Brave Woman

Adventures of a future nurse-midwife

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Resistance, Day 30

Posted by Lucille on December 29, 2016 at 2:25 AM

Dec 8th marked 30 days after the election, and 30 days straight that I've completed and posted a daily act of resistance. I didn't commit to daily acts of activism at the outset, I just started doing it- it didn't feel optional, and honestly I mean that less because of moral obligation and more because contributing tangibly to the resistance was necessary for my own sanity. I have been so full of anxious/angry energy this month that daily activism has been imperative for my own grounding. Although I didn't have a particular goal or plan at the outset, once I had done it for a week or so and saw that my posts were inspiring others, it was an exciting challenge to see how long I could keep it going.

About two weeks post-election, I wrote: "Some people I love have reached the depression phase of all of this. I still have one foot back in anger and one in bargaining. "Fine, he can be president, but how about if I commit to doing one act of resistance every day and then we DON'T blow the arms off of peaceful protesters?!" Nope, see there I am back at rage. So I have been thinking about rage, where I feel it in my body, and what to do with this heat and energy. I have heard a lot of people talk about anger as something toxic. "Anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." I don't agree. It's an emotion like anything else, and the fact that it's stressful to feel doesn't mean that it's pathological. In the face of obscene injustice, anger is fucking appropriate. It's even necessary. This fire is fuel, and I need enough fuel to power me through the next four years, minimum. So I refuse to put my anger down, but I also refuse to grasp onto it and let it burn me up. I am finding meaning in my name today: Lucille means light bringer, and I'm going to let my anger run through me like a lightbulb and turn that fire into light I can shine on injustice and heat I can use to help cauterize the world's wounds, one day at a time."

I won't repeat all of the resistance acts here, but here are some general categories and highlights:

 

Education:

- Midwifery (and really all professions in sexual & reproductive health) is inherently political, so I counted some of my most relevant or exciting experiences in school. Learning how to insert IUDs was a definite highlight!


-Extracurricular events designed to raise awareness about specific issues included an event on queer youth in foster care and a documentary screening about abortion care in Portland and Kenya.

-I'm now a co-leader of OHSU Nursing Students for Sexual & Reproductive Health, and helping to organize an educational event with a presentation by the Cascades Abortion Surpport Collective.


Demonstrating:

-Post-election protest

-Rally against the Dakota Access Pipeline

-Women's March Against Hate with awesome friends from nursing school


Networking/Community-building

-Set up a meeting with Commissioner Fritz to talk about nurses in politics

-Went to some grassroots organizing meetings

-Tried to hold space for dissonance, uncertainty, and nuance in inviting conversations with friends around issues we might disagree on

-Offered our couches up for friends traveling to a resistance-related workshop

-Online organizing: I've been doing a lot of activism housekeeping in this area to try to stay connected without overwhelming myself with redundant content. Email subscriptions, sites, and online groups I've found useful include Wall of Us, Weekly Action Checklist, Flippable, the We're His Problem Now calling sheet, Action Together Oregon, Badass Women PDX (secret group- a friend in the group to add you), and Local Love Brigade.


Donations

-Planned Parenthood. Even more fun when you do it in Mike Pence's name!

-ACLU

-Compassion Collective

-Signed up for a recurring donation to Sunday Assembly Portland. Secular and radically inclusive community spaces are going to matter in the days to come.

-Standing Rock, both $ and first aid supplies


Consumer Activism

-Updated my computer and phone security

-Went through our groceries with the Buycott app, and made changes accordingly

-Signed up for the PGE renewable energy program

-Switched my finances over from Bank of America to a credit union. This was definitely the most involved act of resistance and I'm so excited to call it done!


Political Advocacy

-Countless petitions, surveys, and calls to politicians and other officials. Going forward, I'll be cutting back on the petitions and focusing more on political calls. These have the most effect when they're part of a group call to action (see above for some good online groups to join).


Supporting Targeted Communities

-Dad officiated and Travis and I served as witnesses for a friend's wedding.

-Local Love Brigade is a good group to be a part of to counter local hate speech with letters of support.


Supporting and Engaging in Artistic Expression

-Went to see my high school's production of Les Mis

-Loving this sparkly uterus ornament made by a friend


-Added resistance-inspired songs to my playlists. Currently humming Utah Phillips's Ship Gonna Sail to myself as I type.

-Writing, including Facebook and blog posts, and also this poem:


Self Care

-Adding some good news to my media feeds.

-Making time to cuddle and be silly with family and friends, including a Thanksgiving cosplay photo shoot.

Current favorite caption possibilities for my River Tam cosplay include, "I can kill fascism with my brain," "Keep your tiny hands off my patients," and, "I can't find the craft blades, will these work?"



I felt a shift around the 30 day mark. I finished my last final for the term, came home and slept for a few hours, then took a hot shower. It felt like my whole body took a deep breath. I felt some of the survival mode I was hanging onto to get through finals week slip away, finally cried with a sense of release, and stepped out feeling softer. This has been my first term of midwifery school and my first month working as a nurse in dementia and end-of-life care, on top of everything going on in national and global politics. I'm thinking about how to balance staying engaged with making sure that I use this break to rest and refuel as fully as I need to. Considering I'll be working and traveling a lot over the break, I'm letting go of the resistance posts as a daily commitment, but I'll still post any particularly exciting acts. I'll be visiting Washington D.C. for the first time in a few weeks, so there should be some new resistance posts pretty soon!

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Sometimes I have the privilege of being a part of intimate, powerful moments in other people’s lives. I cannot and would not share these stories, because they are not mine to tell. However, they touch my life and become part of my own story. When I share these moments here, you can trust that I have not broken anyone’s confidentiality. The characters are invented. They are not real, but could be. I take creative license to communicate the essence of my experience while respecting the privacy of others.