I’m addicted to the news. I have cemented it into my morning ritual. Often it’s the first thing I do. For some strange reason, it gives me a sense of control. I like to be informed because if I am armed with the headlines, one will know what I am up against and what the day may bring. So with every headline, a relief. The thick cloud of a choking sense of anxiety that often fuels my mornings calms just enough for me to start my day. After all, information is power – right!
But if you are unfortunate enough to have been habituating the mess of a planet called Earth, you would have been well aware that for the past few weeks the news has been nothing but been harder to do that. It takes a toll. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the sadness of news – it feels so easy to be consumed in the darkness of the world. It’s also just as easy to numb it with Netflix, YouTube and hours of Instagram scrolling. Yet despite my desperate attempts to not acknowledge that constant stream of terror, rolling back on rights and death isn’t affecting me. It is.
I’m heartbroken and scared. Heartbroken that a world that I always thought could change for the better and the rights our parents and grandparents fought for are constantly being repealed. I’m angry that millions of people will not be granted the simple right to have autonomy over their bodies. The reality is thousands of women/persons able to be pregnant will die at the hands of unsafe abortions. Abortions are healthcare. It is not an argument about the safety of unborn children as those “pro-life” would have us believe. It is and has always been about control. Frankly, more children will be harmed because of this ruling and will be born in pain and anguish and unwanted.
I’m scared to live in a world where growing past school age isn’t guaranteed. Where the prices of food or petrol can become too high for anyone with a decent income to live on let alone those who don’t. And that we are constantly threatened with an ever-impending climate crisis to end all climate crises. And let’s not even go into the possibility of another financial crash.
I’m at a loss for where this energy needs to go. It bubbles and boils. When it spills over it is an uncomfortable, teary mess. I miss my community of activists back in London. I miss being on the streets, discussing ideas of change every week and organising mass movements. What Bermuda makes up for in pristine beaches and sunsets- it lacks political activity.
But I take comfort that we are never alone. Many of us share in this grief-like pain. I take comfort that I alone don’t have to come up with answers, and there are many ways in which we make a change. Many of us feel like we aren’t doing enough. We feel that we must be the ones to lead the battle cry.
We are the fixers, superheroes and problem solvers of the world and families. Bearers of the heavy weight of everyone and everything’s burden. As a black woman, I feel that I don’t have a choice. I can do nothing but care – my existence depends on it. The wounds of my ancestors demand it of me.
And although completely valid, these feelings I have aren’t conducive to change. Guilt never spurred changed just more pain and impossible standards. I am allowed to take a breath. To fight for my beliefs and take care of myself. I am allowed to write, bake, dance and hike. And although I may feel the guilt, I am allowed to find joy and enjoy the present.
So let us hold each other and cry. Then we must gather all our strength to fight for the better world that is possible.