Should I feel guilty for being happy and joyfull?
I am oddly conflicted with how I feel these days. On the one hand, there is, of course, the feeling of dread, disgust, and anger at the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There is joy, excitement, and the feeling my life hasn't been better in a decade.
In the Netherlands, the lockdown measures have mostly been lifted, giving the feeling we've regained our freedom. Last week we had Carnaval, an annual feast that lasts from Friday-Tuesday in which half the country dresses up silly, dances around, and gets drunk and I had an outstanding time. The end of measures also allows my favorite indoor hardcore house party to be held for the first time in two years.
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Masters of Hardcore is a party that usually is held annually and it is held the Saturday before or after my birthday, which is the 23rd of March. I can hardly describe the excitement I feel knowing that we will get to party to the beats of DJ's like Angerfist, Miss K8, Darkraver, DJ Paul, Pavo, Lady Dana, and more. Eight different areas, each with their own theme of which Old School, my favorite, is one. 20.000 Gabbers will attend and it is going to be ridiculously exceptional! Since I'm mobile again having my scooter to get around I've been expanding my social circle over the past year and I'm almost at a point where i can say I've got more to live for than the 7 hours per week in which I have my Son with me.
On more serious sides there is also cause for enthusiasm. I've got the offer to do a couple of studies and get certified for Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure. That's going to improve my chances of getting a steady job in IT, which is where I belong. I'm fearful to get my hopes up, of course, but I do catch myself dreaming juuust a little bit every now and then.
The debt situation is actually moving forward, albeit slowly, and half of the debts have been paid off now. And even though the moratorium on seizure by debt collectors has run out I've heard nothing from them until now. The government sent me an official, signed by prime minister Rutte himself, an apology for violating my rights and treating me like a fraudulent criminal. Though a hypocritically cheap gesture coming from a man with a history of blatant lies (oh no, he remembers the facts differently) I still must admit that the proof of their acknowledgment doing me injustice feels a little bit good.
Besides this, there are other uplifting little things that happened the past few days/weeks that add to the overall uplifting feelings. Like the probability, I'll be going to Dominator festival (camping 2 days) this June. There are also some side hustles as I call them that promise to allow me some more wiggle room in my budget soon.
On the other hand, the shit is hitting the fan across the world, but especially in Ukraine. I've been saying for years that NATO's blatant disregard for Putin's objections to the expansion of NATO would at some point come to a confrontation, so I was not surprised when he started to mass troops at the border. Neither was I surprised when he actually invaded, apparently the only one in Europe. What did surprise me was the difficulty with which the Russians were/are progressing.
The escalation of artillery bombardments, the use of thermobaric missiles and cluster bombs, and the mounting number of civilian casualties were also beginning to worry me. The plight of the Ukrainian people, the suffering, and the loss of their family and loved ones is saddening. I really feel for them and I wish for them this is going to be over soon. Problem is that I don't expect it to end soon. In fact, in the past few days, I have come to fear, despite in many ways feeling it would be the right thing to do, NATO is getting closer and closer to actively intervening.
And I think that Putin is feeling like he's more and more cornered and there are fewer ways out of this for him. He is obviously unhappily surprised at the poor performance of his Military forces, forcing him to send in more resources. The resistance overall came as an unwelcome surprise to him as well, I'm sure. But the resistance in the regions where there's a great number of Russian-speaking people came as a shock to him, and I think is angering him even more. As I see it there aren't many ways for Putin to get out of this situation without losing face, support, and possible danger to his position. He needs to at least capture Kyiv, establish control over the Donbask and at least on the surface be able to spin things to claim Ukraine will remain neutral (not join the EU and/or NATO). If he fails to accomplish that he's not going to back down and like a cornered animal will certainly escalate until he achieves that or loses completely.
When I read yesterday that NATO was having a special meeting to discuss the action in response to the attack on and capturing of the Nuclear power plant I felt afraid, genuine concern, that we are heading towards a crucial point of no return. A decisive moment in which this conflict gets resolved by one side giving in and throwing in the towel, or there is going to be war between NATO and Russia (and who knows who'll then take Russia's side? Winny the Pooh has been awfully quiet).
So I'm cautiously happy and optimistic about my life and feel I can let myself be happy and enthusiastic but on the other hand, I feel guilty for feeling happy or joy, with so much suffering in Ukraine, and WWIII possibly erupting.
Thanks for reading this
Stay safe and stay happy.