Thirty Two

I turned 32 today.

Technically yesterday, but when I realized I was turning 32 I needed an extra day to process the idea.

I suppose I struggled with it at first. We have been taught to let doubt lead how we move forward and plan. To find the broken pieces and rusty wheels to fix and shine, to find the functionality the world tells us we need to find success. A success that is defined for us in the form of a career, a robust savings account that will allow us to live out a retirement tangled in debt and drowning in the stresses of skyrocketing health care costs and shackles of our mortgage. A success suffocated in job complacency and a deliberate choice to negotiate ideals for financial stability and professional security.

I am still young in the eyes of many who have decided my political preferences and practice to share them threatens their idea of success. That there is something innately immature, sporadic, and unstable in my words, but for many who share in my sentiments, they are more real and stable because they are truth. The truth is an intentional threat to their success, it is calling out the oppressive and unjust realities of the institutions their success has built. Our truths put them on Front Street. Our success is grounded in love, in dismantling the very success they see that has held us back for so long.

I think with each birthday we make something of a “life New Years resolution,” some commitment to ourselves that we will be better in some way. To some extent I very much support the idea of it, and this year I am committing to the idea of me. It waivers for most folks between diets or exercising, but that has never been the issue on a personal level. I’ve always been an athlete. Always been able to push, pull, run, sprint, and even through broken bones and surgeries stayed the course to slowly break my body down. That has become part of the problem. Self-care does not stem from self-destruction.

This year will be different, a new process, journey, and path of adventurous healing.

There will be peace and grace in my motions. Flexing out long breaths with my movements. Closing my eyes to listen to not only what is around me, but also inside of me. In all the moments of inwardness and introversive self-reflection I will be a better version of me. I will sleep in a space that is unfamiliar, one that isn’t broken. A sleep that uninterrupted, real and deep. I will practice yoga and promise to breathe.

I will work to be unafraid of myself. I can and should understand my mistakes, errors, and failings because in that love is where I grow. In my growth I embrace all that I am.

I am and continue to remain unapologetically me.

My only fear is them. Their own fear of the truth, and their fear of me, of us. In my growth, in my progress I stray further from their truths in screaming my own. In seeing past what we know as their oppression and abuse of power, to call systemic injustice what it is, I am a threat. You are a threat. We are dangerous. We will move forward together, me at 32 with what I have, you with your knowledge and lived experience, and that will protect us from their fear. Their arsenal comes in the form of broken education systems, unjust policing laws and practices, and even in the media we consume and our local political systems… but the difference is we see it.

We are not blinded by fear. We are led by love.

I am unafraid of their success because we do not crave stability in silence, but in loud and revolutionary truths that move and shake us to the core where we find our power.