Hey there reader.

I know I haven't written on this blog for awhile, but with everything that's happened this past week (it's only been less than a week really) I am having trouble processing a lot of thoughts and emotions. I believe in talk therapy and how just talking about your feelings can really help. Though lately, not just in the past few days but perhaps even the past few years, I am struggling with that idea. Like I used to crave being able to talk about things, but now even though I have found people I feel like I can talk to about these struggles that I'm having, talking doesn't seem to help.

And that's mainly because, I can't really talk properly with all the feelings of sadness, anger, grief just making it even hard to breathe. The words are not coming out right and it just leaves me feeling drained, not relieved.

So in an effort to find some level of catharsis, I naturally gravitated to this blog and to writing because, even though I don't write as often as I would like, this blog used to be such a greatly therapeutic place for me to write and process my thoughts and feelings. Just writing this post, which is only a prelude to the enormous volume of things I have to say, I making me feel better.

Just to keep everything organized, here is a list of things that I will purposely take some time to write about, perhaps in separate posts, and in no particular order:

1. Bo Burnham's Make Happy. I saw this Friday night, the day before the weekend of the shootings happened and hit me. It's something I want to fangirl about, but I feel like it's not appropriate right now for me to do that. But I feel like having everything happen right after I watched Make Happy kind of added to all the complicated feelings and reactions I had, because it is a very wonderful comedy special, that is so deep and so meaningful that it really made me question a lot of things, including things that the shootings made me realize and feel and think about.

2. Christina Grimmie's shooting. Christina Grimmie was an amazing musician who posted videos of her singing and doing covers on Youtube where she gained a considerable amount of recognition for. Hearing this news was very personal, not just because I was a huge fan of Grimmie and felt her death was so senseless and unnecessary and even avoidable but also because of my connection to Youtube and the Youtube community and culture right now is so strong, it felt like a symbolic attack on something that I loved and just injected so much fear and sadness into the community. Not only did I have to grieve personally, I had to grieve with the community.

3. The Orlando shooting that happened just the day after the news of Christina's death. I was still very affected and raw from Grimmie's death and when I first heard about the news I threw my hands up in the air and was like, nope. I can't deal with this right now. At first I didn't not realize that it was a gay nightclub that was targeted and when I did read up about it and saw that, it broke my heart. Because not only did this attack happen to a group of people I again feel such a strong connection too, the LGBT+ community, the media and even politicians were reacting and framing it in a way that was far from the point, overlooked the whole idea that it was first and foremost, a hate crime. And that kind of erasure just made me not just sad, but so so mad.

4. Me grappling with the fact that I am so affected by all of these things, which happened all at the same time and sort of build on my feelings of each individual thing, and not understand why. Why am I so affected by this, why am I so sad, why am I crying so much? I fully realize that everyone is allowed to deal with things and grieve in your own way, but personally I feel like I'm perhaps being too sad and grieving too much without proper reason, or rather for reasons that are misguided. Also my whole 'wannabe American' complex which I was realizing and thinking about way before the shootings and just feeding off of those personal existential crises in a way that is just perpetuating this cycle of negative feelings. And also way to be a hypocrite and make something terrible that happened to other people somehow about me.

5. A lot of Youtubers and people I follow online have responded to the shootings and a lot of those responses are still trickling in, and how raw and full of hurt these reactions are. Tyler Oakley's video and Hannah Hart's videos are some that I want to focus on, especially since they come from an LGBT perspective. Also, there's not just sadness but also a lot of anger. An agreement that we should all be fed up with this. Mass shootings are not new to the US. I only realized this recently but they stretch back to the 1990s with the Columbine shooting. This has gone on far too long and the only reason that it is still going on is that we are allowing it to happen. And I am glad that people with a following like Tyler Oakley, Hannah Hart, and so many other creators are using their platform to not just spread awareness but to take concrete action. So glad.

6. I'm not sure if this is something I can coherently write about because it is abstract and has to do with the relationship between happiness and sadness and how those things are not mutually exclusive. Like even as these shooting are very recent, another thing that was going on in the world was E3, the gaming convention and although I did not feel the need to follow the updates of the convention closely, I did catch myself up on it and get excited about everything. And then just a few minutes later I see an update about the Orlando shooting investigation. And also me getting very excited about adorably designed pocket tees, which I figure is partly a coping mechanism. The dissonance was there and I was very aware about it and just didn't know how to feel or what to do about it.

Yeah. Honestly my mental health has taken a bit of a dip since all of this has happened, but I am very proud of myself for being able to not let the feelings consume me too much to the point that I don't take care of myself. I put myself as a priority and though everything still feels very painful and raw, I feel like I am working through it and not avoiding it, which is progress, I know it is. I certainly doesn't feel that way, but I know it is.

Thanks for reading. Hopefully by tomorrow, I'll get these thoughts out soon.

--Karin Novelia, working through some things


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