Since starting this blog, I have a developed a few superpowers. My most obvious superpower is that I have managed to stave off alcohol for 1 month and 24 days. I passed up a glass of red wine at my “office” Christmas party. Yes, I made it through the entire gingerbread house making competition without a single sip! Usually, I absolutely hate party games, board games and just about anything else that might get in the way of me drinking and sharing my opinion with the entire world. The sober me is thankful for stupid shit like gingerbread making competitions, because these activities keep me from nervously obsessing over everyone else’s glass of white wine! I also celebrated my 33rd birthday with seltzer water. That’s right. I drank 12 cans of La Croix in 2 days. And it was really fucking awesome. Hmmmm… pamplemousse.
Another superpower I have developed is: self-awareness. Super duper self-awareness. This super duper self-awareness superpower has helped me realize that since becoming a “blogger,” there is now this slightly unwelcome voice in my head that is listening to every conversation and thought I have and wondering if it could be an interesting blog topic. This voice also reminds me to just write, to be me. Not Cheryl Strayed or Elizabeth Gilbert. Not a slightly forced metaphor about a map. Just me. Sarcastic, grammatically incorrect, raw, ecstatic, stream of consciousness me. This super duper self-awareness has motivated me to listen and just sit the fuck down and star pounding the keys when I feel the urge.
Now, these superpowers didn’t come easy. Every superpower I have came from a tremendous shit show of a break down. For me, when I reflect on my break downs, each one sits in my mind like a black and white polaroid. Something happens and everything stops and then nothing is ever the same again.
I have had 2 of these moments in the past 1.5 years. In June 2015, I started a support program for homeless children in a farm worker town. As part of this program, I conducted the community’s first homeless census and found that 1 in 5 children qualify as homeless in our small town. I also found a family of 6 living in a dilapidated shed and stopped sleeping. After a year of applying to every housing support program in the county, the family still ended up in their car.
The other moment was waking up on November 10, 2016. I drank 2 glasses of wine and took a tylenol PM as the election results rolled in. The alarm beeped at 6:21 am and I stumbled out of bed and paced around the house with my boob hanging out of my coffee stained bathrobe. My mind raced. I shouted to my partner, “I am just going to pay the rent on a new office, so I can have a place to keep clothes and other donations for our homeless program. Fuck it.” I mind raced, trying to find solid ground, asking unanswerable questions about what would happen and what could be done. I paced more. My thoughts raced. I collapsed on my couch, gasped for breath and sobbed. Tears falling down pale pink cheeks and leaving bathrobe fur all matted and wet. “You are allowed to be upset, but you scare me when you panic like this,” my partner said as he held me close.
Tomorrow is another breaking point. We aren’t sure what kind of breaking point it will be, but we know it’s gonna happen. Saturday will be the largest demonstration in US history. With some many people coming together, something has to start moving. Something has to break.
I recently reconnected with a sober, spiritual guru, activist friend. She wrote a book about the Egyptian revolution and knows a shit ton about social movements. She is a bad ass. A chigona! She reminded me about the metaphysical and spiritual connections that start movements. We talked for hours about how that “coming togetherness” coupled with a fierce gaze that never loses sight of power and privilege is where our movements must begin. What the fuck is going to happen now?