Oped, Coronavirus, Climate Change, Strike, Student Debt, Joy

Oped, Coronavirus

How to Enjoy Life at the End of the World

It might not be easy, but it's possible.

7/30/2021 12:05:00 AM

OpEd: 'When I embrace the reality of our earthly rapture, instead of feeling powerless, I recognize my own power to survive, fight, and still find joy.'

It might not be easy, but it's possible.

bigthing. I grieve for this world, for what’s already been lost and what has yet to be lost. But grief is more complicated than pure sorrow.Consider the work of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, who was the first to classify denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance as a process. Often referred to as the five stages of grief, this framework is also apt for considering the current state of the world. For my purposes, the most important detail is that acceptance is

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often consideredthe final stage, and there’s a reason for that: It is the part of the process that lets us incorporate death and grief into our lives, which is essential in this time of pandemic and extreme climate events. It can give us space to move on from or even be motivated by these experiences instead of being controlled by other stages like denial, depression, and bargaining.

This is the crux of my postapocalyptic mindset. It is, in a sense, an embrace of nihilism: Everything is meaningless because the world is ending. But through that nothingness comes a possibility for anoptimisticnihilism: Because the world is ending and everything is meaningless, I have the power to assign meaning to things, to create my own subjective, cosmological framework for the universe and live my life by the values I hold dear, not the ones I’ve been told to. I can fix something or cook something or read something, learning and practicing skills that keep me grounded and bring joy into my life. headtopics.com

I used to get jealous of people who seemed more capable of enjoying life. But now, I’ve learned that joy is out there. Sometimes, I just have to create it myself. Even as the water’s rising, we’ll need reasons to keep smiling. The world can be a dark place, but if you can learn to start a fire, you can make a little light.

Read more: Teen Vogue »

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