This is more of a brain dump than usual as I am struggling to gather my thoughts today. Forgive the spelling mistakes, the incomplete sentences, the jarring jumps to new thoughts, and quick ending.
I keep thinking of all the things that won’t change after today. How much I love my friends. How coffee is still wonderful even if I don’t drink it everyday. How my room still needs to be on the colder side for me to get some sleep. How magical it feels to stay up all night. How quiet early mornings are. How much fun it is to run down a mountain trail at full speed. How delightful it feels to perfectly snap a shot of a scene unfolding before me. How a lifechat kickstarts the best part of my soul. How I will always be behind on the letters I want to write to so many people. How I will always get anxious before any soccer game whether it’s pick up or state finals. How I’ll still get weird looks especially from older men as they try to figure out my gender. How I still am so far away from so many loved ones. How I haven’t had a hug in months. How the various heartbreaks in my life will stay with me even if just as faded scars. How homeless people will still need a place to sleep and food to eat. How systems of oppression at large will continue to grind away on so many. How tomorrow is never promised (nor is the rest of today). How there’s still so much work to do to heal our divisions. How change happens slowly not all at once.
I think this is why politics isn’t often my chosen method of change making (don’t worry, I very much voted and did so quite early). Political affiliation is not an identity I think about intensely for others as it feels like such an overly simplistic label that’s stretched thin to cover a vast number of complex issues. In many ways, it’s a door to greater, more important conversations. Being queer, I’ve learned how limiting labels can be and how much more meaningful it is to have space to go beyond them. I also know what it feels like to be judged solely based on one label in my life and how much more complex I am. Ironically, many aspects of who I am are inherently political from my queerness to being born through traditional surrogacy. My existence feels political and that might be exactly why I want to talk about more.
Taking this approach moves change making from being tied to an election cycle to being tied to everyday life. Doing so inspires me to engage in the messiness that complexity brings and in having hard conversations. Doing so allows me to see an opportunity for connection in every moment if I’m patient and persistent enough. I’m convinced more than ever that the art of having a hard conversation is a necessary skill we all need to cultivate in order to return to each other. As Ram Dass said, “We’re all just walking each other home.”