Let’s not pretend any of this has been easy.
I am not going to write the “This is not normal” blog or the “What the hell is happening to our country?” blog or the “Let’s band together against tyranny” blog. I am only going to say this: Other than escaping from burning buildings, nothing good ever happens when we act out of fear.
I have told my children that many times. And I am afraid. Very afraid. Am I as afraid as those workers who don’t have the luxury of worrying about my reproductive rights because they’re too busy figuring out how to feed their children? Am I as afraid as the people who thought they lived in a Christian country? I can’t be sure. I only know I have never felt this scared to be an American.
I don’t know what the next year or two or four holds. I am afraid of a government run by rich, white men. I am afraid of a leader who is either the savviest politician ever (unlikely) or is operating out of the business playbook that advocates building an organization on an unsteady foundation: pit your top leaders against one another; make them wonder whether they’ll have a job tomorrow; keep them guessing. I am afraid of a leader who either doesn’t recognize or doesn’t care about the interconnectedness of the communities and systems we all operate within, whether local, national or global.
I am afraid, but I will not succumb to that fear. I am trying to figure out what to do next. I have been thinking about it since November 9, when the morning news confirmed that what I had feared most had actually happened.
My oldest woke me at 2:45 am on election night with a phone call from college: “Mom! What are we going to do???? I want to be able to marry anyone I want, and I want to be able to have an abortion!” I advised sleep in the short term; activism in the morning. I almost laughed, not because I don’t agree with those concerns, but because it seemed so ridiculous that both rights were at risk. In 2016? Really?
So for 2017, I resolve to be vigilant. To act. To be strong. To commit my words, my money and my time to causes I believe in. And to put aside my fear. For the sake of my children, for the sake of my community, and for the sake of my country.