Solidarity In Solitude


No.

I did not march.

Although I was giving myself a complex about it, I did not go.

I did the deal.

I did the laundry.

I did the homework.

I did the writing.

I did the grocery shopping and the cooking and then, the more doing of the homework.

I’m a feminist for being in grad school, paying my own way, working as a self-employed woman, being sober, radical isn’t it, not smoking, being kind, using my voice and my experience to help others.

I could list lists of lists to convince you.

But the only person I really needed to convince was myself.

As I found myself feeling judged by friends for not going.

I think a lot of this had nothing to do with friends, I don’t think anyone gave my presence a second fucking thought, except that whenever I got asked if I was going, or it was assumed I was going, I bristled.

So I wrote some inventory.

First thing that came out is that I was afraid of being judged, that I was in judgement around myself, my experience, and god fucking forbid, whether or not my friends on social media saw pictures of me marching around with a pink cat hat on.

Sorry.

But no.

And I support Planned Parenthood.

Fuck.

They sure as shit supported me.

Years and years of service and sliding scale and birth control.

I went there in early recovery when I slept with a man and didn’t use a condom and found out he was an ex-heroin junkie who used to shoot dope with dirty rigs.

Oh my fucking god.

Get me to the doctor.

Planned Parenthood.

HIV test.

Negative, thank you.

And out the door.

I have donated plenty of money to them and I believe in them.

I believe in love, liberals, random acts of kindness, activism, resistance, raising your voice.

I mean.

I do live in San Francisco.

But I also believe in radical self-care.

And when I recalled, after doing some great work at beating myself up for waffling on whether I was going to go to the march, was that today was my first day off in two weeks.

Of course I didn’t want to go to the march!

I wanted to go back to bed.

I wanted to cancel on my yoga class.

I wanted to hide under the covers.

I did not.

I did get up.

I did go to yoga.

I did lots of breathing and I knew, even as I sat in solidarity with my sisters, mothers, friends, aunts, cousins, girl-friends, mentors, teachers, I need to do self-care today.

When I finished my inventory and realized, that yes, once again, I am just in abject terror or being unloved, abandoned, and alone, I felt a lot better, made a phone call, did a check in, got on the train, got a cafe au lait at Tart to Tart and went an anniversary celebration of a 70-year-old institution here in San Francisco.

It was amazing.

It was sweet.

Lots of old-time experience, strength, and hope.

And though I knew part of me might feel a little untoward for not going to the march I wasn’t horribly upset to be missing it, for I was making connection, radical spiritual connection with many people quietly doing something that has been consistently saving lives for decades.

I’m ok with that.

And I was also ok to go get a mani/pedi and sit in the window and watch the trains go by.

Trains so packed with people that it wouldn’t pick up more and the stop in front of the beauty parlour was overflowing with women and picket signs and pink hats and supportive spouses, boyfriends, kids.

It was a beautiful thing to watch and witness.

And yeah, there’s a part of me that wishes to be there, but the part of me that gets overwhelmed by big mob like crowds was more than happy to sit back and focus on doing reading for school.

That’s a pretty radical thing.

Working full-time and going to school full time.

I had no compunctions about coming home when the rains came in and curling up with my homework and doing a bunch of reading and roasting a chicken in the oven.

So many years.

So many decades of doing for others before doing for myself.

I felt immense gratitude for this expression of humanity, for allowing myself the quite reprieve of a day off and not trying to work hard to work harder.

I really needed a break and I am glad I got over the guilt of taking it.

If I had isolated, if I hadn’t made an effort to go out and see my fellows, to talk with a friend on the phone, to connect with the clerk at the grocery store, then I would feel bad.

If I had spent all day lolling about pleasure reading or watching Netflix, I would feel bad.

But I didn’t.

I did a lot of work.

Shit.

I am doing it again.

Rationalizing and justifying why I didn’t go.

I didn’t go because I didn’t want to.

There.

Done.

Moving the fuck on.

Tomorrow.

Yoga in the morning.

Meeting with a lady in the afternoon to read and share experience.

Getting a tattoo after that.

Meeting with a friend after that for dinner, catch up, and doing the deal.

It’s a nice weekend, this, especially when I don’t need to feel guilty, not enough, or bad, for making decisions that are ultimately mine to make.

Not to people please.

Just to show up the best way I know how to today.

Right here.

Right now.

This is ok.

Seriously.

It really is.

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