The world has been heavy lately. It’s been a perfect cocktail of unrest, with the economy in another “once in a lifetime” recession and unemployment rates the highest they have ever been, a deadly virus that has never been seen before ravaging the world and forcing us all into quarantines, and oh right, a worldwide movement finally pushing back against police brutality and systemic racism. That just joins the myriad of problems the United States has had since 2017 when literally the worst President in history was inaugurated.
It is a lot.
These things should be talked about. They should be out in the open and we as a society shouldn’t be ignoring the problems that we have — that our society wasn’t built to sustain any of this. We’re in a time of change, and that’s great. That needs to be talked about.
My last few posts have been on heavy on the complaining. Maybe complaining is the wrong word, but they haven’t been exactly full of sunshine, either. Writing about self-care was meant to be gentle, but the rest have been mostly about what can and should change. Negative feelings I’ve been struggling with, even if they’re a bit more humorous. That is not to say I shouldn’t share negative feelings. This is my blog and I can write what I want.
So I’m choosing to think about happy things, and the future.
There’s been a lot of focus on the country reopening since the pandemic shutdowns started in March. It’s now mid-June, officially summertime, and while states started to reopen on their own terms in May, it’s looking increasingly like it was a bad idea. My two homes, Texas and California, have recorded a record number of cases in the past days. I don’t know if California will take the steps to shut down again, after being so far ahead of the curve in the beginning that we avoided the worst of it at the time. California was lucky, everyone did their part so well that it looked like even the smog in Los Angeles was lessened due to less cars on the road.
So who knows when I’ll be able to actually act on this list. I’m hoping it’ll be once there’s an effective vaccine and we can open things up again safely and not worry about this virus literally wrecking our immune systems, lungs, and whatever else. This is gonna be an aspirational thing, anyway. A comfort, a security blanket, to get me through.
1. Go (back) to Joxer Daly's For A Liverpool Match
Arguably one of the things I'm missing the most right now is visiting the home bar of LFCLA, the official supporters club of Liverpool FC in Los Angeles. It is my church, and right now although the bar is open and matches are happening, it is not the same. That's okay, it’s safer to be at home. That will make that first match back, when we can finally hug everyone tightly, sing loudly (maybe without a mask), and celebrate wildly, that much better. Who knows when that'll be, and hopefully sooner rather than later. I miss it so much.
2. Hug Everyone
If you know me in person, you know that I am a hugger. I love hugs. I am sustained by hugs. Hugs are one of my best physical skills, because I love them so much that I have learned how to give the best ones. They promote good health and just feel good. Physical distancing has been particularly hard, because hugging is the opposite of physical distancing. And sure, the handshake might never happen again, but if we get rid of hugs, that will be one of the saddest losses of society. Humans are better because we can hug, and I can’t wait to hug as many people as I will be allowed.
3. Visit My Family
My family isn’t very big, but we’re spread out. My parents, middle sister, and half of my cousins are all in Texas. My grandmother and two aunts and uncles are an hour south of me in Orange County. My youngest sister is in Washington. Even though my Texas trips are fewer than I would like to be able to make, I’m used to driving that hour and change south to see my grandmother whenever I want, getting that comfort of being in her house and her presence. My mom was supposed to visit me at the end of April, and my dad had planned on meeting my boyfriend and I in Liverpool in May to celebrate the end of the season. Those plans got put on ice, and it is not a fun feeling. I need to make up that lost time, as soon as possible, and it’ll be worth it. Once it's safe.
4. A Summer Cinespia Screening at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
An outdoor Cinespia screening at Hollywood Forever Cemetery is one of the most quintessential LA things anyone can do. It was where I saw Casablanca for the first time, and a week after that went to see Spirited Away and that was night my boyfriend and I got together. There’s something so magical in a very Los Angeles way about the whole experience — sitting among the graves of famous people like Judy Garland and Bugsy Siegel, with whatever picnic you’ve packed and drinks you’ve brought (you can bring anything!), listening to conversations as the sun starts to go down. There’s jasmine and citrus (and maybe some marijuana) on the air, the temperature definitely starts to go down, and you feel like this could only happen here. They might open up and start doing distanced screenings, but part of the charm is finding your own little patch for your blanket to maybe overlap with a stranger’s. So long as you can get a view of the screen, it’ll be more than fine.
The idea of visiting an airport and getting on a plane gives me more anxiety than it usually would — and I’ve been known to get pretty anxious before traveling. Despite that, though, traveling is one of my favorite things. Sitting on a plane with nothing else to do but watch the world go by is one of my favorite things. Exploring a new place? You guessed it, one of my favorite things. I know that flying hasn’t stopped entirely, and road trips are definitely a thing and way safer, but going anywhere new is always going to be a risk until there’s a vaccine or proven treatment. Once that is in the world? I’ll be able to start checking places off my “Travel Plans” list again.
Find those good things, whatever they are and however big or small they may be. Hold onto them, let your imagination fill them in when you need them. Share those things and maybe we don’t even have to wait. Maybe some of those things, on your list or my list, are achievable even in these scary times. Just be safe, for yourself and those around you, or any list of things to do when the pandemic is over won’t matter.