How to Continue Living Your Life When All of This is Happening

Even if you feel guilty.

My heart was a rock in my chest yesterday. It still is.

Like everyone, I’m spending more time than usual on social media, watching protest footage, wondering what else I can do but sign petitions and donate money.

It’s difficult to feel good. You can’t help but feel guilty for laughing, or working, or having a meal with your family.

I’ve never lost someone close to me. Judy Blume once shared, in her MasterClass, a moment she’ll never forget after her dad died. It was the day of the funeral, and everyone was back at her home.

She was sad, and then all of a sudden, she was hungry. She stood there thinking, “How can I be hungry on a day like this?”

We didn’t know George Floyd personally, but that’s how we all feel. How can we live on a day like this?

Because it’s not only about his death — it’s about all of their deaths.

Their murders.

Photo by NPR

We’re heartbroken, and we’re angry, and we’re frustrated, and we’re confused.

How can we continue to live our lives normally? That’s what I keep asking myself because, eventually, we have to.

George Floyd died, but I still have to write. I still have to find a way to make my dreams come true. And how selfish I feel because of it.

That’s not his fault. I’m not blaming the victim. How do we live when black people are being murdered by the very people who are supposed to protect them? When there’s so much work to do?

I wish there were a step-by-step guide, but the truth is, you just do it.

It’ll be hard, and you’ll feel like an asshole, but you don’t have another choice.

You just sit down and try to focus on your work. You sit down and read. You stand up and start working out. You have a meal, and laugh, and smile, and allow your life to feel a little lighter.

But you never forget.

You keep George Floyd, and everyone else whose been killed, in mind. You remember the injustice that the black community still has to face.

You continue to educate yourself and figure out how to be better. You continue to shop from black-owned businesses, and read books by black authors, and stand up when you see injustice.

And yes, you take out your phone and start recording when you see a cop with a black person. Every time.

We’re all different, but we’re all the same. We all want love and support, and it’s our job to give that to one another.

I know you feel guilty, but you can’t let the guilt eat you alive. If you give it a chance, it will. If you don’t give yourself space to breathe, your heavy heart will drag you down.

You can’t help people and try to make the world a better place if you’re caught up in your own feelings. If you don’t take care of yourself first, how are you going to take care of other people?

Allow yourself a moment of peace. Then, live your life — that can mean, continuing to fight.

Maybe school and work seem irrelevant, but you’re still here. And it’s unfair that all of those people aren’t, but we honor the dead by continuing to live.

I’ll say it one more time: Live your life, but never forget. Every day, be a little better than you were yesterday.

Be good. Be kind. Stand up for people, and stand up for yourself. Spread love. Learn. It matters.

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