To me, today is still 2016, the calendar-stretching capstone on a very, VERY tough year. The space-time continuum has been feeling a bit out of whack, after all.
There are political thinkers far more nuanced than I am, and there are activists who have made it their life's work to organize in the face of seemingly insurmountable situations.
Read what those people are saying, and join them in the places they're coming together.
And take heart. No, seriously.
Because it's the only industry I know, I'm going to relate this to publishing. After (*cough SYMBOLIC AMOUNT OF TIME*) eight years working on novels, and on trying to find an agent willing to champion them, I was starting to feel incredibly discouraged. I thought I was doing everything right--I was practicing my craft, finding readers to help me improve finished manuscripts, studying the format of query letters and the lists of dream agents so my overtures had a chance of succeeding.
But I wasn't succeeding.
I could have given up. Admitted defeat. Assumed this just wasn't a thing I was going to get past.
Instead I did something different. I signed up for an (*expensive*) craft conference, joined an industry group and started reaching out, and started a regular critique group, one where we all held each other accountable throughout the entire draft.
I didn't get published overnight. But within a couple years of trying a new way, I finally cleared the seemingly insurmountable hurdles I'd spent eight years stubbornly tripping over.
That situation is NOT this situation. This situation is much, much more important. So much more important that I hope you realize I'm aware of how paltry my publishing metaphor is in comparison.
But there's still a lesson there: when things seem like they're never going to change, that they're insurmountably, "I may as well give up" bad, you CAN still change the outcome.
But first you have to change your approach.
I've never been a marcher: I'm doing it this weekend.
I've never gotten political online: I have to now.
I've never woken up every day and sought out tangible actions I can take on, actions other folks like me feel are most likely to be effective that day. Hell, half those actions involve actually making a phone call to a stranger, something I find mildly terrifying, but I'm still doing it.
Things feel worse than they ever have. And the shock has worn off enough that it's hard to imagine anything we can do can change the horrorshow on the way. It's hard not to feel impotent, discouraged, like you might as well just give up.
Because let's face it head-on: this is not just a theory anymore, it's literally moving in today. It feels like we've already failed.
But we can't give up, and we can't accept that failure. Today, take care of yourself in whatever way you need to. But tomorrow, or Monday morning, or next week, (or whenever you're ready to emerge again) be ready to fight. Just because the pain has become something we're all used to, a dull, constant ache instead of a gut-wrenching stab, that doesn't mean it's any less important, that it needs any less attention from us.
And be willing to change your pattern. If something is worth fighting for, it's worth getting outside your comfort zone for.