This History Today series aims to document what life is like in this period of history. I update whenever I feel like it.
Aspects of daily life:
- I have my smart phone with me everywhere, even the bathroom.
- I’ve started buying more feel-good items lately like jewelry — something I’ve never really done.
- My commute is 35-45 minutes one-way to work, but I go the opposite direction of traffic, so it’s not that bad. I take a car.
- I heard a radio program this morning about lesbian radio dating. It was recap of how a date went that the radio hosts had set up that previous Friday. The date went well. I smiled the rest of my drive to work. I’d listened to the radio segment before, but this was the first lesbian date that I’d heard of. It was the Hookup Hotline segment of the New Guys morning show on 97.1 FM.
- The only news I heard about was that the lady from Roseanne said something terrible — a racist comment I believe — and had her new-old show cancelled. The people I discussed this with thought what she said was deplorable. I did no research.
- I went to the movies using my MoviePass — a service that lets me see “unlimited” movies for a flat monthly fee. It costs me less than one ticket would cost me. The lady in front of me in line at the ticket line commented to her daughter that her movie cost $16. “When did that happen?” she asked. I don’t know. When I was in high school in 2010, movies were at least $4 cheaper. I saw “Life of the Party” today. I enjoyed it.
- I used my Dictionary.com app twice today, to look up words and confirm definitions.
I’ve always been curious about what it was like to live in a certain period of history. History books show only a limited view of society. So why not add my screaming into the void as a form of documentation.
For example, my grandma escaped a communist country during the 1960s. She and my grandpa failed a few times — landing her in jail, much to her amusement. And I do mean “amusement,” she actually laughed while she was in jail. It just goes to show that ordinary people have extraordinary lives. There is so much that doesn’t land in books, so much that is lost when the person who experienced it dies.
What is life like today? Keeping in mind that I’m a white, millennial, upper-middle class lesbian in California, it’s odd. I scroll Facebook so many times a day, seeing other people screaming into the void, and I feel both connected to and disconnected from them. When it comes to politics, I don’t know what to think. I don’t want to be wrong. But it’s so hard to truly care deeply about everything that happens when so much happens. Every single day, Trump has started up a new controversy. At this point, it’s gotten to the point where I feel like there’s a devastating school shooting every month. I was in high school less than a decade ago, but it wasn’t something we worried about. We all knew about Columbine — a school shooting in 1999 — but it felt far away. Now I see ads where high school kids hold up signs about how it’ll be for their parents if they die in a school shooting. These kids have to go through so much. Is every high school student thinking like these kids in the ads? Are there kids out there that were as oblivious as I was back then?
I don’t know.
Has every period of history always felt so tumultuous for the people experiencing it? Or is this period of time especially rocky?
I don’t know.
And yet while all this happens, I float through my life. Going to work everyday, slowly chipping away at my goals, because can I really just stop my life? Can I be paralyzed by what seems to be ripping apart modern society? It’s not shreds yet, maybe I should just hope for the best. Maybe life is a tattered but comfy blanket that you’ve had since you were born, and it’s all you have. Make do and do some darning when you have the time and energy.
I kiss my fiancée in public. I speak loudly when I go to restaurants. I post sad poems on the internet. I’m living, but I can’t shake the feeling that everything that’s wrong with the world is my fault for not being more vocal. I grew up being told that every vote counts, so I’m a registered voter. In college, I was a part of LGBT organizations, contributing to activism. I try. Is that enough?
I know people my age who feel the same. Who feel like they’re failing the world for not exhausting every bit of energy they have to making it better.
I’ve got to imagine that helping when I can is sufficient. One of my favorite sayings is the safety spiel when I hop on a plane: “put on your own oxygen mask before helping those around you.”
When I can’t do more than go to work everyday and then straight to bed when I get home, what use am I to the world?
*Hopefully this is a good level of detail. I’ll figure out more of what I want to write about as I do more of these.