can’t seem to make a meaningful difference on issues they care about? That their only recourse is shouting out into facebook?
This post seems like it’s about Charleston, and although I am upset about that, that’s not really what’s on my heart. It does seem–praise God–like there’s some movement there (at least in regards with Confederate flags, which is SO not the issue at all but baby steps, people, baby steps). What’s on my mind and heart lately is reparative therapy, or “de-gayification” therapy. For those not familiar with it, it is all sorts of awful. It can range from clockwork-orange style injecting vomit-causing drugs while making the patient watch same-sex erotica to shock therapy to all sorts of horrific things. It’s never worked. It does not work. Science has proven that it doesn’t work, and that that one study that it was based on has been disproven as tainted and false. There is literally no proof that this has ever worked. And worse–it has been linked to suicides in those who’ve been “treated” with it. So, it is basically just an all-around terrible, awful thing.
Four states (DC, OR, NJ, and CA) have passed bills that make it illegal to use on minors. Right now in Congress, Rep. Ted Lieu of CA has a bill that would make it illegal for all people in all states. It’s a marvelous, revolutionary bill–HR 2450 for those interested–and it’s got an estimated 2% chance of passing. That’s what I’m upset about.
I have time. I have education. I have passion. Now how do I make that bill pass? What do I do? Start a nonprofit? Become a lobbyist? Make a website? Youtube videos? Unlike many of my previous crusades, this one is single-issue and time-sensitive. In other words, something I can really focus on. And I just feel so beaten down, so insignificant, that I don’t even know where to start. Anyone have any ideas? Want to help? Anyone?
I don’t mean to be such a Debbie Downer. I feel a lot better just getting this down on paper (sort-of). It’s helped me to crystallize my thoughts and (hopefully) make them more productive. Maybe I’ll regret posting this–I don’t know. I’m always afraid that being honest, especially about sad things, is going to come back and bite me in the ass somehow. But if there’s anyone else out there who feels this way, I want you to know you’re not alone. Maybe we can all band together and get something done that way. I don’t know. But I do know that no matter what, I can’t give up.
Love you all! Be safe out there.