I think I’ve finally understood what Einstein may have meant when he spoke of relativity; this past week felt so much longer for so many great reasons- it was bursting at the seams with surprises, new friends, learned lessons, and a deeper understanding of myself.
Since there is so much to update on what happened in the past 7 days that I want to catalogue and share with all three people who read this (hi mom!), I wanted to start off by explaining one of the main things that resonated with me this week.
Thanks to the U.S. Mexico Foundation, I got to share my story. Not in writing, like I’ve done before, not with a group of people who know me and wait while I unfold each aspect petal by petal like some water lily, and not to myself in the mirror as I try to confront the choices and experiences that have defined me.
I shared it in a room full of strangers. I opened my mouth and spoke about what my individual journey had been, and tried to create consciousness of Dream in Mexico and I survived. During the first day of the conference, I was consumed by thought after thought wondering what I could say to properly create awareness of so many like me, and how I might end up looking foolish. I was surrounded by doctoral polyglots and all I could think of in terms of my importance was my cat (what can I say? Chloe loves me).
When the discussion panel I would be speaking in occurred, a simple e.e. cummings line came to mind- I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart). I was propelled and pushed by all those voices who I knew existed and with those hearts inside mine I was able to push and be brave.
I felt like a sacrificial lamb, offering my very heart to a room of people who could easily destroy it, and part of me expected it. The narrative I have so often fought with -the one that whispers softly of monstrosity and shame- was present, but it was kept at bay by the strength I gained from so many others who I knew were also hurting, and scared and invisible. I could shine my little candlelight on them and maybe, help a little.
As the words came rushing out of me, I saw the faces of those I have had the chance to meet personally, if only for a few minutes. And I was brave on their behalf.
This weekend was also General Conference for those of the LDS faith. It was another moment of exposure for me and so many others, a feminist publicly stating that very same thing in a little corner of cyberspace. I watched as women in my faith community -my sisters- marched to the Tabernacle on behalf of myself and so many others who could not be there to create room for those of us who are different, who are faithful, who are searching. I had my heart carried in someone’s heart via purple marker writing on a piece of paper. I was witness from a distance to the love of a friend who willingly carried my heart in hers and was brave on my behalf.
There is so much to say of this past week for me, but for today, I simply want to say if you lack courage, know that your heart can be carried. If you seek community, know that you can carry a heart.
We are not alone.
We have each other.