Cruising at 32,000 feet currently, on my way to Washington D.C. for the Women’s March on Washington. Have a celebratory Angry Orchard in my hand and my laptop on my tray. This is my happy place.
So, why the heck am I marching? Why would I take precious PTO and travel one day after my birthday to exercise my first amendment rights?
Because it matters. Because I matter. Because you matter.
Like many Americans, I was reeling after the election. Stunned. This wasn’t so much a partisan issue as it was about electing a man who has made fun of minorities, people with disabilities oh and hey, 50% of the world, you know, women. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Sure, I’ve leaned left most of my life, but I’ve supported and voted for Republicans. I wasn’t as torn up after George W won a second term. I still felt the country was in safe hands, even if I disagreed with many, many policies.
But now? Well now, I’m worried. We’re a tweet away from a war. Honestly, think about that. Let that sink in. An elected official is using 140 character to put all of our allies on the defense and in return, our lives in danger. Dramatic? Sure. Realistic? Sadly, yes.
I get so bummed out seeing apathetic friends who find it easier to say, “Let’s not get political…” than read about and understand the very issues that now affect them because they chose not to vote or on a basic level, form an opinion. They’re angry now, but where were they 4, 8, 12, 16 years ago? It doesn’t need to personally affect you to be concerning. That’s a privilege so many are unaware they have. It’s frustrating.
You know what’s helped? Knowing that millions of other people feel the same way and have united together to show that we matter, our lives matter, our votes matter and they must be represented by the people elected.
I felt moved enough to book a hotel the moment I heard that this “women’s march” may actually be happening. I texted several of my fierce friends, invited my husband and called my sister. Turns out, they were feeling the same way and soon enough, my hotel room was full.
My grandmother, whom I’ve written about, was a card- carrying Republican. Her husband, the love of her life, was a card carrying NRA member. I know they would be sick about who is representing the party they held so dear. So, I found her high school graduation ring, grabbed mine and put it on a necklace I plan to wear at the march.
This is the bottom line:
The more I travel, the more I realize at the bottom of my gut how much we are the same. We have common goals, common dreams, common hopes for our children; we have far more common ground than not.
Fear of differences will not win. I won’t let it, by making sure my voice is heard.
If you don’t agree with me, that’s okay. I encourage intelligent discourse. I fully acknowledge that our diversity in both ethnicities and opinions is what makes this country so wonderful. I don’t want to lose that.
Hell, I was vice-president in 8th grade and put together a petition to make sure our end of the school year dance lasted just as long as previous years. (It didn’t work.) I look back on that feisty 13-year-old and wonder if she’s kept quiet over the years to oblige the status quo.
Well, she’s back.
She knows that hate won’t make us great.
That’s why I march.