Should I start with my story or should I start with my purpose? Which is more important? … OK, purpose. To hold myself accountable as I fight my inclination to sit quietly at home and instead take action to fight a political climate I despise. To share with the internet lessons I learn along the way, especially about concrete actions to take to stop America’s sprint to the right. To find other people who can inspire me and keep me fighting.
My story is much less grand than my purpose. For years I’ve wanted to be involved. I’ve wanted to put my energy into making things better. I’ve wanted to help mankind. Sound lofty and generic and passive? Yeah. I have a long list of excuses I’ve been hiding behind: I’m a liberal in a very red state, so I don’t believe that my elected representatives represent me, and I certainly don’t believe they care what I have to say. I live in an area that’s so politically opposite from what I believe that I’m scared to put signs outside, and I’m convinced my house will be vandalized because I know people that’s happened to. I’m white, so I have hidden behind my white privilege. I’m non-religious in a country that is increasingly claiming to be Christian. My in-laws are conservative, and I don’t want to make things awkward in the family. I’m a private person who doesn’t like attention. I’m inspired by all of the “it’s time to stand up” talk, but I don’t know where to start. I’m an introvert and socially awkward, so how can I be expected to speak out and act out in an effective way? (I told you it was a long list.)
I’m ashamed that I’ve been hiding behind excuses. I’m tired of being scared of my neighbors, and I’m tired of feeling voiceless and powerless. It’s time for me to do more than just be quietly anxious about the world. I’m going to stumble forward, awkward and anxious, aiming for… a better tomorrow? Maybe that’s too ambitious for a beginner activist. I’m going to stumble forward, awkward and anxious, aiming to be better.