I feel the need to explain myself, mostly because I feel guilty. I feel guilty because I feel like I should be doing more.
But I am not marching this weekend. I’m not proud to not be going. It is not an anti- or counter-protest. Beginning tonight, I was actually supposed to be in Atlantic City, as far as humanly possible (mentally, at least) from the world, clocking out for a few days to refuse to take part in celebrating the unqualified bigot who now “leads” us and represents America on the world stage.
Then my cat got sick. Or rather, she seemed not to be recuperating well from her surgery last week. I spent most of Monday night crying with my dad, fairly certain we would have to end her life this weekend to keep her from starving to death, as she had stopped eating. In a fit of sadness, I cancelled my trip and decided to focus inside this weekend, on my home and family. The idea of abandoning here in her final days, after sixteen years of love and companionship, was unbearable.
Luckily, my cat has been put on new pain medication and ate an entire bowl of beef stew two days ago. So at least on that front, things might be okay this weekend.
Maybe this all sounds ridiculous to some people. Maybe it sounds selfish. It honestly kind of does to me. But if it sounds like I don’t care, that is entirely false. Frankly, I was never planning to march this weekend. I don’t do particularly well in crowds and I’m just exhausted from the past weeks and months. Your feelings are valid; my feelings are valid. And personally, I need to take a breather.
If you’re in the same boat, know that there is nothing to be ashamed of. You don’t need a reason not to march—as long as you don’t plan to sit idly by for the next four years. (Pray to the universe or whatever higher power that our fellow Americans wake up for 2020.) I have many friends who will be in DC or NYC this weekend and I will be supporting them however I can. And I plan to do another round of donations and search for more volunteer opportunities. I’ll be sticking around the house this weekend, but I won’t just be sitting by.
I admit that I have been sitting by a bit too much since the election. Donating money was a good stepping stone, but I know I need to take the next step.
So: Donate. Volunteer. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Prove that America is great as it is and, despite adversity, will only get better.
Let’s talk about how we defend our civil liberties! Comment below.