Kurti: Thrifted (Fabindia) — Pants: Old Navy — Shoes: Golden Ponies — Necklace: Hand-me-down — Earrings: Lia Sophia
Here’s a thing: I wrote an Alternate History!
See, my friend Kate Schapira has a project called Climate Anxiety Counseling, wherein she sets up a booth and talks to people in her town of Providence, RI about their anxieties, climate-centered or otherwise. She writes their thoughts down and then composes Alternate Histories to explore how we might prioritize things differently in our world to alleviate these anxieties.
They’re lovely little pieces of fiction–this is one of my favorites–and as someone who struggles with a lot of anxiety in relation to climate change, I’ve found reading her work very helpful. The Alternate Histories look at people frankly but with optimism, seeing how we can engage with each other and the spaces we live in.
So, with all that as introduction, Kate invited me to participate in a phase of the project where guests write Alternate Histories of their own, and even though I was scared (of thinking about climate change, of doing a substandard job, of missing my self-imposed deadline), I accepted.
I’ll be honest–I struggled to work on my piece because of the physical symptoms my anxiety has. I spent a lot of time sitting at my computer with my heart racing and hands shaking as I tried to breathe evenly. I wanted to avoid, avoid, avoid, but I managed to sit with the feeling and write, and now I have an Alternate History to share with you! The climate anxiety counseling session it’s a response to hit very close to home, so it feels pretty personal.
I appreciate how Kate and her work have challenged me to face something I have a very real fear of, and encouraged me to think about reorganizing my life. She writes thoughtfully, generously, and with a clear head, and as she’s also a poet, her way of expressing ideas feels both beautiful and like truth. There’s a core there that truly believes we can take care of each other and steward the planet, if we’re willing to work.
Go check out Climate Anxieties Counseling. It may be challenging, but it’s the kind of challenge that helps you level up.