I don't know about you, but I've been depressed since November. I've been bummed out, freaked out, sad and scared for over seven months. And it's been constant. No matter what I've been doing, there's been a low-key hum behind it all of real peril and despair. Conservatives may mock, but it's for real scary. The bigots and bullies are on the rise, operating in the open, taking over our government. The travel bans and voter suppression. The passionate drive to funnel taxpayer money away from the poor and needy to the wealthy. And the police keep on killing people.
I'm fortunate in that I don't suffer from clinical depression. I've just been living with the same malaise and angst as the rest of my fellow country-people (*sidenote: it's bullshit that "countrymen" is a word and "countrypeople" isn't) who are watching the worst instincts of our fellow citizens rise up, codified and celebrated. Like a lot of white people I recognized too late the hold that white supremacy and white racial resentment has on this country (Black people have been telling us for years! There's no one more deaf than the ones who will not hear, right?).
It's just been a generally sucky seven months, right?
I was listening to a "Lovett or Leave It" this morning when Jon Lovett (whom I love) said that when they founded Crooked Media one of the things they thought about was how they needed "happy warriors." Cynicism and defeatism don't make for change. They're great tools for self-protection. But self-protection is isolating and not terribly productive.
So, tonight I dyed my hair. I am 48 years old and I dyed my hair "rose gold" and I look at myself in the mirror and I just fucking love it. This is what people are talking about when they talk about self care. Do that thing that makes you feel better. Dye your hair, take a walk, engage in some friendly chit chat with someone in line at the grocery. Eat chocolate. Watch Game of Thrones or endless repeats of Parks and Rec. Argue with someone over who the best Chris is (it's Pine. Chris Pine is the best Chris). Don't deny yourself the joy in life just because we're in dark times. Indulge more. Refuse to be scared. Deny terror its power. Laugh at the ridiculous. Hug the folks you love. Look the way you want to look. Happy Warriors make for change. Weirdos and misfits will lead the resistance.
A few years ago, I'd have told you I was too old to have pink hair. But, fuck that noise. It makes me happy. It puts a smile on my face and some energy in my step. And so I am a pink-haired, middle-aged happy warrior.
And I just love it.