Tonight, more than any other time since I first saw the results of the presidential election, I seriously considered leaving the United States. I contemplated going somewhere else - anywhere else. Maybe it'd be an adventure. Maybe it'd involve backpacking. Absolutely, it would include storytelling. But with just an Irish song in my head and a pain in my gut dictating my brain at that moment, I was more than half-tempted to call up a friend, tell him to pack his bags, and have him join me and my wife (were I able to convince her to accompany me) on the next flight out.
I talked about how I felt with my wife when she came home from a performance. It was an emotional conversation: We both agreed that we fight a mental tug-of-war between being adventurous and being homebodies, and we both want a place to return to after traveling. My wife does not like traveling for prolonged periods of time, but I could feel my throat tighten when she told me that if I felt like I had to go somewhere, then she would let me go, knowing that if it was meant to be, I would come back.
Cue the tears. I lost it right then and there, in my wife's arms. I married this woman because I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, and I had promised to have a home and family with her. I told her that if I were to go anywhere, I wanted her beside me. It was truly a moment when I fully evaluated my priorities once again, despite any regrets I may have had when I was younger, be it toward things I had done that I wish I hadn't, or things I had never done but wish that I had. While I knew I would always question what I wanted to do with my life or whether or not I just wanted to drop everything and explore, I understood the core of my identity. I am not myself without her.
Of course, I'm not leaving. I'm not going anywhere, not unless I feel like I absolutely have to. Not unless I feel like the fight will never be won.
It is amazing, though, how scared I truly am of my future. I'm honestly glad I don't have a lot of die-hard fanatics following my blog - you know, the ones who scream to be understood and demand compassion while verbally eviscerating you and threatening your life (that's the opposite of productive, folks). This way, I can simply vent about the feelings going on in my head.
This month has seriously fucked with my capacity to write, people. Not even my worst anxiety spells have paralyzed me so much. It's almost unbearable.
Yes, yesterday I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Yes, I am thankful for what I have and who I have in my life. I'm thankful that my wedding could be the shining gold nugget in the massive pile of manure that is 2016. I'm thankful that I live in a state where I feel safe and loved.
But to just sit in my bubble hogging my gratitude isn't cutting it. There's too much at stake. Violence toward minorities. Native Americans once again being subjected to hatred on their own land. My own friends fearing for their own safety.
And yet, here I am, thinking about running away again.
People tell me I'm brave. I want to believe them. Now, I'm not so sure.
Only time will tell.
Have a great night and a great weekend, everyone.