Stop

That, up there, is my 9th donation, which means in 16 weeks time (or thereabouts) I will have earned my first badge. That’s not why I came here, I should add, it’s only the gamer in me that craves these trinkets: a physical reminder of what has been given in return for that elusive, ephemeral piece of beauty. Potentially, that’s 30 lives saved.

That’s why we have to keep going forward.

I am tired. It is a peculiar combination of mental exhaustion from the last week, plus the fatigue hit I always get post-donation. Today, therefore, is rest, unless energy returns today for a late walk. As I sit here, attempting to find the braincells required to make it through to teatime, I realise just how little I truly know about the world.

However prepared you think you are for trauma, it’s never enough. Last night, at donation, I asked my phlebotomist when she really grasped that the World had changed: she told me about the meeting where all the staff were told that if they or any of their family had underlying health issues, it was time they went home and stayed there.

However much you think you’re ready, a part of you never is.

A lot of people this morning are waking up to the reality that their life isn’t nearly as simple as it was yesterday, last week, last month, 2019… it doesn’t matter. Knowledge is the key to all of this, like it or not. Even if you spend an entire lifetime pretending you’ve got life sussed, death will change all of that. This is the inevitability of mortality. You don’t get to win at everything.

When the people you idolised and adored let you down, and some always will, it is not your fault. You are a product of your heroes, they will all mould and shape you in different ways, and if you choose not to learn from their mistakes, that is also your choice. However, watching famous people look like idiots is the game we all play on Twitter, every day. Judgment’s almost encouraged now, because otherwise you can’t be seen to have publicly learnt the lesson they haven’t.

Kindness is easily forgotten in the clamour to stay relevant.

This is what we are now: bouncing from one moment to another, largely uncaring of the bigger consequences as long as our own outrage/sympathy/empathy is assuaged. On National Empathy Day, using Twitter as a way to elicit sympathy is not a good look. We see you, white people. Don’t do that. It was never a smart idea before.

Look to yourselves before you start criticising anybody else.