The first half of this year has shown the world how vulnerable it is to powers greater than the people who think they run it. Disease has reared its ugly head, in all of its forms, and the afflicted are trying to move into their “new normal”. Forces outside the control of the masses are bringing people to their knees in despair, prayer and hope. I am not afraid; I am cautious. I have learned to live in a state of caution because my new normal is not a product of 2020 but of 2016 and because I was never a huge risk taker, this isolation her been a somewhat easier transition for me than for many.
For those of us who have had our own world turned upside down in an instant be it through loss, illness or any other life altering event, finding the new normal is a daily practice. When the rug is pulled out from under you, you are forced into righting yourself however you can, despite the feeling of constantly falling and spiralling downward. Navigating the early days of trauma feels like walking up a downward escalator; the exertion to get somewhere only to be constantly pulled back. This constant force is exhausting and there are moments when all you can do is let yourself fall backward into the abyss of sadness, fear, loneliness, love and grief. The world as a whole is getting a taste of that which we, the trauma soldiers, have known. Cancer fighters, the racially profiled, those who suffer from mental illness – we all live in a state that many are declaring as “new”. It’s not new; it’s new to you.
My greatest hope for 2020 is that the inequities that are now glaring gaps in society are not only going to be highlighted but that old systems are going to be crushed to make way for people/humans/souls. There is no collective “normal”. If we continue to glaze over when righting education, healthcare and justice, we will be allowing the escalator to take us to the bottom. Together, we have to insist that there is strength, power and ability for every person to keep climbing.