November 22, 2017

ACCOUNTABILITY

This is a difficult thing sometimes.

We all have busy lives. Many of us have stressful jobs, children to raise, obsessive hobbies, an aversion to change or challenge. I, myself, have an affinity for staying at home, redecorating my house and staying in my pajamas. I get anxious when my schedule fills up and I have to disrupt my precious plan of no plans.

BUT!

I have made an effort recently to be accountable to civic engagement. I've decided to make this leap because our political landscape is a shit storm of terror. That may be hyperbole.

As such, here are the actions I've taken to be accountable to my community, my country, and ultimately, to myself and those that I love.

  • I've joined my local Democratic Club and tried to be as active there as time allows. 
  • I created the art for the club's endorsed candidate door hanger for the 2016 election. We distributed as many as we could to all the registered democrats and encouraged them to get out to vote. 
  • I applied, was appointed and then confirmed to a position on my city's Community Safety Commission, where I will serve a three year term. UPDATE: I am now the Chair of this Commission. 
  • And finally, I will start being loud and proud about these and all the other actions I have and will continue to take under this administration. Sometimes I'll post a diary of sorts here to chronicle the efforts. Other times, I'll post it on Facebook. (ugh, facebook)
It's scary to be so transparent about these things.

You can attract confrontation and colorful disagreement. But I'm choosing to react optimistically about this. I'm choosing to believe that passionate debate about these issues IN PLAIN VIEW of others is the only way out of this messy mess. When people say that we shouldn't talk about politics, I get super hot and bothered because on the contrary, talking about politics is how we encourage civic engagement. Political differences don't have to be intimidating or offensive or taboo. Debate is healthy! And even if you are afraid you don't have much to contribute to the conversation because you're not "informed enough" - I say, bullshit. You live in America. You've had experiences in America. You've voted before - at least you better have and if you haven't and aren't registered, click here now and then come back and finish reading later. 

...ok, did you register? if you don't want to pick a party, choose Independent! It's super empowering. 

...you did it, right? 

CONGRATS!

Where was I?

Yes, your experiences have offered enough perspective for you to form, express, and share your opinion on many things. And if in sharing them, you are taught something you didn't previously know, well, then, great! Listening to those around you and considering their experiences is like a super power. Ignorance is only dangerous if you don't acknowledge it. Learning, listening, growing, evolving, all are goals we should hold for ourselves.

Admitting to someone else that you were mistaken, ill-informed, or just plain wrong is not embarrassing. It's NORMAL and much appreciated.

All this to say, you have a voice. Use it proudly and with an open mind. I'm working on it over here too and I'll mess up and get nervous but I'll keep trying.

The apprehension to using that voice isn't dissimilar to stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new, meeting someone new,  proclaiming something you believe in to someones not so new.

Often, it is the fear of being your whole self in front of those you know very well, those you've perhaps known all your life, that's the hardest.

But perhaps, going there, will be the most rewarding.

I support you.

xo



October 3, 2017

DEAR J

dear J
i'm sorry i never said hello to you

i meant to many times
i'm sure i smiled in your direction

do you remember that one time
we made eye contact?

you were standing in the hall above
i was walking into government class
it felt like something
to me

i wish i had been braver then
high school isn't great for that
that's not an excuse

i always thought you were attractive
i always thought you were cool
much cooler than i felt

all this to say
hello, i like you
i hope you are well

i hope you are well.


September 28, 2017

CHANGED

and the world
in a flash
fell all apart

why am i here?
what am i doing?
why am i here?

retracing my steps
can't find my old path
i stand alone

when the world
fell apart
i created my own


September 12, 2017

AMAZON UPDATE

Since my last post, I've purchased one kindle book for $1.99 and I felt a little guilty about that.

Guilt. The worst.

I'm still trying to be intentional about finding alternatives to Amazon and while it's hard, I do find that I'm learning a very awful lesson in patience. Not my strong suit. But I'm also learning that I don't need all the things I'd been buying in the past. Duh, I know. But having Amazon at your fingertips, any thought of something that would be nice to have can be quickly materialized in 2 days right to your front door step.

I'd love a rainbow umbrella! Done.
It'd be so great to have some new cutting boards! Done.
I bet my hair would look better if I had a curling wand! Done.

All actual thoughts I've had recently.

In some cases, I'll even get in the car and head to Target to see if those items are sold there. And if I do find something similar, I stand there mulling over whether I reeeaaally need it and then usually decide that no, I don't.

This has saved me many a dollar.
Not many a minute.

But that's ok.

If I'm being honest, and I always am, HA!, my boycott has been downgraded to a mild aversion and a sort of last resort option.

This has been a good catalyst for an overall paring down. And so, I'm happy my outrage brought me to a simpler place.

I still hate that people read and believe the bullshit that Breitbart propagates. It's an ugly worldview that I wish didn't exist but I've come to my version of acceptance combined with action, and that's really all we can do, yes?

xo

May 5, 2017

ADIOS AMAZON

I just deleted my Amazon app, canceled my Amazon Prime and Audible accounts, and will not continue to buy Kindle books.

Deep breath.

Amazon has been my go-to for pretty much everything, for years. I enjoy the free 2 day shipping on many an item and admittedly, it will be super hard to stop the habit and take my money elsewhere. But I'm doing it and am sure I'll survive and perhaps, even save money!

I'm doing all this because despite repeated requests to stop advertising on Breitbart, they continue to do so. They have made no statements as to why they are making this choice because frankly, they don't have to. Most of us have so fully integrated Amazon into our daily lives that they don't even need to justify their decisions. We'll just forgive them their discretions and continue enjoying the glorious convenience they provide.

"Oh, I'd love some new chopsticks for my house. I bet Amazon has some! Look at that, they do and they're cheap and they're colorful and they'll be here in 2 days! Hooray! What, Amazon pays money to advertise alongside Breitbart's racist and misogynist articles? Hmm, that sucks and I feel really bad about that but I mean, Amazon Prime is my lifeline, seriously. And I mean, who am I to say that maybe those white nationalist guys shouldn't enjoy the same privileges? I mean, they may like to get their crisp white sheets in 2 days with free shipping. Free speech, right? We're all Americans, right? Free enterprise! Muslims can order their hijabs on Amazon. KKK aficionados can order their...their...well, whatever it is they order online. Canceling my account won't change that."

To this totally plausible scenario, I say, um, no. In the same way Uber experienced a mass exodus of customers after it seemed they were profiting off the Muslim ban protests and then made a public statement and withdrew from Trump's economic council, Amazon could take a stand against the idiocy and ignorance of Breitbart.

But it won't happen unless we first take a stand.






May 4, 2017

LET US QUICKLY REMOVE SELF-DOUBT

Often, it happens that I look at my daily life and wonder how was I doing it all last year, last season, last week? I start to feel aimless and unsure of whether or not I am actually accomplishing anything. I feel as though I'm neglecting my mom duties, my health, my home, my dog. I'll usually try to rectify this mood by doing a few loads of laundry.

Those clean clothes will sit in a basket unfolded for a week and, well, here we are again.

Is it that I was doing it all better before? Is it actually different now then it was?

Part of the answer is yes. The kids are growing so quickly and changing so much with each passing week that it is possible that yes, things may have felt easier before because in fact, it was. I had figured out their quirks for that moment of their lives. And now, as they learn more, they present new challenges. They ask more questions. They have different needs. No longer is the tupperware cabinet enough to entertain them. No longer can we get away with pretending away something inappropriate we've just uttered in front of them, because now they can repeat it all back verbatim and are demanding a definition of ALL THE WORDS.

Later next week, they'll actually repeat these words in public and you'll have to offer your best bewildered and apologetic mom face.

These phases of life pass quickly. So quickly that you're asking yourself, wait, where am I? What is my role here? Am I failing?

I'm choosing to tell myself no, I'm not failing. My role is ever changing and simultaneously, ever steady. To be a mom, to love them, to hold them, to listen to them, to validate them. The manner in which those tasks are executed may change a bit but we adjust accordingly and keep our heads up because we are warriors. Moms are strong, badass, warriors of love and care.

Ok, I feel a little better now.

Also, I hear someone crying upstairs.

xo

January 24, 2017

JUST BECAUSE YOU SAY IT, DOESN'T MAKE IT SO

please stop calling donald trump "authentic"

please.

it is a complete falsehood. his entire existence is inauthentic.

his hair is fake
his POV is fake
his success is fake
his happiness is fake
his strength is fake

it's all fucking fake. inauthentic. a farce. an embarrassment.

this is not a partisan argument. this is not about republicans. though, fuck, those folks have really swallowed a lot of dignity to not stand up to this man who is taking over their party.

get it together, countrymenandwomen.


*this post was originally drafted in December 2016. The editor is going through old drafts and publishing because fuck it all.