I haven't much felt like blogging for the last week or so. In part its been because I've been working on a paper for uni and some pretty hefty stuff at work, so when the day is done the last thing I want to do is write, but its also been because I feel a little emotional after last weekend's events in London and needed some time to process things.
I like to think I'm a pretty resilient person, defiant in the face of the attacks my city has faced over the years, never letting the bastards get me down and (in the words of Richard Angell) going out of my way to flirt with even more handsome men and drink even more gin. However, this time I feel more shaken than I expected. There are a few articles flying around which talk about this feeling far more elegantly than I ever could, and I particularly like this one from The Guardian and this one from The Pool. I think that culturally the British interpret defiance as having a stiff upper lip, getting on with life and never giving away a hint of how an incident might have affected you. I wonder if this could be damaging, if it could lead to people suppressing hurt and fear in a way that is unhealthy. I'm not an expert on this, but I do want to say that it is ok not to be ok, and that you can still be defiant even if you feel scared. If you are finding recent events difficult to deal with there are lots of services that can help, and you can find more details here.
One Monday, while my office digested the weekend's events, I ended up chatting with a colleague about how we make sure we have the right skills in the (hopefully unlikely) event of getting caught up in an incident. It was a really interesting conversation, and of course the Police's advice from Saturday night rang in our ear, but we all also agreed that basic life saving skills would be useful. A quick search and I came across CitizenAID, a great app which walks ordinary people through how to handle the immediate aftermath of an incident and keep people alive until the emergency services arrive. In major trauma the first minutes make a difference, and I feel much better knowing what to do, there is something reassuring about being prepared, but I really hope I never (ever) have to use those skills.
We live in uncertain times. It's ok when the future is hazy to be a little scared, but never let it hold you back.