Things you need to understand right now.

Before anything else is known about Boston, I want to say this.

I was born in 1986. My partner was born in 1960. We both grew up understanding violence and terrorism because it is not unique to either of our generations. He came of age during the Troubles. I still remember where I was for Waco, and McVeigh, and Atlanta. For many younger millennials, their experience of the same kind of attack is limited to foreign perpetrators, many of whom come from the Middle East. This is not necessarily going to be the case with these explosions. We do not know nearly enough even to be able to speculate as to what has happened. I am asking everyone to curb the knee-jerk thinking. The people who are equipped to investigate this are doing so. Wait for them to give us the facts. Even President Obama admits we don’t know and we shouldn’t jump to conclusions — that’s his phrasing.

Security may be reinforced where you are. That’s SOP: standard operating procedure. It’s there to keep you safe until we do know more. By itself, it is not an indication of anything. Do not take it for more than what it is. If you are told to stay home, please stay home. You are safest there. If you are anxious or fearful, please know this is normal in the aftermath of events like these. Terrorism is called terrorism because it’s designed to scare the pants off us.

Take time to feel whatever you are feeling. Try not to beat yourself up for feeling it. But don’t let yourself be stopped, in the days and weeks to come, from living and loving. (Obviously, I am not speaking to people whose loved ones are somewhere in this mess. You do you right now. We love you and we’re here for you.) If you need to talk with someone, come talk to me. I’m not a licensed anything, but I have a listening ear and twenty-four years of memories of scary things.

Don’t let the media whip you into a frenzy. Turn off your TV, go find a friend or a pet, go give a hug, go get a hug. The people who are supposed to be acting right now are acting exactly as they’re meant to act. Trust Boston. Trust the FBI. Trust Homeland Security (at least in this matter). It seems like chaos now, but things will turn out okay. They have before. They will again.

Most of all remember that I love you.

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