I’ve tried. Really, I have. I have exercised hard and stretched gently. I’ve read more books and taken more walks. I’ve taken time for quiet reflection and I’ve talked it out. I’ve danced and I’ve meditated. I’ve consumed gallons of tea and bottles of wine. I’ve been up at dawn and napped in the middle of the day. I’ve stayed off my phone and I’ve joined hundreds of online conversations.
I’ve followed every bit of advice.
And I’m still mad as hell.
And I’ve decided maybe anger is an underrated emotion. We aren’t supposed to be angry. Especially women. Angry women are harpies. They’re nags. They’re bitter. And I suppose, given free rein, anger can make you all of those things. But in the same way that fear can cause you to either freeze up or get focused, I think anger has a flip side to it.
You have to be thinking about something in order to get angry about it. Anger will embolden you. It will wake you up. It will cause you to take stock of a situation, and it can light a match that will burn through your complacency.
Well, I’m paying attention now. “Woke,” my daughter calls it. And what remains after every attempt I’ve made to find some peace, is the ashes of waiting for someone else to do something.
I’M doing something now.
I’m doing something EVERY DAY to make a difference, to protect the people and places that I love. To improve my community and my country, and to move toward a freer, more equitable world. And no, I’m not running for office or starting a foundation or writing checks with commas in them. There’s nothing wrong with doing those things, of course, but that’s not where I am in life.
I’m calling elected officials. I’m sending emails. I’m showing up at meetings. I’m recognizing when I don't know enough about an issue and then doing some old-fashioned research at the library. I’m diversifying my news sources so I better understand what and how issues are getting discussed. I’m talking with my friends and family, and I’m talking to acquaintances and people I’ve never met.
And I’ll be here. I’ll share what I’ve learned, and maybe you can share what you've learned too.
Because if I’m going to be angry, its going to count for something.