This morning I just could not figure out what I should write about. Normally when that happens, I wait a day or two and something comes to me, but I am going to Seattle for an amazing HOBYWA Fundraiser and Talent Show!! So . . . I need to write today, and I was just plain stumped. Should I write about racist sports teams (which have really been getting on my nerves lately)? Just not feeling it. Should I write about my own struggles with religious prejudice? I really don’t want to focus on the negative today.
Then I was talking to my friend Meredith, and she simply said, “Write about celebrating people.” GENIUS!!
I love being able to write about the things that I do on this blog. I am passionate about challenging others and myself to think about the trying issues of our time. Sometimes, though, it is important to step back and realize why it is all worth it! After all, the beautiful people in my life are the ones who inspire me to work for justice. The beautiful people who I meet when I speak give me the energy to “wade through the shit” (to quote an Earlham professor) in hopes of finding the light. The light is actually all around me.
After all, as I say in my blog on Accountable Relationships, relationships can’t “JUST be built on tough conversations and struggle.” We have to have room to celebrate, to love!
Lately I have been fortunate enough to have the time to really count my blessings when it comes to the people in my life. Though I had many wonderful friends in Chicago, I had a hard time finding that true and pervading happiness. Maybe it was because my job was eating my soul or because the cold and cloudy weather of the city was weighing on me. Regardless, though, I knew I needed a change, so I made my way to Colorado.
Now I am fortunate enough to say that am feeling truly and unequivocally happy. If it’s alright with you all, I want to take a moment to count my blessings.
I live with three amazing people (and the best dog you could imagine). Two of my best friends, Becca and Zach – who enrich my soul – share a home with me, and I am developing a new and exciting friendship with my third roommate, Naveen. I live ten minutes from one of my besties, Nathan, and his beautiful partner Kathleen. I live across a city from lots of wonderful family. I am now able to be a part of the growing and learning of my three nieces and nephew. I am a short four hours away from my parents and from some of my oldest friends, Stacie and Sean, and their beautiful partners. I am reconnecting with my friends from my time at the University of Denver, Becky and Diana, and I am getting ever-closer to my roommate from DU, Theo. I am making exciting new friends such as the glorious Hannah, Mikaela, Mark, and Sheila. All the while, I have a bit more time to make the necessary phone calls, emails, and facebook messages to stay in touch with the important people in my life from around the U.S. (though I could always do a better job of staying in touch).
What’s my point in this personal rambling (aside from giving sweet shout outs to some of the great people in my life)? The point is that in this journey toward justice, we cannot go it alone, and we can’t simply rely on relationships to help us grow in our difficult thought processes. We have to rely on relationships to laugh and love and live and learn. We have to rely on relationships for fun and for adventure. We have to rely on relationships to sustain our souls so that we can continue the hard work of justice. For me, that is the essence of self care.
When I was in Sexual Violence in Societal Context, a training program to be a sexual assault survivor’s advocate, our first assignment was to create a self care plan. While mine consisted of a cd full of happy music and some reminders of things that I love to do, the primary plan was to reach out to those I love. I posted a list of loved ones on my wall with their phone numbers, never to forget that in the good times and bad, I need to reach out and love!
So . . . in spirit of my friend Meredith’s suggestion that I celebrate people, I encourage you to do so today! Truly, nothing can better sustain our common work for justice. Call that friend you’ve been meaning to call. Hug that person that you’ve been meaning to hug. Run and play with those people you love so dearly.
In the words of Maude, “Go on and Love some more!”
To all of you who are oh so important to me, whether I’ve mentioned you here or not, I love you.