“Don’t take things so personally”, a phrase I’ve told myself over and over and even have been told by others.
But here’s the thing, some things are personal. Even if you may not see it that way, they are. When people you’ve known your whole life, and who you thought cared about you, decide that a virus that could kill you isn’t real and just keep living life like nothing is wrong, that’s personal. That’s essentially saying “Well Jackie, you don’t really mean anything to us and we don’t care if you die. Living our lives is much more important” and “we also don’t care that you’ve been holed up in the house for almost 9 months now because people acting like we are have made the death rate go through the roof.”
COVID by default is personal, not even just in how it relates to me. How we choose to handle it, the decisions we make, and how safe we choose to be affects other people. The more we go out and the more people we see, the more the virus spreads. The 250,000 people that have now died are a testament to that. You don’t have to care about your own life, but pretending like what you do only affects you is something those of us who are being safe take very personally.
When our soon to be departing president made fun of a disabled reporter on TV, that was personal for anyone living with a disability. When you’ve been teased or made fun of most of your life because of something you didn’t choose and then you see someone who is supposed to be leading the country doing what every school bully did, that’s personal. When people made excuses for it and told me I was misinterpreting it, that was personal (also gaslighting like I talked about in my last post).
There’s no doubt I see things through the lens of living with a disability. How could I not? And yes I do take some things too personally and only make myself miserable by doing so. But there are some things in life that can’t and shouldn’t be taken as anything but personal.
Wishing everyone a safe and healthy holiday season ❤