Are You Mad At Me?

1 Nov

Oh, hello everyone. How have you been? Feeling the crushing anxiety of the upcoming election? Did you cast your vote yet? If not, do you have a plan to do so? Are you worried that the hope you have allowed to creep in over recent days and weeks might be dashed yet again by the electoral college? That perhaps this President will get another 4 years, only this time with even less of the popular vote? Are you tired of being stuck inside, protecting yourself and others from a virus that seems entirely uncontrollable? Are you sick of wearing a mask but also, now that the temperature is dropping, feeling slightly thankful that what was once so oppressive during the summer months is a much more welcome face hat? Are you worried about your economic future? What will become of you in the coming months and years? Have you been noticing more wrinkles and grey hairs? But also…

Are you mad at me?

At the beginning of this pandemic I felt connected, albeit virtually. I was on the phone hours every day. Zooming, FaceTiming, Netflix Parties, regular audio-only phone calls. Constant contact. But then as the days turned to weeks, the weeks to months, these daily conversations became fewer and farther between. Part of it is that we have all settled into some sort of pattern. We have become accustomed to working from home or, in my case, working sporadically from behind a thick piece of plexiglass. We have gotten used to only seeing other members of our household – many of whom have four legs – and feeling wracked with guilt if we venture out to hang with family and friends, regardless of the safety precautions we take. (Truly, those early days of Heavy Internet Shame on anyone who dared leave the house really did a number.) And now the weather is dropping which means no safe backyard bar hangs with friends; no appropriately spaced blankets set out on a patch of grass in the park. Almost 8 months into this isolation. I am tired. I am sick of the phone. I want to give you a hug. But also…

Are you mad at me?

I have found myself texting people less and less often. The calling has become even more infrequent. It’s not that I am upset with anyone or that I love them any less, but for some reason it just feels like a lot to reach out and text, it feels even harder to call. How do we cover all the time that has lapsed? How do we talk about the world and what has happened? How do each of us have space in the midst of this emotionally and psychologically exhausting period to open ourselves up to hold other people’s experiences? I want to help you hold your pain and your worries, but have my own anxieties left me with the extra room? I worry that right now, in the midst of all of this, I cannot be the friend I have always prided myself in being. The one who is always there, who can always listen, who maybe interrupts a little too often (I’m working on it!) but tries to give advice and to understand the gravity of what you are going through. I feel as though right now, I am not a great version of myself and I don’t want you to know me this way. Is that okay? Are we okay? But also…

Are you mad at me?

This worry has been creeping into my mind more and more often. The friends who I text or respond to online who just….don’t reply. I take it personally. I feel as though I have done something wrong. Like somehow I neglected to show up for an important moment or said something unintentionally cruel. The reality is that I also have let texts slip by, have become a little less communicative. And I am sorry for that. I am sorry for how that might have made you feel. I am sorry if you felt I loved you less; cared about you or your family less; was thinking about you less. None of that is true. I am just anxious and sad and lonely and fearful of the coming winter. Probably the same as you. I am afraid of being a less supportive version of myself, less fun, more tearful. I want to go places being the best version of myself and right now that version simply doesn’t exist. And that is really hard.

I hope that’s okay. I hope you’re not mad.

In two days maybe we’ll have a road map for relief. Maybe. Maybe. But until then…

I love you.

(But also….?

….if you are mad at me please tell me so I can fix it.)

2 Responses to “Are You Mad At Me?”

  1. Miriam November 2, 2020 at 10:15 pm #

    I love you and couldn’t be mad at you if i tried. This is a shit time. It’s all bananas. And the world, the community, friend groups, strangers and you my dearest of friends are all experiencing what bares a shock ik mg resemblance to grief accute and broad, all different interpretations, but all valid. You’re entitled to feel like crap, and to be sad and scared. You can wear your sad publicly or privately and talk to me or be quite with me and ill still and always be your friend. I may worry from time to time but i wont wander….. okay also i love it when your write. K bye.

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