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IN A FUNK

Updated: Aug 8, 2020

It’s 7:48 on a Tuesday night, and the light coming through the trees is soft and warm. It’s the first time all day I’ve really smiled. I’m exhausted. I’m overwhelmed. I’m sad. And somehow laying in the grass, watching the clouds go by is exactly what I needed.

Have you ever been in a funk?

Urban Dictionary (scholarly source - I know), defines it as: “A state of undesirable emotions or feeling out-of-sorts. The reasons for being in a "funk" usually remain unknown by the victim and they may have a difficult time getting rid of it. A funk may last a few hours or up to several weeks at a time.”

Nailed it. I get in funks sometimes. I despise them, and I end up getting ridiculously frustrated with myself. I’m lazy, sad, uninspired, and anxious. And it's a vicious cycle. I’m sad because I’m lazy and being sad makes me anxious which prohibits me from being creative and productive. Undesirable, indeed. I get so frustrated with day to day tasks and overwhelmed with life that I fall into a horrible state of mental wellbeing, which ultimately affects my physical wellbeing. I think everyone has bad days, and that’s understandable. Nobody is capable of being at their best 100% of the time, and if they are – they’re lying. I classify it as a funk when it lasts for more than about a week, and this one has been long.

I’ve got a lot on my plate right now. But that’s not unusual, I’m used to (and quite enjoy) being busy, and I’ve learned how to handle it. I have two jobs, summer classes, and a couple different positions outside of school that occupy pretty much every hour of the day. I realized when I stopped taking care of myself, because I've been consumed by the big picture.

Besides daily life, I'm overwhelmed by the state of the world right now. In the last month, I’ve felt more anger, sadness and even hope towards humanity than I ever have before. Between a global pandemic and the largest civil rights movement in history, the world is both frightening and moving at the same time. The Black Lives Matter movement has changed my perspective on everything. I am continually learning and unlearning everything I have ever known. I grew up in a progressive and open-minded house. But that doesn't take away the fact that I have unquestionable white privilege, and that I have a voice that I can use to show unwavering support to POC. I’ll never understand fully. But I can do everything in my power to educate myself about the complex system of social and political levers that have been designed to work for white people at the expense of others. And do everything in my power to work towards sustainable change.

I’m having a hard time separating the tasks that consume my days, with the bigger picture of the direction the world is going in. I can’t help but have a sense of impending doom. If nothing else, 2020 has illuminated the world’s systemic flaws. Economic and cultural exploitation, blatant racism and our inherently defective healthcare and justice systems – to name a few. At this moment in history, we have to demand better.

I think discomfort, pain and fear are the driving agents of change. Maybe this year will finally force us to grow. A year that screams so loud, it wakes us up from ignorant comfort. A year we finally accept the need for change, and build a system that values humanity.

We need to declare change. Work for change. Be the change.

In the last three months, I’ve seen the world come together in the most beautiful and inspiring way, and I know we’ll be the generation that forces a difference.

I guess I’ve realized I’m allowed to be exhausted. You’re allowed to be exhausted. The world is heavy right now. I’m going to keep going to work, and doing my homework. I’m going to keep educating myself on systemic racism, and amplifying black and indigenous voices. I’m going to continue to act local for global change.

And I’m also going to keep looking up to watch the clouds go by, so I can take a deep breath every so often and see the bigger picture.

- Iz

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