Standing Up

Over the past couple of days I’ve really been thinking about the concept of standing up in a crisis, an individual crisis, even one between friends and colleagues, just being more present about our beliefs and choices. I’ve been relentlessly honest on this blog. I was afraid at first, but now it seems so easy, as if it was always there waiting for me. Over the course of the last few months I’ve been reading the New York Times for hours at a time, reading about the crisis in our world, the hope and joy, and yes, sometimes absolute horror about the events that can happen. Violence, all violence, all harassment must stop. It’s just as harmful for those who commmit an assault, verbal or otherwise, as much as the victims. There is so much happening in the world that needs our attention, and it really made me grow up.

I get up every morning around four to five and research all throughout the day with news sources. It has been a little like waking up, sometimes painful, but I focus through it no matter how unsettling some of the content might be. It’s important. It’s helped me find in other people’s stories the inspiration to become more open, honest, and direct in my writing, and it’s caused me to reach out to find ways to reach peace for misunderstandings, and give everyone the opportunity to reach out to me if they are ever in need, in friendship, understanding, or to provide a place where we can all find a way to move forward.

In order for me to stand up for the causes I believe in, I first had to just finally do the most basic thing, just standing up for who I am, what I believe in, face the injustices in our culture, starting from my direct experiences and moving outwards to find every community I’ve been a part of in a unity of our individual voices and experiences. And I even found the limited ability to try and defend those closest to me whose work and lives I hold so dear, within my means. It’s been vital. At this point this Saturday I’ve reached out to absolutely everyone who I have had misunderstandings with, and even addressed some of my own discomfort with choices that affect me. We all belong together in this rich fabric of life, but before we can do that, we have to belong to ourselves. Who are we? And what do we believe in? We need to be present for our experiences, and I would not have this newfound bravery without the journalism of the free press. To them I will always be grateful, if that’s even a word powerful enough to express how I feel.

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