The people in my life are amazing. They really, truly are. People back in Minnesota, people in Chicago, people at Bryn Mawr, people elsewhere — so fantastic. My friends, my family, the other people in my communities: I am so lucky.
I know so many amazing people who are involved with so many amazing things. They are wonderful for so very many reasons — for being fierce activists but also for being great friends, for what they do for the world and for what they do for me. Little things, like taking the time to say goodnight to me, even if it might mean the cross walk sign will turn to “don’t walk.” Offers of help and assistance when I’m freaking out about something. Posting supportive comments on my blog and on Facebook. Sending me a video just to say hi and that they’re thinking about me. Having faith in me when I don’t have faith in myself.
It’s easy, sometimes, to focus on the ways in which people don’t understand — the ways in which they aren’t supportive, or are hurtful, or don’t seem to see me. But focusing on that diverts energy from thinking about the ways in which they really are fantastic. Yes, confrontation is sometimes needed (in the Bryn Mawr sense of confrontation, not the aggressive type of confrontation). Yes, having conversations about difficult topics can be necessary. Calling people on their privilege (and checking one’s own privilege) and educating people when they’re ignorant is important. However, no one’s perfect (least of all me), and I would do well to remember the good times as well as the upsetting things.
It’s easy, sometimes, to stress about how far away from me many of the people about whom I care live (or how far away they will be shortly). But then I am reminded that geographical proximity doesn’t mean everything. There are people to whom I am closer now (in a figurative sense, although not in terms of physical distance) than I was when we lived near each other. Moving away from an area will change my relationship with communities there, but it will only cut ties with those communities if I allow it to.
There are so many fantastic people in my life. There are so many things people have done, large and small, that have brightened my days and made me smile. I don’t always remember that as well, or as often, as I should. However, I was reminded of that today, and so I decided to post about how really fabulous the people I know are. Hugs for everyone.