bon weekend

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“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”

Benjamin Franklin

The day after I shared this image on Instagram of an everyday mantra in our home, the disgusting white supremacist rally and subsequent attack in Charlottesville happened. It rendered me speechless to be honest, and left me feeling a bit hopeless. Then I saw this tweet from Mark Ruffalo on Twitter and realized…I’m not doing enough. I’m not doing enough to resist this presidency. I’m not doing enough to resist hate, and assist love. A few days later many bloggers were able to articulate their thoughts so eloquently, which I’ve linked to below, as well as some direct action links. I’m checking my privilege, educating my children, and channeling my rage into action (and not just sheetcaking). Silence is approval.

BON WEEKEND

this tee supports the splc

thoughts on white supremacy

bedtime stories about race + social justice

balancing silence + action and creating safe spaces

hello 2017

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“Are you feeling a bit shaken, maybe stirred, maybe fearful and doubtful and completely, utterly, wildly terrified? Good. Keep going.”

Victoria Erickson

 

I have a new mantra for 2017. I read an article last week written by a man who can’t move anything but his face. He shares seven incredible life lessons, and the one that stood out to me most is: fear = fuel. Take what scares you most and turn it into positive energy, motivation. I’ll be honest – there is a lot scaring me, both at home, and in a broader sense, like the (broken) state of our country. Personally, I’m facing finding a more suitable home for my family, recovering financially after my husband was unemployed for five months last year, dealing with a recent diagnosis of adenomyosis (first time I’m disclosing those two facts publicly), deciding on an educational path for the kids, and strengthening my marriage after four years of survival mode with twins. These fears and concerns didn’t disappear at the stroke of midnight.

I’m not suggesting that I live in constant fear, but these issues have been a bit paralyzing recently. Instead of letting these fears continue to fester and frighten me, I’m facing them head on in 2017. Fear is incredibly powerful – I’m going to harness the energy and channel it, letting it propel me forward. My actions and decisions will be motivated by, but not made in, fear. I’m going to light a match (or two, or three) and set my fears on fire. So let the internal inferno begin, and hopefully the flames will light the way to a brighter future. I can already feel a difference – just changing my mindset has boosted my courage and lit a fire. Burn, baby, burn. Do you have fears you’d like to set ablaze, or a new mantra to share?

it’s not enough.

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My husband took this photo of my daughter and I, both very purposefully wearing white, right before heading to the polls to vote for the first female Presidential candidate. I am very aware that sentence alone speaks volumes about how far women have come in history. It’s not enough. Despite always being a feminist, I never truly understood or embraced it’s importance–until now. My heart is broken for my daughter, for women worldwide, and for our country as a whole. I went to bed crying on Tuesday, and woke up crying on Wednesday, feeling dread and uncertainty of how to explain the election results to my children. A strong percentage of America voted for a racist, xenophobic, misogynist. That can’t be sugarcoated. Let me be clear – this isn’t about our candidate losing – it’s about hate winning. This is so much bigger than politics. It’s about humanity. My tears have dried, I’m angry, and I’m taking action, starting…now.

Fighting for justice and freedom is in my blood. My father dedicated twenty years of his life to serving our great country, as did many other men – and women – in my family tree. Without their bravery I wouldn’t be writing this post. I’ve always gotten the feeling that my father wished I would have followed in his footsteps, and served. Well, your wish has finally been granted Dad, because I’m joining the ranks. I will fight with words, I will fight with love, but I will fight. I’ve always been an activist – ever since first grade, when I wrote, directed, and starred in a play about Martin Luther King, Jr. and his accomplishments (I insisted on playing the role of Coretta Scott King). I’ve actively stood up for what is right many times in my life, but unfortunately, I feel like I’ve never done enough. That feeling ends here.

In addition to the battles I will fight, I will raise children who refuse to tolerate anything less than equality and freedom, for ALL. I will raise a daughter who knows she is enough, that she is worthy, and I will be her voice until hers can be heard loud enough. The battle cries of women, and men, who demand better for our country, and for our children, can be heard loud and clear now. Thank you, Mr. Trump, for turning up the volume. I’ll conclude with a quote from an inspirational woman, Chimananda Ngozi Adichie – “Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change; but in addition to being angry, I’m also hopeful. Because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to make and remake themselves for the better.” It’s not enough that we’re broken hearted. It’s not enough that we’re angry. I am pledging to do more, to be more…until it IS enough. If you’re with me, let me know below. Community has never been more important.

 

thirty-seven

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“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”

Anaïs Nin

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Tomorrow is my thirty-seventh birthday, and I’m feeling…reflective. This has been a tough year for us as a family, and for me personally, which I wrote about here. I also recently vented on Instagram, and was blown away by the response and support. As with any difficulty in life, you can focus on the weight of it, or you can choose to live in the light. While I’ve spent a good bit of time doing the former, I’m currently striving for the latter. The quote I shared above really speaks to me, especially right now. While I’ve experienced a lot of growth, I’m still discovering what this chapter in my life is teaching me. In the meantime, I have a lot to be thankful for, and having two four-year-olds around me 24/7 is a great mood lifter and reminder of what is most important in this life. All you need is love, and I’ve got that in spades.