Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Where I've Been (Checking in)

Hi everyone!

I have been a really bad blogger lately. I think it's been nearly a month since I posted last, and really, that's just ridiculous. I'm sorry. I've been meaning to check in with you for weeks on what I've been doing, but time keeps slipping away from me. But finally, here I am. And I want to share with you what's been going on.

A few months back, I wrote a post talking about discovering my vocation.

I'd discovered it - but you know what? I hadn't committed. I thought I had, but not really, because I wasn't really talking about it with many people. Just a close circle of friends, the DH, and a few others. I was afraid to talk about it too much, for fear of upsetting people. Instead, I stealthily, fairly quietly, went out and started dabbling in it.

Just dabbling. A little volunteering here. A little organizing there. But essentially treating it like a hobby - something I did in my spare time, when I wasn't working my job or caring for my family.

Remember that thing about spending a lifetime diminishing myself (and therefore the value of my interests, beliefs, etc) and how hard that is to overcome? Yes, that. I call them my "gremlins," and I'll write more about them later. But even though I knew - knew - that this was IT - the thing I'd spent nearly all of my adult life and most of my young adult life trying to discern, I was still hesitating.

"I'm just exploring," I told myself and others. "Just trying things out."

It's an incredibly hard thing to really own who you are and step into yourself. There's so much exposure in that place! No armor, no protective shells - just you.

You and your raison d'etre.

My raison d'etre? (Deep breath.) Public service. And its erstwhile attendant, politics.

I love it. I just do. I love the service. I love the work. I love the organizing. I love the ideas. I love what being American means to me. I love the range of issues encompassed within its scope and I love the passion it draws from people.

Oh, and that's what I love best of all - the people. I've met so many in these past couple months and they're just wonderful! Generous, hard-working, idealistic, pragmatic, vehement, timid, but all stepping out and stepping forward to try and contribute and do something good. Sure, there have been one or two with particular agendas that don't seem to be about serving anyone, or who I passionately disagree with - but, they're all just...amazing. And I know that in the news, we read stories every day about people who do really horrible and even evil things, but my interactions with the larger community have disproven the popular notions that strangers are likely to be baddies. Maybe I've just been lucky so far, but all the people I've worked with have just been lovely.

So as for the work, I decided that as part of this stepping into my Self and living my truths, I would take on some community organizing. Where better, than with "average" and "ordinary" citizens to start connecting with the courageous, creative, generous, and driven spirit of our country? I started with a couple of service events in support of Operation Gratitude, and then moved on to starting a chapter of Organizing for Action in San Diego. I like this particular group because while we definitely tend to lean left in terms of political orientation, we identify as non-partisan. This means that we're able to reach out to all of our friends, neighbors, and family and find those intersections of caring - those things on which we can agree and care deeply about - in order to start making meaningful progress towards solving problems together. It means that we can step away from the pissing contests policy-making can sometimes be (you know - the part that makes everyone grimace and roll their eyes) and be positive, constructive, and supportive.

Those are the things we need in politics now. Along with kindness, consideration, and love. I believe they're there - but they just get buried under all the noise and bluster and anxiety.

Can you imagine what public service and politics would be like if we just remembered how loving, kind, and thoughtful we actually already are?

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know where I've been. And I'm hoping to continue my blogging - style blogging here and issues-and-personal-development blogging on my other blog, Material Good. But getting a chapter of grassroots volunteers doing multi-track issues activism up and running while simultaneously working a full-time job, being a mom and wife, daughter, sister, and friend has been a lot to juggle. My hope is that things will settle down a bit soon and I'll be able to check in here with you more regularly.

Wherever this takes me - and whatever it is I eventually end up doing - I want to thank you all wholeheartedly. This blog and your interest, care, and company have been a constant source of creativity, joy, and support to me for the past three years. I wouldn't be where I am now, without it or you.

I'll be back soon with our regular programming!