This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.
Keep a journal, for the sake of your future self.
When the Trump administration is over–and really, it will end–you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll forget what life was like. You’ll question whether things were that tense, or that intense. You will struggle to remember what it was like to have three to five bombshell news stories to break in one day and have that be normal. You will forget what it’s like to feel like you’re living in a Dom Delillo novel. (We had been living in a bad John LeCarré novel until a young woman named Reality Leigh Winner was arrested for leaking documents. That’s when we shifted to living in a Dom Delillo novel.)
Anyway. You’ll forget what life was like because, to some extent, you will want to, and you will need to. Living under Trump is goddamn exhausting. When it ends, you’ll need to reassign a whole mess of neurons just to give them a much-deserved rest (if you don’t, they might short out on you, so yes, please, do rest your battered brain when the time comes).
But once you’ve had a chance to heal, you’ll need to periodically remind yourself what living under Trump was like. That’s where your journal comes in. If you’re not already keeping one, please start. It can be on paper, or online. It can be public or private. But commit to writing a dated entry at least once a week.
And when you do, try to note just how weird and screwed up these times are. Be honest about what you’re seeing and feeling, and why. Name your emotions, and describe them in detail. Write exactly as much as you need to write and no more, whether it’s two sentences or two chapters’ worth of observations. Refine it if you must, but it’s best if you just disgorge your thoughts and let them stand, and keep doing it, consistently.
Writing this journal will help your future self remember what this time was like, and it will revive your passion to resist when we no longer feel the need to capitalize the first letter of that word.
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