Keri-Anne and I came down to Seattle for a girls mid-week working getaway (from the everday) and we walked out of our hotel to go for a much deserved dinner out and smack downtown was thousands of people, police everywhere – on bikes, on horses, in cars. Packing machine guns and riot gear. Yes, I said machine guns. *pause* Yes, I said machine guns. Wow, even recalling this I am experiencing the physical sensations. While most people would not call me sensitive, I have learned that I am incredibly sensitive to certain situations. It’s like I can feel the energy. I often describe that I can smell it in the air before it happens. There’s just the feeling that “fuck – something is about to go down here and I need to get the hell out.” This is the 3rd riot style circumstance I have found myself in. First time was in 1994 following Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals in which the Vancouver Canucks lost to the New York Rangers, 2nd time was in 2011 when the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins (apparantly we get very anger when we lose hockey games ~ someone should teach us how to play nice), and now in 2013 at May Days. Trust me, I’m not 19 years old anymore, I know when shit is about to go down and I’m not gonna wait around to get pepper sprayed to see if I should listen to my instincts. I’m getting the hell out. I remember walking down Richards street away from the riots in 2011, heading home after the disappointing loss and masses of people walking towards the chaos. Primarily teenagers and early 20-somethings and I wanted to tell them to turn around. But they are young and need to live and experience their own lives and learn their own paths and make their own choices.
It’s not just riots, media sensationalism kills my sensitivity. 1997 Princes Di accident and subsequent death – 3 days home glued to the TV crying, Columbine High School shooting in 1999 – on the internet every 10 minutes at work unable to focus on anything else, and then in 2001 ofcourse 9-11 happened – at home 9 months pregnant, glued to the TV crying watching planes crashing into buildings, wondering about the future for my unborn child, weeping for all of us who suffered that day. There have been many more tragic events in the last decade, but I again learnt about what is good for me. The recent tragedy of Sandy Hook elementary school could have easily torn me apart for days, requiring days and weeks of repairing my broken heart, but I couldn’t do it. Obviously I heard about it – with social media, how could I not? But I limited my watching time. Choosing instead to wait until stories were confirmed and media stories were more factual and less sensationalized. I instead spent the time to care for myself, going for walks, hugging my beautifully safe daughter, volunteering, writing, working. Does it change the enormity? Never! Does it change the tragedy Never! Did it save my heart break? A little. Probably a lot.
I know me. I know what I can handle. I know when I need to trust my sensitivity and get the fuck out!