written January 21, 2017—3 days before departing for Prague.
Today I’m thankful for: my dog, all womxn, the ability to travel.
2016 was a rough kick in the pants for everyone, which makes leaving home this January of 2017 both exciting and incredibly scary.
Way too much loss. Way too many deaths, high profile and closer to home. Way too many health scares. Ongoing sexual assault cases and a slough of campus-wide druggings left many humans at my school feeling unsafe, and reminded those who already feel unsafe every day in this country just how often privilege can breed ignorance, even at a purportedly community-based, small liberal arts college.
The rest of it sounds like a bad movie that could be ranked right up there with Sharknado and Troll 2. A loud orange man was elected president, and his beautiful, malleable, Narcissa-Malfoy-esque wife is now officially First Lady (#FREEMELANIA?).
As I watch my 15+ year old mutt dog chase squirrels and fat cats in his dreams on the couch next to me, I strain to create a metaphor for this year. Even Biscuit has been affected by this man’s rise to power, I think. This little dog is unconscious, but he is restless. Driven. Smart. More people are marching for womxn today than were at this fascist’s inauguration; in my hometown Seattle, we’re over 100,000 people strong.
I’m excited that, on this day, I can be proud of my country. I’m sad that this has to happen right before I leave it in a few days. I’m nervous to answer Czech people’s questions about how I could possibly have let this happen, despite my #HillYes swag and the fact that I have felt perhaps just as helpless as they did in this recent election. I’m hopeful that eating, drinking, writing, studying, dancing, and existing in Central Europe will make me miss the best parts of home. I hope that this experience will give me the strength and perspective to (begin to) change the parts of it that contribute to The Great Catastrophe we’re about to witness stateside in the coming months.
I might be ~in limbo~ right now, but I’m stoked. I’m fired up and ready to go, ready to embark on this great adventure!