After the start of the New Year, I've attempted to begin working out. Since I hadn't been to the gym in like, three months, anything from stretching to walking for ten minutes has been an improvement. It's not necessarily that I want to lose weight, but more that I wish to improve my fitness level. To be able to carry a semi-heavy box without my arms being sore the next day, or to run up the two flights of stairs in my home without getting out of breath. I want to eat fruits and vegetables and feel like I'm taking care of my sweet guts and insides that I love so much. And as enjoyable as mindlessly eating Reese's shaped like hearts (thank you, Valentine's Day) can be, I should probably attempt to uh, increase my HP.
After two days of working out in a row (and nothing too strenuous, mind you), I was ridiculously sore. I say ridiculous, because I had done such a minimal amount of exercise that it was absolutely hilarious to me how much I was FEELIN' it. It hurt to walk, sit down, or even get in the shower. I was laughing every time I got up from the couch to waddle to the kitchen. But yet, it felt good to know whatever I was doing, on some level, was working.
It's an easy mindset to think, "Well I shouldn't work out the next couple of days because I'm sore". So, I continued my small yoga stretches and walks to pump my blood and help make the ache go away. It was painful, I was tired, and I certainly didn't want to, but I did. I pushed through it because I felt I had to, and eventually I started to feel better.
The other day, as I sat at my desk getting ready for the day, I scrolled through my Facebook feed and saw articles, photos, opinion pieces, and updates from Trump's first week. I saw people who were scared, angry, but above all else, continuing to fight. Continuing to move, even if it hurts. Even if they are tired. Even if they don't want to.
For the first time, maybe since election day, I felt a small internal flame. The heat was unfamiliar, and I wasn't ready for it. As I slowed my breathing and tried to focus on what powerful emotion I was currently experiencing, I realized that the smallest bit of hope had begun burning in my chest.
Hope wasn't what I was asking for. I'm typically pessimistic as I've previously mentioned, but there it was. I know many are not ready to feel hope, and I am not here to convince you that you should. Part of being an advocate and an activist is feeling outrage, and somewhere along the line, I began to train myself to be consistently angry and sad. If I wasn't destroyed by what was happening, then I didn't care. But is that true? Is that healthy, or right?
The more attention I gave my new hope, willing it away and questioning the source - the more it began to grow, taking up space, traveling through my body. Perhaps it was the day, or my place of privilege in our society that allowed me to feel these things - but it was there. And it was nice.
Things are bad, and they may get worse. It's going to hurt. It's going to make us tired, and want to sit still. Especially for those who have it worse than me, and have a right to be more frightened than I am. But while looking through my social media that day, it finally hit me, that we were going to win. There is so much passion and good that will prevail. Progressive thinking and inclusiveness is the future. It will not be stopped. Look at all of these people who are willing to fight and share how they feel. All of us who have come together with love and determination. We will bring it in like a storm, blowing over everything that isn't strong enough to stand with us.
To everyone marching, calling and emailing your representatives, becoming more educated on government issues and getting involved locally: keep moving. Keep donating, volunteering, and having conversations. Look out and protect those who have been rallying for intersectional feminism and equality for years before us. Lift up those who are broken and hurt until they are ready to walk again. Learn from them. Be better because of them.
Again, I know some aren't ready to feel this. They don't see a bright side, and I'm not saying that there is one. All I know, is that whenever the dust settles, we will be there. Continuing to move when everything else has stopped.
Until then, take care of yourselves and one another. It has been a while since I've updated, after feeling sick for a week and then too saddened to be able to put my thoughts into words. I'm not even sure how I feel about this post, but I had to get back into it after two weeks of not writing anything outside of work. Typing this felt strange at first, and I almost stopped, but I pushed through it, because it's the importance of moving.
But when you're feeling really run down, and like you can't take the weight of existing anymore, it's okay to rest too. As important as it is to move, it's equally essential to stop when you need to. Let yourself cry and catch your breath. There will be someone to carry you.
Tonight, I'm going to play one of my RPGs, and numerous board games during the Super Bowl on Sunday. I'm going to see friends, eat good food (that may or may not include fruits and vegetables), and hopefully write a poem. This weekend, do what you love with people you love. I send you peace and strength, whether in motion, or in stillness.