Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Year of 40: January Adventure!

I have decided in order to fully embrace and honor turning 40 (in September) I will embark on an adventure each month of 2017. These adventures will be both grand and small and somewhere in between. And the goal of each will be to better myself, my community and/or the world. In addition to my monthly adventure I will also be doing 40 for 40 in 2017. I will visit 40 breweries, watch 40 musical artists perform live and write 40 letters/postcards. My hope is to document all of this each month in this blog that I started a number of years ago because I continue to believe that 'It Takes a Village'. 

Displaying IMG_5697.JPGJanuary 21, 2017
Women's March on Washington

Why did I March?

At first I was very apprehensive.  I was worried that the organizers did not seem like they were representing a diverse group of people.  After push back and concerns presented to them they found some amazing women of color to organize with them and the result was an intersectional platform.  An intersectional platform that I fully support, embrace and believe in.  If you have not read it you should read it to fully understand what the fight is for, what I fight for.  
You can find the full PDF here.

The speakers at the March represented multiple identities and almost all spoke of the need for an intersectional movement. Do I believe that every person (or even half) of the people present read and supported the platform that was presented? No, I do not.  Does the idealist, optimist person that I am hope that a fraction of the folks present went home and googled intersectional and gained a deep understanding of how we experience oppression to varying degrees depending on the identities we hold and the life experiences we have had. I have hope and I am optimistic. And I was able to share this experience with one of my oldest and dearest friends and am so grateful to have done this with her, side by side.

I feel like I was in mourning everyday after the election and looked at this March like a funeral march.  One in which we celebrated a life that we lost.  And now post March is when the work needs to start (continue) and if all of the quick appointments and awful executive orders are not a call to action I am not sure what is.

Image may contain: 1 person, crowdI marched because my rights and the rights of so many others are being compromised.

I will fight against racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia, ablesism and sexism.

I marched because we can not fight against any of those things without fighting against all of them.

I will continue to examine my own privileges and read and listen and be in solidarity with those who are oppressed so I can continue to fight.

January 29, 2017

Yesterday and today protests, marches and rallies erupted around the country, mostly at airports in response to an executive order that would ban folks from certain (predominantly Muslim) countries to enter the US even though they had been previously vetted, may hold a Green Card or had other legal reasons to be here.  I went with some friends to Bradley International Airport (Hartford) to be in solidarity with folks affected and to protest this ban.

Both this protest and the DC March felt really safe to me.  DC had porta-potties, was registered and the city was mostly shut down for the inauguration.  At Bradley we were asked really politely to stay behind a certain line but no one asked me to leave, yelled at me or pushed me down. I know that a lot of this has to do with the privileges I hold.

These experiences have made me think about what value I place on risk.  Does change come when we put ourselves at risk to make it happen? Can we make change when we are risking very little?  

On the way to Hartford we talked about what difference it would make whether or not we showed up.  And then we realized showing up may very well be the point. 

I had wondered what would happen post all of the Women's Marches that happened all over the country, hoping 'the movement', 'the revolution', would not end there.  But, people are showing up and showing up for others and hopefully starting to realize why this is so very important.

My plan for my January adventure was to go to the Women's March on DC but it may have ultimately transitioned/shifted/awoken something in me that has moved me to activism.  I am not sure what that will ultimately be or look like but it will not end as January comes to an end. 

My February adventure will be one that takes me on an internal journey.  As I think about February and the dead of winter I think about hunkering down and just going inside.  Stay tuned to hear about what this actually will turn out to be.

Book(s) read:
"Citizen: An American Lyric" by Claudia Rankine


Letters/Postcards written - 1/40
bt - Dubuque, IA

Musical Artists seen - 0/40

(I have tickets for a number of shows coming up!)

Breweries Visited - 4/40

Lamplighter Brewing Co., Cambridge, MA
Tree House Brewing Co., Monson, MA
New District Brewing Co., Alexandria VA
Brew Practioners, Florence, MA