Sunday, February 17, 2008


i visited my hometown, very briefly, this weekend.
it was....well, i don't really have concise words. but it was.

what i want to talk about now, though, is something i realized while i was talking with my grandmother over dinner.

she was asking me about what i was doing with my life, what i wanted to do with my life, where i was headed.
(as a side note: as similar as she is to my mother, her daughter, there is a key difference that allows me to be more open and loving with my grandmother: she trusts me, trusts that what i'm doing with my life is best. mostly, though, she wants me to be happy simply for the sake of my own happiness. she would be proud of me and happy for me if i were to move into a box on the streets of northampton, as long as i was happy.)
i'm well aware of how this path-finding / path-discovery happened. this weekend, more than before, i made a very conscious effort to be always connected with myself, with the spiritual part of myself, with my higher self. that, i'm convinced, is where the following came from. it came through me, but it came from somewhere higher, because of that strong connection i'd cultivated especially for this particular weekend.

i was telling her about my eventual plans for grad school (a joint JD / MPH in reproductive & sexual health), and about what i hoped to do with that degree. i gave her my usual answer: become legal counsel or do some kind of policy work for a reproductive justice organization. but then, without putting much thought into it, the following answer spilled out:
but more than that, and in that kind of position, what i want to do is to bring something else into social justice work, into feminist activism. i want to bring in the aspect of individual healing, i want to help transform the movement into one where activists and organizers take care of themselves, heal themselves, help others to heal. i want to bring that healing environment into the often unhealthy environment of the social justice movement.

i've voiced this desire before, but more in the context of my own individual life, my own individual activism. i hadn't integrated this concept into my career plans. but now that i've voiced it, now that i've explained it - to my Roman Catholic grandmother, of all people - it makes so much sense.
i've always wanted to make a difference.
but it's always been an abstract, very general idea, something about "making things better for women."
this is it, though. this is the difference i want to make.
my calling, perhaps?

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