Week 15: Be that person


“Let it be true that we wrote the world in each other back to life, that we didn’t die. Let that be the new book.” – Lidia Yuknavitch

On Saturday morning, I joined the estimated 250,000 people at the Women’s March in downtown Chicago, a sister event to the Women’s March in D.C. Attending the D.C. march crossed my mind for an instant, but when I heard local organizers were planning a Chicago event I made the decision to attend that one instead. For months, I planned to go to this march and in the last week I’ve made plans with friends, read pieces on what to expect and ransacked ideas for poster slogans. I knew it was important for me to be there.

The morning of the march, before I left home and while drinking coffee, I sat down with my journal and wrote the reasons why I was marching. Because I believe that women’s rights are humans rights, that climate change is real, that black lives matter, that immigrants make America great, that love is love, that we are stronger together, that love still wins. I’ve represented those views at my polling place in November, so why did I feel the need to march?

It comes from this tiny place inside that says, “Who do you want to be?” This is not a voice that demands I accomplish arbitrary goals or earn specific accolades, rather that I act on the things that matter to me.

It’s the voice that gets me up at 5:30 a.m. to write.

It’s the voice that encourages me to give up my seat on the train when I see an pregnant woman or an elderly person.

It’s the voice that guides me to check on a friend when it’s been awhile.

I went to the march yesterday because I want to look my children in the eyes and tell them I stood up for what I believed in, that in a critical moment I didn’t stay silent.

It seems to me that I am hearing that voice more and more, the more I follow it the more I like myself. I think this in part because I am not drinking, because I can see a few things clearer in sobriety. For now, I know that I want to be a sober person and each day I don’t drink I feel the confidence and glory building under my feet.

So, I keep following that voice, trying to be that person I want to be.

Hardest part of not drinking: While getting ready to go to a friend’s house last night, the urge to have a drink washed over me. I could have just one. Everyone would understand. It seemed impossible to go to that party and not a have a drink. Of course, I didn’t drink and had two La Croixs instead, but in the heat of a craving I wasn’t so sure I could beat it this time.

Best part of not drinking: I’ve been swamped at work and in my personal life lately, all good things. Drinking tended to slow me down a bit,  so it’s been nice to wake up fresh and hit the to-do lists hard.

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