people think i’m interesting

interesting

it’s fun and weird and i have fears about failing to live up to the hype, not being able to be interesting all the time, disappointing people by being so incredibly average.

this is what we do, as capitalists. we fixate on a single person who can be the hero or be the villain. of course i’ll participate, and of course i love the press. i found it incredibly exciting and feel very honored to be included; i see it as an amazing opportunity to bring attention to my vision for safe public spaces, one that elevates the needs of those who are most marginalized and has a trickle up effect for everyone. but i worry about being, or continuing to be, the “face” of the local movement against street harassment.

it’s similar to what we’re doing with donald trump: as much as i despise him, i don’t think that trump on his own is the problem that we need to address. we blame patriarchy and misogyny on trump rather than viewing him as part of a larger context of rape culture. we fail to acknowledge the small things that we say and do to perpetuate the culture that created trump and others like him, the culture that tolerates and even promotes violence against women. i talked about this more on eugene puryear’s radio show a few weeks ago, and then shortly after, i participated in a planned parenthood video project to stop trump.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FPlannedParenthoodAction%2Fvideos%2F10154032396999639%2F&show_text=0&width=560

on one hand, of course i hate trump and want to see him go down, and i’m terrified about the prospect that someone so blatantly racist and misogynistic might become president. at the same time, i recognize that just about every president before him was a racist and a rapist, so these behaviors aren’t new and trump, on his own, is not the problem. we’re the society that’s tolerating his blatant racism & sexism on a national platform; we have to look at ourselves, too.

i participated in this video to say fuck trump and to bring homeless survivors of sexual assault into the mainstream conversation about sexual violence. i also participated because, as much as i recognize the problems with villainizing an individual rather than a systemic problem, i also see that it’s an effective recruitment tool. when we organized a sit-in for safe spaces in february in response to roosh’s men’s rights activist meet-up, people came out and a number of those people have stayed involved in the movement against rape culture. telling the story about the bad guy who’s perpetuating rape culture demonstrates urgency and brings people into the fold.

so it’s weird. i don’t love the process, but i see that it’s effective, and in a way i suppose that brings us closer to reaching our goals.

anyway i’ve been doing lots of cool stuff lately and tomorrow i’m going trick or treating at the white house when did my life become this fun

wanderess

canada was fun. it feels almost unreal that we were only there for a couple of days! just a quick stop, presentation, radio interview, gala, meeting, and home.

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we’re heading back to canada in april to bring our program there.

i had conversations with friends this weekend, and went out with them last night. it was so needed. i have a problem with letting my life fall apart because i obsess over work, and it becomes the only thing that’s important to me and the only thing that’s real. i let my friendships fall apart, and i didn’t realize that it was because i didn’t trust my friends. not because they aren’t trustworthy or because they did something wrong, but because i don’t trust anyone.

it’s something that richard has pointed out to me before, but i guess i didn’t see it playing out in my friendships with women, until it did. i thought one of my closest friendships was falling apart, and instead of trying to salvage it, i explained it away, “we were drifting apart,” “well, i’m busy anyway,” and i hid the hurt. when i actually talked to her, she was surprised that my mind went there, as though we weren’t as close as we are.

i’ve always known that this is something i do in romantic relationships, but i didn’t recognize that i put up a wall with my friends, too.

it’s something that will take me time, and energy, and effort, and vulnerability to tear down. but i want to.

i read this today, and it resonated so much with me that i want it tattooed all over my body:

jpg_roman-payne_drop-of-water-sans-stamp

i still can’t settle down. i still make weekly plans to leave dc and start a new life. i’m a gypsy and a wanderess.

crises

Something I’ve learned about myself, or may have known for a long time, is that I operate best in a crisis. Where there is no crisis, I find that I’ll often manufacture one, whether it’s picking a fight with a partner or putting myself in a risky situation.

I thrive in the nonprofit sector because there’s always a crisis. There’s always a problem to fix, if you’re paying attention. And I know how to respond, when I’m overwhelmed, when I’m pushed beyond my limit, when I’m not sleeping at all, when I barely have time to eat. I put all of my focus and all of my energy toward responding to the crisis.

Oddly, I feel more overwhelmed when there’s no emergency. There are a million things to do, but nothing is urgent. Nothing is life or death. Everything is just a task that somehow, indirectly, fits into the larger scheme of things, but it’s hard for me to see it that way when I know that there won’t be instant results. The little things make me antsy and anxious and exhausted and overwhelmed.

But when it’s life or death, I perk up like I’m being given a free throw. I am calm, I am patient, I am collected. I am always ready to rise to the occasion.

I remember being unrealistically calm during childbirth. It took more than 55 hours of labor before Max was finally born. I was in overwhelming pain. My midwives gave me the option to go to the hospital; they didn’t know what was happening or what to do. They didn’t want to break my water, because they didn’t know how long it would go on, and then someone said I could try pushing, when I wasn’t fully dilated, to see if I could break my own water and give birth. For whatever reason, I wasn’t worried. I knew that I didn’t need to go to the hospital, I didn’t need a C-section. I had a completely natural, 55-hour labor, and I pushed to break my own water and pushed my baby out. And I did it before midnight (11:28pm), so I won a bet in the process.

I’ve recognized for years that I don’t need to function like I’m in survival mode anymore. But, I’ve failed to appreciate this unique ability as something that has set me apart in my activism. I’m able to function in survival mode for others who are in survival mode. I’m able to fight for other people’s lives as though I’m fighting for my own. And it’s effective, because I’m all in.

That’s not to say that I shouldn’t be taking better care of myself. I know that it’s not sustainable to take on everyone’s crises like they’re my crises. I’m working on setting boundaries in my life, that are important for me and important for the people that I want to help.

I’m not helping you by protecting you from the consequences of your actions. I’m always torn because there’s a part of me that sees that people need unconditional love, and I don’t want to be the one who sets conditions. I want to be there for others, and especially those who have nowhere else to turn, but I have to do it in a way that doesn’t harm me.

After offering her six months of rent-free living, after she has robbed me twice, after I’ve gone out of my way and consistently felt walked all over, I’m setting boundaries. And so I’ve asked her to leave, and it’s long overdue.

Things are still going exceptionally well.

Good Day dC

That time I was on Good Day DC.

Columbia Heights bar training

Later that day when I trained El Chucho, Bar Charley, Quarry House Tavern, Slash Run, and Little Coco’s to become certified Safe Bars.

Still, I’m struggling to find balance and to keep everyone happy and to figure out what I want out of my life.

hashtag mid-twenties crisis

setting boundaries

say no. say no. say no.

maybe if i put it in bold, i’ll remember.

I consistently overcommit myself. I believe so deeply that I can do everything, that I can somehow be in 10 places at once, that I don’t need breaks to eat or sleep or do human things.

I took this job because I wanted to be happy, and for some reason, happiness has historically meant to me that I don’t take care of myself. That I let my home fall into shambles. My bed has been broken for months. My dresser has been broken for months. I just kinda move along, pretending it doesn’t matter. Waiting for someone to take care of the things that I’ve convinced myself are unimportant. I become obsessed with work. I become obsessed and addicted. The hits keep on coming.

DCist, Self.com, Ashton Kutcher’s blog, Upworthy. My work was featured on Upworthy.

Every time it seems like I’ve reached my peak, I manage to outdo myself. It’s so thrilling and unreasonable. It just seems to get better and better and better and better.

but I crash hard and fast. I hit these breaking points, and I look around and wonder why I’m so tired and why my life is in shambles. I don’t understand balance. When I’m in, I’m all in, and when I’m out, I’m all out.

i’m having lunch with ben tomorrow. weeks ago, i would’ve said that i had strong  feelings for him, and now i can’t even remember what that might have felt like.