THINGS I'M AFRAID TO SAY IN PUBLIC
Inspired by this Twitter conversation, I thought I'd start being less afraid of who I am and how I think and what I think. I need to come to terms with the fact that not everyone will like me, and there is nothing I can do about it. The typical need of a survivor is always to please others; I'm learning to shed it. The violence in my childhood taught me to keep my head down and to be quiet, but I'm not a child anymore, and unless I stop being afraid and be me, I won't be happy.
However, before you read any further, let me preface by stating that this post is not meant to offend or hurt anyone and is solely an expression of my feelings, which is what keeps me sane and stops me from sliding into depression. Writing out my feelings keeps me happy. And if I'm not happy, I can't make those around me happy, and then it no longer matters what happens in the world because I no longer want to be in it, and I'm not going that route. Been there, done that, thanks no.
This post might look pathetically laughable against the background of impending fascism in America under Trump's heavy hand, when writers are trying to do all they can to stop it, by signing petitions and speaking and asking for donations and more. I may not sound as outraged about what's facing us in the next four years simply because I'm desensitized to it. I grew up with it in Soviet Union and learned to keep living in spite of it. It doesn't mean I'm not outraged and upset and anxious and afraid like everyone else, especially minorities, women, people of color, LGBT people, and immigrants. I am. I'm a woman and a minority and an immigrant. But I also found that spending time online on social media (mostly Twitter) and reading news gives me such anxiety that I can't function. I have shrunk back from it for that reason. I was very upset about this for a long time, until I realized that I'm doing my part too. My contribution to world peace and democracy and love is the celebration of humanity against all odds, loving instead of hating, creating instead of destroying, understanding instead of judging—by writing these posts here and by writing my books—though I still slip and err, so I pick myself up and try to do better.
Well then, here goes. The reasons I'm very excited to write ZHANNA (finally being able to tell you after being afraid for so long made me jump up and down and grin from ear to ear):