I came to the party a little late. I was buried alive for 8 months while the earth shifted on its axis after November 6th, 2016. I fell into another world, very far away. My lifelines were imagined–only in my head–and they snapped at the first sign of pressure. When I dug out and came up for air in June 2017, this world was gone. So was everyone I knew. I’m still processing.
I missed the group reckoning process, the one that started most people’s normalizing. I can actually feel the normalization process happening in real time now. I feel my emotions—stirred up by everything wrong in the world–want to relax, rest, just be. I feel the outside edge of rage dip into anger, cool, and trickle to a lower plane: sad acceptance. All my new, lively, squirming emotions have been on high alert since the world disappeared. They still haven’t settled down.
My emotions want to lose their hypersensitivity, want to be calm. They just want to try and enjoy what they can. And my mind colludes. It keeps looking for ways to live with the cognitive dissonance between a body and emotions justifiably hyper-vigilant and a deep exhaustion and desire to stop feeling every fucking thing. To just live, accept what is.
If I let myself normalize, I give myself permission to stop thinking about the carnage, stop feeling the chaos, stop trying to solve this new world’s ocean of problems. If I normalize, I let myself relax into this new normal, figure out how to maneuver in this new environment. Normalizing, I wall off my view of the destruction, creating a garden behind it, making room for peace in the midst of war.
I wonder: “How much harder will it be for me to push back when I’m normalized?”