Are you feeling vulnerable lately? Do you find yourself uncertain about the present and wary about the future? Do you have that unsettled feeling that another shoe could drop at any moment? Are you raising your fist in defiance against one opponent or another, wile fighting to keep your own angst in check?
Feeling a bit unhinged is the result of the last few stressful months. For many of us, admit it, life was not all that great before Covid-19 hit. We started 2020 with a resolve to keep working on getting it all together. Then, it all fell apart around us. 2020 became the year we were falling off a cliff, slowly.
Many spaces in my life are now empty. I live in downtown Chicago. When I walked around in the middle of the shelter in place order, vast amounts of the once vibrant city were completely still. Just as plans were being made to reopen, the aftermath of the looting left block after block boarded up. The landscape of my neighborhood is changed.
Businesses are opening here. Illinois moved into Phase Three. Then the virus started spiking around the country. I know that I need to co-exist with Covid 19, but it feels uncomfortable. I do not want to accept masks and social distancing as a permanent new normal.
Like many Americans, I suffer from underlying conditions that make Covid-19 a risky proposition for me. I know I am not able to return to my life as it was in February. I am unsure of what type of life I should expect in the months ahead.
As an African American woman, I am still grappling with the devastation of George Floyd’s death. The world-wide call for action against police brutality was unprecedented. Yet, I am struggling to understand the way forward for our nation. I want to be part of making a more perfect Union, but I do not know how. I am still grappling with a path forward for my own social activism. The benefit of living a long time is realizing how little you know, how much work is left to do, and how the generations behind you will lead the way.
Human beings do not have a built-in reset button. Instead, we have a stubborn attachment to the status-quo and an inherent longing to relive the past. These qualities make it hard to quickly create a bold new future. Perhaps this is one reason Covid-19 has us so unhinged. What we do have, as human beings, and what I count on, is a deep reservoir of hope. We share the ability to commit to our success individually and as communities. We have an ability to strive for things that may not come about in our lifetime and the will to fight risky battles we may not see won.
Am I feeling vulnerable? Most definitely. So, I turn my eyes to the horizon, dream of the world as it should be and work for that reality.