Resist: The Personal is Political
I have been fearful lately. I have been insecure because of the loss of my job. Even though losing the refugee resettlement job was not my fault, but was instead precisely because of Trump’s signature on a piece of paper, I still feel bad about it almost every day that I wake up.
I’m also insecure because it feels like I have no defenses in this twilight zone of the Trump presidency now. Before, when I was working at the refugee resettlement agency, or at the domestic violence shelter, I was fighting daily. I felt calm in the face of world events, because I knew that I was doing all I could right here at home. Now when I read the news, without a job, I am floundering around trying to make an impact, but am not finding a way to plug into the world like I was able to with my jobs. No matter how much news I read, and petitions I sign, I’m still missing the feel good smiles and connections I made with others when I was able to help them out. I’m not helping many people out right now. I’m not even really helping myself out.
The job and paid activist lifestyle has slipped away for the time being. And now I am an insecure unpaid activist with dreams of being a writer who is backing herself into a corner and leaning heavier on the writing than the living. I need to have the knowledge and the ability to make sense of it all with reflective writing, but also need the ability to go out and participate in the chaos and discomfort of the world as well. That is when I am happiest. When I am able to balance the doing and the writing.
On top of everything else, it’s also winter. It’s cold and depressing out. I have no reason to leave my apartment except to experience the cold, and that isn’t much motivation. So I stay inside and read while the cat whines for more and more food.
I am also really happy right now, though. I’m doing exactly what I want. Catching up on my life. I have a cat and a boyfriend and a beautiful family. I have a degree and experience, and will probably find a job in the near future. I realize I need to stop trying to find reasons to be sad because I’m the most content I’ve ever been. Also, I am not doing anyone any good for anyone by moping around, and being scared of the world. I am adding nothing positive to the world by thinking that I am not a good enough worker, or activist, or writer, or feminist, or daughter, or girlfriend, or friend, or person.
I just need a job, and the willpower to face my fears.
I am currently working on a project of renovating my blog, and I want to finish that this week. I’m going through the past six years and consolidating stories, deleting and reformatting posts, adding new pictures to all of the posts from all the different places I’ve lived, opening up the comments section for those who do not have a Wordpress account, and learning a goddamn lot about myself.
Reading my blog from the past six years, I am reminded that I have a mini breakdown every time that I am jobless. Jobs really give me a sense of identity, and it is important that I have the right job at the right time, not just any job. I also realize that I have built a lot of my personality around rising to challenges. That’s my bit- that’s what I love to identify with- being open to change, and learning as it goes.
For too long- probably ever since I started working in refugee resettlement last December- I have been trying to keep things stagnant. I loved everything about my life- I loved my office job where I got to leave the office regularly and visit refugees in their homes. I also loved my boyfriend, my friends, my family and my writing. I loved it all, and I couldn’t think of a way for it to get better- I just saw a way that it could slip away.
But reading over my blog, I think I need this reflective time to really figure out who I am, regardless of what job I have. I want to exist with the challenges, and I want the ideal of living fearless to be my top priority again, instead of trying to live quietly so that nothing changes dramatically.
Februray 2013 “I miss that girl that flew across the ocean last year.
I miss that girl that invited in chaos and change, convinced herself she loved it, and freed herself of her fears.
What have I become now?
I have become a girl that is tip toeing around and who feels like the little things are a big deal again. Certainly I am more fearless than before, but I have also gained so much that I am now clinging to the life I have found instead of continuing to expand.
For the past week I’ve remembered how much I love newness and spontaneity. But then today I got all self conscious about it again– and risks began to consume my mind instead of gains.
Balance is essential. But to free my mind from my obsession with risk I have to live in a world of pure gains for awhile again.”
Today in February of 2017, I would have to agree with all of the above. Same situation, four years later. The importance of reflection. Remembering it’s all been done before, it’s all going to change again, and it should change.
I want to remind myself, and everyone else in the world that kindness is an assest. Just like everything else, it can be abused and used. But genuine ability to be kind and to feel other’s hearts and want to make them shine is an asset. And I want to raise up people who are trying to do that. And I want to shove away all of the hate in the world right now, coming from the right and left. I want to exist with a working desire to change myself along with the world, but I do not want to degrade myself into an unhappy person for the sake of something I cannot change alone.
Originally published at everydayembellishments.wordpress.com on February 15, 2017.