Long and I decided to make this post the last one of the year. We are considering a reformat of the site, perhaps making it little less about events and a little more about ourselves. We’ll see how that works out.
I have taking some time to reflect on what this year has meant to me. Long is relentlessly a “glass half full” kind of person, and while I would like to think I am not unilaterally a “half empty” type, an argument could be made that I am a “apply a Volume=mass/density calculation to determine the exact amount of liquid in the vessel before making an empirical determination” sort of gal.
If I could sum up what this year meant to me, I think the word I would land on is “insecure”. I have experienced insecurity in my career, my finances, my personal relationships, my physical health and my emotional well being. I immersed myself deeply in the US election, and the results threw me into a dark place from which I have only recently emerged. The Trump victory reverberated through many different aspects of my life. It felt like everything I had been raised to believe in, that the progress that we have made in race and gender relations over the past few decades, was an illusion. That I as a woman am only worth as much as my physical appeal will allow, and that as a woman of a certain age I have no currency at all. That my dominion over my own body may be challenged. That this sentiment was not one espoused by a single gibbering narcissist, but was embraced by 50,000,000 people in a country perilously close to my own back yard.
I was in a dire mood for weeks and I wore my anger like an uncomfortable suit. I lashed out, was petulant and irascible in turns. But then, a few days ago, I woke up. I realized that I had to shrug off the temptation to retreat into my cave where I wished to remain resolutely curled up, shouting my rage to the world outside.
I suspect 2017 will be an enormously difficult year. Indeed it may be the start of an enormously difficult, possibly violent period in our history. But I cannot become an mere observer in this world, nor can I fight every battle that comes my way. I have an opportunity to go to the Million Woman March on Washington in January, and I believe I will go. While I cannot vote in the US, this march may be history in the making and I think there is a time when we need to find our community, to stand up and be counted.
2016 was a tough year filled with confusion and loss. 2017 promises challenges on levels I cannot begin to contemplate. But the only way to move forward it to take one step at a time and to be aware of your own power. I will lift my gaze from the floor and concentrate on the horizon, so I can properly see what obstacles are coming my way in this new year. I feel there is a battle coming, and now is the time to suit up.