Blown Awayby Brie Stimson September 23, 2017
This year has been a whirlwind. Both personally and in the world as a whole it’s been a little crazy. Perhaps it seems that way to me because I’ve been following the news more closely than I used to. Perhaps it’s because with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and every other hub of narcissism, we know everything that happens in the world the instant it happens. Imagine if people had tweeted during World War II or Lincoln’s assassination or the French Revolution. Everything probably would have seemed more intense. (I cannot believe Marie Antoinette is wearing that dress!! #don’tlethereatcake #badpouf #guillotine)
Nevertheless, I still contend 2017 was a humdinger. First there was about every natural disaster known to man, and each one seems to have been the worst of its kind that’s ever existed. As I write this, Florida and the Caribbean are just beginning to recover from Hurricane Irma’s Category 5 winds. The eerie images of packed freeways, deserted city streets and sold out flights splashed across CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, remind me of scenes from a movie where people are trying to escape the aliens – except this is real.
To me, last year’s “I want to hide under the covers forever” election set up this year with a bad taste in America’s collective mouth. Whether you love President Trump or you can’t stand him, you probably went into this year feeling a bit sore about something.
Trump’s now been in office for 10 months, and boy is there a lot to unpack. Not much major legislation has happened yet (most notably health care repeal’s spectacular failure in the Senate), but that doesn’t mean the administration hasn’t gotten anything done. Conservative judge Neil Gorsuch was appointed to the Supreme Court, border apprehensions and deportations are up and he has rolled back several Obama-era policies, including the Paris Climate Agreement, allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military and most recently he decided to end DACA. I also see “now hiring” signs in just about every shop I go into, which likely means the economy is doing well.
Outside of politics, the world’s still crazy. Aside from Irma, Houston has just started to take stock of the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Lidia battered the Baja peninsula a couple of weeks ago and Hurricanes Katia and Jose are waiting in the wings of the Atlantic. The La Tuna fire in LA and the other brush fires in Southern California (as well as other parts of the U.S.) have once again ravaged our land. Not to mention the 8.1-magnitude earthquake that’s killed nearly 100 people in southern Mexico. It wouldn’t take much for the overly imaginative to think the world is ending. If locusts descend from the sky I’m going to get worried – although I’m pretty sure that may have already happened somewhere this year. Yes, some of this is “normal”, but some of this is just bonkers.
Finally, in my own personal life, this year has been one of change. I became an aunt for the first time last January, and now my brother, his wife, baby Leah and dachshund Ellie are planning to leave sunny San Diego for the intrigue of Washington, D.C. after being my only family in Southern California for the last six years. And lastly, my promotion from assistant editor to editor was somewhat of a surprise, a welcome surprise, but a surprise nonetheless. And as I stare at the emails on my computer and think about the months ahead (fall and winter are my favorite time of year), I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.