On the uncomfortable nature of change and progress

(The following has been taken, almost directly, from my personal journal. There’s been no editing and it may seem a bit more fragmented than usual. But I wanted to share it, for myself and others. I worried if I did too much editing, it would never be published).

On the heels of Saturday’s million woman marches…which I did not attend, but followed. Saturday was not a good day for me. My body failed me in multiple ways. Energy was low, I was in pain, and a little fog cloud of depression hovered around me. These things are not new to me, but they did impact what I was able to do. In the following entry, I start reflecting on being unhappy with being unproductive….


I feel guilty, for not only not being productive in my own life, but also in not being more active in society and politics. I believe in ideas and concepts that should be universal (but aren’t). I’m afraid not only for myself, but more for the friends and family and people I don’t even know, who will be negatively impacted by this current buffoon in office. And yet I do, not nothing, but very little.
And I make excuses. Yes my health and energy levels play a significant role in what I can and cannot do, but they don’t preclude me from doing everything. Yes my own life and goals can and should take priority, but that’s not the only thing I can make space for.
I do not think going to the march yesterday would’ve been a good idea, but I also know, deep down, that even if I felt well I didn’t want to.
I understand the importance of public displays, but I am uncomfortable participating in them.
Why?
I think, it is a fear of “being caught”. A fear of punishment, of retribution. And while that can be a real fear, for a middle class white woman, what do I really have to lose? It’s a bit of cowardice on my behalf, and I’m not comfortable with that.

I could call and send letters to my representatives, and I have done that…somewhat. But not enough. Not nearly enough. I need to do more of that. That is something that even in my fatigued state, I can do. It’s just…uncomfortable. But that’s really too bad.
Change and progress isn’t made by staying in one’s comfort zone.

There is much I cannot do. There is a limit to my energy and mental and physical abilities. There are things that I could do that I don’t believe will make a difference.
But there are things I CAN do, if I could muster the courage to do them.

Where did my force of will go? It disappeared, somewhere. Fizzled out, among the myriad of minute daily trials.

But what is the use of a life, if one doesn’t make a difference?

I can sit in my corner and exist and struggle and die. Or I can do…something.

I hope to do something with my writing, but that is a longer goal. That is distant, far-away.
There is the here and now. I need to be better about making small changes and risks, to support the causes I believe in.

It could be as simple as making one phone call a day. It does not have to be monumental. But it will be uncomfortable.
I suppose in a way, my personal call to action here is still selfish.  I don’t want to live my life and die with the knowledge that I did nothing to help. Worse, that I did nothing because I was scared, meek. That I was complacent.
But I think most things humans do, even for good, at their core are selfish. The act being selfish isn’t enough to mean you don’t do it.

I am going to try to be better this year. Take action where I can and where I feel I can effect change. I need to be better. We all do.

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