Honestly, truthfully, I go back and forth. I feel like I have vertigo. There are moments I feel so strong, so full of piss and vinegar, so determined, so ready to make a ruckus; to strut my sassy and crazy and look at me stuff. And then there are days I want to crawl into a ball and hide, while gathering enough medicated nuts so that the next few years go by as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
But I am reminded every day that these are not times to hide.
These are not times to roll up and play dead and wish away this horrific nightmare. This is the stuff that makes us take notice; makes us stand up straight; makes us flutter our wings; makes us love better, and be kinder. This is the stuff that makes us see what we’re made of. We get to use our voices and our wits and yes, our voting rights. We get to use our power. We get to write our truth and inspire others. We get to look mean and cruel right in the eye and say, “Here, over here, look at me – look at me, I know you – you won’t win because nasty has an expiration date, and your time is up, buddy.”
We get to rise up for our lives; for our friends and family and neighbors and strangers and co-workers, and let folks know that they’re not alone and will never be alone because that is not who we are. We do not abandon or erase and discard the folks we love — period. We get to show our worth, our value; who we are in this weary tired world. We get to stop pretending – putting our head in the sand – that all will be okay because all is not okay and the world is aching and the world is weeping and the world is in pain and not to sound like a cliché but, we- the People – are the world. We are the world, and we are connected, whether we want to own that or believe that or acknowledge it.
I know pain, I may not have experienced your exact devastation or loss but I know the sound of a heart breaking in half, never to return to whole. I know sorrow; I may not have experienced the devastation of a disease in the exact way or stage that you did but I have witnessed the chokehold of one that didn’t let go, only to leave ashes and bone in its wake. I know fear; I may not have experienced that particular attack or abuse or violation that you did but I know the grip it has on a human life. It holds on with every fiber and wants you to cower.
Cowering gives fear power.
Not this girl.
So yes, I go back and forth, swaying and rocking, and some days I am strong and steady and ready to kick some butt. And some days I can barely breathe and I shake in my Frye boots and I lose a bit of my self. But I am constantly reminded that courage is born from fear and worry and the shivers. I am reminded to love my own life deep and wide; to love each flaw, each foible, each mistake; to love the extra weight I carry because, God knows, it will help carry others. I am reminded constantly to love the words I speak and write and shout because those words will be imprinted on another’s soul, and I am reminded day after day that my glorious imperfections, the stuff I want to bury and hide and keep from sunlight — that very stuff gives other folks hope, and fills them with courage.
These are the precise moments when we get to declare: ENOUGH. These are the moments we stand up and say: NEVER AGAIN.
These are the very moments we get to awaken to our greatness, and yes, it’s like a tornado, and yes, it’s messy – most of us have junk drawers that bear resemblance – but that’s what happens when you realize you have unlimited power, and that mess is in fact your life, and it is yours for the taking.
So, we grab it, and hold it, and cradle it, and nurture it, and we don’t let anyone, not one soul, rip it out from under us; we don’t let anyone diminish it or destroy it.
These are the moments we make a full on, all-in RuckUS.
We do not stay silent.
We do not act timid.
We do not stay in our comfort zone.
We do not hide behind a God, or any deity.
We awaken. We rise. We lift each other. We carry each other. We hold tight to each other. We save our own lives and we save others.
And because I’m feeling rather feisty, I suggest when they remake the next A Star Is Born, and they will, I hope that it will be the girl who saves the guy, or better yet… saves another girl, because quite frankly I am tired of make-believe and fake presidents.
author. writer. girl.
Women’s eNews weekly columnist Amy Ferris is a highly accomplished author, screenwriter, television writer and editor. She was also honored by Women’s eNews as one of our ‘21 Leaders for the 21st Century‘ for 2018. Every Friday, you will continue to be invited into her world, where she will champion, encourage and inspire women to awaken to their greatness, as only she can, through passion, truth, hope, and humor — along with a heaping side of activism.