I will never forget the feeling of elation when President Obama was elected. My best friend Beth and I were living in “Bethica’s treehouse” our cozy first ever grown up apartment in Clifton. That’s also the year Puddin’ came into our lives. She was a huge Obama supporter, as you can see! Puddin’ left this world a few months ago, way too soon. She is so missed.
I watched Oprah interview Michelle Obama a few weeks back and the thing that struck me the most was when Oprah asked how the First Lady was able to deal with all the criticism. She answered to the effect of- “well I’m a grown up.” I’m so frightened that being a grown up- someone who can handle criticism and other opinions with dignity and respect- is on the way out and immaturity, disrespect, and tantrums are on their way in. I hope I’m wrong.
President Obama said, “The path that this country has taken has never been a straight line. We zig and zag, and sometimes we move in ways that some people think is forward and others think is moving back.” I have to believe that even when we are zigging and zagging we inevitably are moving forward towards compassion, understanding, and peace.
Seeing the momentum of the Women’s March gives me hope. While I won’t be there, I’ll be watching, praying and believing that the passion of so many will keep us moving forward and not backward. Let’s make our sons and daughters proud and not give up the rights that others fought so hard to grant us.
I type this with one hand as Emmy sleeps in my arms. To think a year ago she hadn’t even arrived!
2016 started with the birth of our sweet baby girl which changed the course of our lives forever. Ten weeks later came our first nephew and godson Miles.
By summer we settled into our new home. I watched my best friend marrying the love of her life, and saw our friends’ welcoming their baby girl, Aylya. The summer ended with the loss of my grandmother, the strongest woman I knew.
Then came the birth of our friends’ baby boy, Lee. And the arrival of one of my oldest friend’s baby boy, Jake. Now the year ends with our nephew Preston Ryder arriving just in time!
There was so much new life! (Welcome also to Juliette and Gemma!) There was also death. There was LOVE. There was pain. There was everything in between.
To all of my family and friends near and far who have been so supportive this year as I settled into new motherhood, I love you!
Nanna, I hope you’re watching us today and celebrating with us.
Farewell 2016! Onward to 2017. Let’s see what you may bring.
I was nicknamed “Firecracker” in film school. It wasn’t a compliment.
I earned this name one day when I loudly voiced my opinion. “Easy there firecracker” a male student said.
Funny how I was a firecracker when all the men who loudly voiced their opinions were just “opinionated” or “strong personalities”. I was a firecracker, and once even called a bitch, but those men because well, “that’s just the way they are” people would say.
Something about this election chaos and all the dirt it’s bringing to the surface made me think of this experience. It’s making me think of how silenced each of us can feel at times.
It seems to me that what feels like a giant shit storm of hate and misunderstanding and blame right now is actually a call to action for us all.
I’m not sure what this call to action means for me, and I think it means something different to each of us. It feels like something is stirring inside, and it’s something that’s always been there. It’s a fire that I’ve been pushing down again and again and again. I kept extinguishing because it’s not sweet and positive and calm. It’s loud and strong and intense.
It’s like a firecracker.
In the words of the wise Katy Perry, “you’re gonna hear me roar.”
Not sure how yet, but this feels like a start.
I woke up and made the mistake of checking my social media pages. I felt disheartened by what I saw and how divided we all seem. Then I took my dog out for a walk and breathed in the crisp morning air. I saw the fall colors and gentle sunlight shining through the trees and I thought, “it’s a beautiful f*cking day!”
I am scared. I am sad. I am mostly frightened for my daughter’s future in this country. But I refuse to respond to this with hate and blame. Then I would be part of the problem.
I will sit with this heaviness. I won’t deny it’s there. I’ll listen to it and transform it and channel it for good. I will use it to spread LOVE because that is what we all need.
We have to reflect back and take a look at ourselves.
It’s in the small stuff. It’s how I treat myself, how I treat each person I interact with throughout the day. It’s how I model respect and equality to my daughter. Its how I show up for my friends and family. It’s knowing deeply in my heart that we are all human beings with our own opinions, struggles and pathways. And even if we don’t see things the same way our experiences and feelings are all valid because we were born.
These things may feel small but they’re not. If we each honor and respect each other on a small scale then maybe we can honor and respect each other in our nation and throughout the world.
In the meantime I’m going to hug my daughter tighter today and take in all her awe and love of the world because I’m finding it hard to find that on my own right now.