Keeping Optimistic

So I had an idea for this post today, and then realized that I’d already written about my goals for this year, some two weeks ago.


So instead I’m going to talk about something similar and see what goes from there. Because one of the most prevalent things I’ve noticed in my little sphere of the world is that hopelessness is one of the top feelings around. And I don’t much care for that, no matter how easy it is to fall into.

For a lot of people, this year is going to be a scary one. This most recent presidential election has been one of the most divisive and angry ones in who knows how long, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get much better. (To be fair, I’m not sure if the election had gone the other way, it would be any better.) But since I have found myself surrounded by a large group of LGBTQIA+ people (hm I wonder why) there is a lot of tension. A lot of despair. A lot of giving up, and a lot of lip service to not do exactly that. But it’s hard, and I understand that it’s hard. When you’re looking at a mountain and the options are “climb” or “die,” suddenly the latter seems like it might be a whole lot simpler.

But here’s the problem with that.

The mountain isn’t better than any of us. No matter what that mountain may be–big or small, political or personal–we’re always better than the mountain. We can spend the whole year climbing to realize about a quarter of the way up that there’s a pass around that we can go through. And taking that pass is fine! If we hadn’t climbed that fourth of the way up, we never would have found it. The only way we lose is if we don’t climb.

I’m suddenly reminded of the passage over Caradhras in Lord of the Rings. (That’s the big snowy mountain they try climbing before they get to Moria.) That was the easiest and safest route in the beginning. It wasn’t going to be fun, and it was definitely challenging, but it was better than the alternative. But when it turned out that no, this was not going to be a better idea, they changed course and headed through the mithril mines in Moria instead.

And met a Balrog. (Damn you dwarves for delving too greedily and too deep.) And lost Gandalf. And a bunch of other bad things. But they got through. They kept fighting.

That’s what 2017 is, to me. This is our passage through Moria. We tried going over Caradhras, and it just wasn’t gonna happen. Too much was getting in our way. So down into Moria we go, and who knows what kinds of monsters are waiting for us. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be scary. It’s totally uncertain. And yes, we may lose some people to the Balrog like Gandalf the Grey.

But we’ll come out the other side. We’ll keep heading to Lothlorien. And hey, maybe we’ll even get a Galadriel to see as well. Who knows.

But the end game is that yes, we will get out the other end–but only if we keep fighting. Only if we keep resisting everything that wants to push us down. Everyone’s going to have something. We lost a great deal of icons this past year; some people will still be reeling from those. Many lost family, more lost friends. There was a dramatic election. There’s a lot of change happening, and change always makes things messy. And there are going to be plenty of times when we look at the world and go “you know what? this is really not what I’m feeling today” and we’ll want to go back to bed and pull up the covers and not look out again until a year or four have passed.

But we can’t. We have to keep going.

Fly, you fools.

We can’t give up now, not just because it got hard. I’ve been spending way too much of my life doing that. It’s time to stand and fight. It’s time to resist.

It’s time to fly.


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