So, I have been having a bit of an existential crisis.
I’d like to think of myself as an expressive and opinionated person. I (used to) derive a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in the act of communicating my thoughts.
Like many, for the past several years a good deal of my attention and creative output has been focused on the state of the political and economic divide that our nation currently faces. I am confident in my beliefs and my ability to articulate my positions. I have never minded the debates, nor am I deterred by the sometimes overheated rhetoric that these debates inspire. I recognize that I have a vested interest in future of this nation and that a favorable outcome will only occur if I (we) participate in this thing we (erroneously) term our ‘democracy.’
Lately, I have found myself feeling great distress and anxiety when reading the day’s news. Too many things anger me. Too many things sadden me. Too many things disappoint me. Too many things just plain scare me. Even the good news doesn’t inspire me.
I realize that these are very trying times and that these feelings are normal. I also realize that I am likely suffering from information overload. The 24/7 news cycle provides a little too much information for one to process. I have positioned myself to receive a torrent of up-to-the-second information. From my computer. From my iphone (during those precious few moments that I am away from a computer). From the TV at home. From the Radio. And on and on.
But why am I having such strong emotional reactions all of a sudden? My creative output has ground to a halt. I never had these feelings during the incredibly tense 2008 presidential campaign or the town-hall summer of hate in 2009, or during the 2010 mid-term elections. What has gripped me so strongly that I am driven to distraction? What makes me want to withdraw and disassociate myself from the whole process?
And most importantly, why can’t I go about my life, like so many others seem to do, without being so effected?