Take Good Care.
The Twenties Club wasn’t supposed to be “back” for another week.
I was going to catapult this beloved community into 2020 with the familiar joy and optimism I approach every new year with. With that same sense of hope and possibility that has been a cornerstone for The Twenties Club since it’s inception. But our home is on fire. And the scale of sadness that has flooded my inbox over the past 48 hours is one that I haven’t seen on this platform before. And I’ve tried so many times to articulate your grief and do your fears justice but I can’t, so let me just say: this is a community at breaking point.
I don’t ever want to be platform that tells you what to do. Where to send your money. What your activism should look like. How to feel. But I do want to be a platform that validates those feelings. And today in particular I want to remind you to take care. To take good care. Because there’s never been a better example than right now as to why we are a generation plagued with devastating statistics of anxiety and depression. In the past week alone we’ve had a western country on one side of the world threaten to engage in a war with Iran that would eclipse the devastation of the war in Iraq, and on the other side of the world a western country experiencing their worst bushfires in modern history.
Because of the nature of how we get our news and the hyper-connectedness of our lives, there is an expectation to read and watch everything. To see every single tweet and Instagram post and apocalyptic video of ravaged wildlife and entire communities ablaze in order to feel like you’ve accessed an appropriate level of grief that is proportionate to the size of the tragedy. And this extends far beyond just the Australian bushfires; it includes our ongoing fight against gender and racial inequality, political injustices and efforts to raise the voices of minority groups and other oppressed communities. But the side effect of our hyper-connectedness is that we often find ourselves in a permanent state of despair. And I don’t think it’s inappropriate to suggest that it’s okay to take a break from breaking news, to switch off social media for 24 or 48 hours or as long as you need to reset your sanity. Logging off doesn’t negate your compassion.
So please look after your own mental-wellbeing today, this week, and next. Check in with yourself. Because if we are going to enforce meaningful change, then it will require each of us to bring our very best selves to the party, which means it’s imperative that we don’t allow ourselves to become fatigued and burnt out by our grief. Give yourself some grace. Take a break today in order to take charge tomorrow. Because only then will you find the space to access optimism.
And as for the aforementioned hope? It’s still there. It’s still here. I promise. It’s just waiting in the wings.