I’ve been thinking for months now of this brilliant thing my friend Maris Kreizman said:
I mean, seriously. All bets are off, right?
I keep waking up thinking, if whatever happened yesterday actually happened, then who’s to say wtf could happen today? Wtf has become the new normal, which is unsettling, but perhaps it’s not entirely a bad thing. (Yes, I’m trying as hard as I can to hang on to a shred of optimism.)
Because hey, if people can do all these shockingly wtf things, then couldn’t the rest of us do some formerly-known-as-unthinkable stuff, too, but in a positive way? Like Maris said, if that guy can be President, then you could be . . . president of a company! Or a famous painter. Or an inventor. Or a public speaker or an activist or a Congressperson. Or a giraffe. OK, maybe not that one — but the rest, why not? Clearly, a lot of the boundaries we thought existed don’t really exist at all, and if that’s true for the bad, it’s got to be true for the good as well. What the fuck? People doing amazing things, THAT the fuck.
Look: I’m no Pollyanna. I’m not saying, “I want everything to be fine, so I’m just going to sing la-la-la and hope it’ll be fine.” There’s a boulder of uncertainty and foreboding sitting on my chest every morning when I open my eyes. I’m just using stubborn force of will to push the boulder off, to climb up and stand upon it instead, shaky as the footing may be. It’s a mental exercise I have to repeat daily. Some days it works.
When it does, I can see that even among all the baaaaaaad things happening in the world, there are good things happening now that we would never have imagined before: cross-disciplinary action groups forming among people who never used to sit in the same room; all sorts of uncomfortable but necessary discussions in boardrooms and neighborhoods and schools; and a lot more healthy questioning of what’s true and what’s right. Also [non-sequitur alert], speaking of things we could not have dreamed of before, this is now a way to announce a pregnancy:
I never thought to announce anything like that, but now I can’t fathom announcing anything any other way. There was before, when this wasn’t possible, and now, when it is. And you better believe I’ll be announcing everything in this fashion henceforth.
Anyway: People keep asking, “When will things feel normal again? When will we bounce back?” I’m no physicist, but it seems to me that bouncing back relies on certain predictable laws of motion. But nothing is predictable anymore. That means we’re not going to bounce back. We’re going to bounce forward or sideways or all over the place, and we’re going to have to figure out how to do it as we go.
I could be nuts, but this is what I’m telling myself: If whatever happened yesterday and the day before and the day before could happen, then whatever you and I can dream up for tomorrow could happen, too. Because if anything is possible . . . then anything is possible.