Friday, May 22, 2015

me, me, me, me, me

Enjoying the moment.

When I started this blog, I titled it that because I realized I want that. I want to be able to enjoy the current moment. To let go of what lead up to it and to release the worry about what might come next. More then a reality for me, it's been a goal. A goal that's been really hard to achieve.

In the past year, I've turned a little inward. Ok, maybe a lot inward. I've been doing lots of 'me' work, really focusing on who I am and how I can be my best self. Some days, my head spins with how focused on me i am... i talk about my life as the Molly Shea Show. I even have a theme song (if it's not obvious, it's a way i've come to taking myself with less weight. shit's not easy right now, but i'm also growing into being able to take myself a little less seriously... at least some times). While much of my life has been internally focused, I've also been learning and pushing myself to share with others, to reach out for support, and acknowledge I need that. I've turned to books, friends, therapists (oh so much therapy!), yoga, groups, reflection, listening to music (anyone whos been around me knows Jessica Lea Mayfield and First Aid Kit have been on literal repeat all year. Give those ladies a go, they are magical), and walks. I've thrown books across my room when I decided I didn't want to read it anymore and I've cried while doing dishes at work.
 I've had what felt like weeks where sleeping for more than 3 hours at a time just wasn't possible and days where twelve hours of being in bed felt too short. I've drank ridiculous amounts of coffee and started eating out with friends more often. I've been lucky enough to have an amazing friend teach me to quilt (look at it! are you looking!? I made that!), and have come to refer to my sewing machine as my favorite therapist (sorry to all my 'real' therapists, but ya'll got nothing on that beauty). I have goals about how often i want to do yoga, go for walks off the sidewalk, and see friends. I keep a series of jars by my bed to help me take a moment for gratitude and help seal up thoughts that are keeping me up all night. I have a fucking app on my phone to encourage meditation.

I've delved head first into therapyland, and for the first time am taking on 'self-care' as something real and worth doing. As part of that process, I've also started up a new wave of meaningful work in my life. Or maybe, feeling a need to do that work made me realize I needed to do some of that 'me' work. For the first time in my life, I've picked up work where I have a (direct) dog in the fight. That's by no means to diminish the work i've done and ways i've contributed to other realms of social justice, or to say the fight for environmental justice isn't connected to me. It is, but now, the work I'm doing is much more personal. More direct. Much, much harder (for me).

I've started teaching self-defense with a righteous organization, IMPACT safety. I'm still learning, but have already learned a lot. Working with teenage girls is where it's at for me, it's what I want to do most. All people deserve to be able to protect themselves, but it's that age group that lights a fire in my belly and makes my heart break into tiny little slivers. Working with folks with developmental disabilities has also been a striking reminder of why i stopped working at a day center for adults with development disabilities- the ways that folks who need support, love, and care the most are also the most susceptible to abuse. The ways the world we live in is not ok, where manipulation, power, and control allow for sexual assault to be commonplace. Where one and three girls and one and seven boys are abused before they are 18.

As I delved into IMPACT, I got trained up by the amazing humans of SARNCO (sexual assault response network of central ohio). In the middle of their 40 hour training- about trauma, about PTSD, about societal norms, about oppression, about empathy, about care, about the medical system, about abuse, about support services- i realized i felt deeply called to volunteer with them. Every day, 24 hours a day, there is a human ready to talk to you, to a survivor, to a co-survivor (someone, like a mother, friend, or partner, who is impacted by the abuse of someone they love), to anyone who needs help with sexual assault. Also everyday, 24 hours a day, there is someone ready to show up at a hospital and advocate for a survivor- let them know what the heck is happening, listen to them, watch their children, give them resources. That's about 1,440 hours a month that people are volunteering to support survivors in central ohio, through SARNCO alone (let alone the many other ways people give support). While it is heartwarming to know so many folks do that work and they do it so well, it's also a heartbreaking reminder that work like that is needed, because abuse is so common.

I can't say what will happen next. If i'll keep doing this work, if i'll find something new, if i'll ever make another quilt, if meditation will ever make sense to me. It pains my heart deeply, actually, to not know what tomorrow will feel like. But, some days, I'm able to sit with where i am. Let today sink in, and on rare occasion, even enjoy it.