Teetering at the edge ( activist overload )


 

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I’m a baby boomer from the San Francisco Bay Area.  I’ve been involved in politics since I was fifteen years old.   I was fascinated by the students who attended UC Berkeley.  At 15, 16, the students treated me like an equal. Their passion was contagious. I participated in protests throughout the Bay Area.    I became that person who believed if you want change you have to get involved.   One can get a addicted,  Your in one group with a cause you feel passionately about and  someone from that group invites you to a meeting then another meeting and before you know it, your life is a series of meetings.

Its  7am Tuesday morning and I’m leaving work.  On the way home, I thought I stop by 16th Street Donuts and get my final Cinnamon Roll and maybe a final Chocolate raised because this week, unlike last week and the week before, I’m gonna buckle down and leave this white sugar shit alone!

As I drive into the parking lot, my cell rings.  I haven’t really wanted to talk to anyone but this is dear friend who has always has a funny story and right now I need loads and loads of  laughter.   As we are talking my phone is ringing,  calls from Colorado, Virginia, and Texas.  I look down and say no, not today.   I have a meeting in Stockton at 11 that I’m dreading.    An hour has passed,  I’m still in my car in front of the donut shop chatting. My friend is in good form,  I love his tales from the plant.  But it time to go….They are going to sell my Cinnamon Rolls and all the donuts are growing stale by the second and I need to go home and  change into something comfortable before the drive to Stockton.

Something’s wrong,  has been wrong for days maybe weeks.   I’m feeling anxious and close to depression accompanied by a dull pain in my stomach.     World War 3 with Korea is looming ,Putin was weighting in on the conflict asking for diplomacy.   This is serious!  I’m a world class talker, but I haven’t really wanted to talk to anyone,  and I’m isolating myself ,which is a clear sign of depression.

Most people would look for a quiet place to decompress or maybe a lively place.   I went on social media and found a obscure meeting in a rural area north of Sacramento. The community is poor and is concerned about the Affordable Care Act .  They feel they’re aren’t being heard by their elected representative.  This was in my wheelhouse, however like most meetings, this meeting deteriorated into we hate Trump.  After 30 minutes I took my leave.

Its the holiday weekend and I was looking forward to working my late night shift. Holidays and the week that follows are typically slow.  During the quiet moments I read the news or I blog.   I’m a news junkie.  I read everything.  Its important  to hear all points of view.  In some circles just the mention of Fox News or MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow will place you in the center of a storm.  People who have never seen either show attempt to place you in the L or C box.   I find this frustrating and unproductive as I listen to one group villianizing another and I’m often attacked at meetings trying to  present the other side.

Another source of my frustration is the fragmentation.  In the 60’s it was civil rights, which  includes rights for women as well as people of color.   When women marched in the 70’s in many parts of the country it included gay rights.   There are currently so many groups, marching for so many things I think its confusing for the public.  Many of these groups are not supporting each other and some of the reasons are petty.  You didn’t attend or confirm our event so we wont support yours.    Missing in this country is a single issue.  ACA united us, someone, somewhere knows someone, who is depended on the ACA.   No leader emerged, the Democratic’s party sang songs to the Republicans after the GOP voted to dismantle the ACA. .

There are some Democrats and Republicans who believe members of the other party are inherently evil. Who’s goal is to take away freedoms.  I’m of the mind unless we work together solutions will be difficult.

On route to the meeting in Stockton. I’m listening to Sirrus radio trying to avoid the news.  Switching channels I heard the news of  Trumps intention to end (DACA) Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.  Within minutes I received texts asking all to protest in Tuscon and Los Angeles.  Truth is I know little about DACA, its just one more thing. In a series of THINGS!  My stomach is upset and my chest is hurting.  I just want to sit in my car with the AC on.  Its just too much, but I have a committeemen.

At the meeting, I’m not feeling anything, not hearing anything.  Someone grabbed  my shoulder and asks if I was alright?    Apparently, I’m crying and not aware of it.  I touch my face and its wet.  Suddenly, I noticed other people looking at me, some with tears in their eyes, FUCK!

I get up with the intention of regrouping in the bathroom.   But  I walk instead, to the parking lot to my car.  I realize I left my notes on the chair, it doesn’t matter.   I’m going home.  I get in my car,  I meant to turn right onto on Pacific to get to March Lane, but I turned left on Pacific by the Mall.   I started crying, and pulled into the parking lot.

I drove home and started crying again, now feeling sorry for myself.  Am I having a breakdown?   I lay on the sofa and drift off to sleep. When I woke up I went on social media.

To my friends, comrades I will not be attending any meetings for the next few days . Needing a few days of ME time . Sent emails out this morning. Perhaps a couple of days in the mountains.. I need BIG injections of humor #thenanny#Ilovelucy In a few days I’ll be ready for the next round. #DACA#Northwestend #resistence #projectkings next week. Keep marching. Sending Love

Crying brought clarity.  I’m overwhelmed, I’m associated with 11 groups, which is beyond crazy!   I’m frustrated and most of all I’m sad.   I’m usually comforting people at meetings at work, who are overwhelmed by the daily news.  I didn’t realize the events had taken a toll on me.    This has been a contentious eight months.    I decided to leave all the organizations to reset.    I thought about writing letters, but I’m a volunteer.   I have to find THAT single issue where I can be helpful.

As I told a friend, I’m not gone, I’m simply taking a break!

Activist never die, they’re simply waiting for the appropriate cause.

For now its about humor. After tonight’s viewing of Steven Kings “IT”

If you see a large black man screaming like Jamie Lee Curtis. well…..

Just one thing….  If your wearing a clown suite,  Don’t just Don’t  We don’t need to be the lead story on Fox 40 News

See you at the next protest

CityFella

 

The More things change, the More they stay the same.   Listen to this 40 year old album  featuring the Brilliant Lily Tomlin

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