And then... and then... she says, "Militancy no longer means guns at high noon, if it ever did. It means actively working for change, sometimes in the absence of any surety that change is coming... It means fighting despair." whoa. And suddenly my life snapped into focus. The past year seemed to whirl through my head and I realized why I was so tired all the time. So deflated. I had lost the feeling that what I was doing could possibly make a difference. And her statement rang through my thoughts again, "courage is actively working for change, sometimes in the absence of any surety that change is coming."
As many times as it's happened, it's still hard to realize that you haven't been living up to your own expectations - that I will continue to disappoint myself. I had been scared: scared of the new relationship I was in because I was scared of being hurt again after such a jarring break-up last fall; scared to take on big projects because I might fail; scared that I wasn't actually the radical, edgey activist that I used to identify as.
I had just been going through the motions. I thought of all the activist groups that I had been a part of in the past year and how I had behaved: forward enough to seem like a leader, but never really taking any big risks either. And more than that, always with the ultimate attitude that anything we did probably wouldn't matter anyway. I was going through the motions just enough so that I wouldn't have to admit to myself that I had changed; that I had given up.
But suddenly I felt empowered. Suddenly recognizing it meant that I was free to address it. I was tired of being scared; tired of always feeling insecure in a fantastic relationship because of past baggage; tired of being angry with no hope; and tired from working on projects that were ultimately unfulfilling because they were never inspiring in the first place. And I could change all that.