Sunday, January 22, 2017

I Came, I Saw, I Marched. And I Can't Wait To Do It Again.

I can't believe I almost missed this moment.  I can't believe my luck in being able to participate in the Women's March in Albany, NY.  I can't believe how powerful it is has been to see image after image on Instagram of sisters around the globe marching in unity for equality.

I had offers to participate with friends in DC and NYC.  And I declined them all.  I was worried because I'm an introvert with anxiety and don't do well in crowds. mind is just always my worst enemy!  

Then I started feeling sorry for myself and regretted my decision.  So I made plans to get breakfast with a friend on Saturday morning, thinking that would distract me.  But I was so frustrated with myself for not finding a way to work out my anxiety issues so I could participate.

Saturday was going along just fine until mid day when I was checking Instagram every five minutes to see all the amazing images.  And at 2:30 PM I noticed a post about the march in Albany.  The march was starting at 4 PM.  I just got out of the shower, so I had sopping wet hair.  

I didn't even realize there was a march locally!  I'm blaming Facebook for this one.  As in, because I am still avoiding Facebook at all costs, I am missing the kind of information that would normally come to my attention.  

I did what any sane person who was upset that she didn't go down to the big marches would do.  I blow dried my mop top, poured out all my Sharpies, cut apart some foam core board, made a two sided poster, laced up my pink sneakers, and drove over to the march. 

On a normal day, I would have made it with time to spare.  However, as there were more than 7000 people who showed up yesterday, traffic was at a complete standstill.  Add in the lack of parking in Albany and me not exactly knowing the ins and outs of all the side streets...and I was cutting it close.

But again...I found my sanity.  In a half hour of My Shot from Hamilton on repeat.  It seemed extra fitting being in Albany!  I ended up finding a great parking spot a few blocks away and met the march just as they were getting to the rally.

Oh, did I mention I went alone?  I didn't have time to text anyone and didn't think I knew anyone going.  {I later found out I had a bunch of friends who went and even though I never saw them, it warmed my heart to know we were all there together!}

It was an amazing crowd.  I had no idea what to expect but I never imagined that our little area would have such a big turn out.  While there were certainly more women than men, there were lots of men there.  And lots of families with children of all ages.  It was beautiful!  Just the most amazing and diverse group of humans all there to support each other.  

So I made two signs {or one sign with two sides}.  Thrown together in a few minutes before running out the door.  The first side should have read: Love, not hate, makes America great.  But about an hour after being at the march, I spotted my typo.  And you know that drove me up the wall!

My second sign though, was a huge hit.  Folks kept asking to take photos of it, which tickled me to no end.  Not bad for last minute!  {Update: See Occupy Democrats Facebook page for a photo of my head and pink glove holding this sign!}

I am so grateful that I went and participate and lived in the moment.  That doesn't come easy to me.  Being carefree is not my natural state and I am all too aware of how much it holds me back in life.  Yesterday though, I lived in the moment.  I was there for the start of a movement with a sea of strangers, chanting and singing.  I held my sign and smiled at people.  I felt empowered and inspired and at times, very emotional.  

I waited 38 years and 11 months to participate in my first march.  I promised myself that I will not wait even a year to participate in the next one.  Everyone should know how amazing it feels to stand shoulder to shoulder in a sea of strangers turned sisters who all passionately believe in equal human rights!

Did you march yesterday, either in person or in spirit {because that counts too!}?  I hope your experience was as positive and inspiring as mine and that you went home with big buckets of warm fuzzies!



MCW said...

You know I was there with Mom and Dad. And so proud that you went by yourself! That takes some guts. And I am obsessed with your sign and have quoted it a few times when I have been called a special snowflake. (insert eyeroll.)

Flo said...

Go you!!! Unfortunately due to a very screwed up knee, something like this is not very doable for me, but I was there in spirit. So glad to hear that it was such a positive experience. Love your sign!

Alayna said...

LOVE the sign:) Just found your blog via MWH.
Alayna, Charlotte NC

Landlocked Mermaid said...

I am so proud of you!! ANd that is not a typo!! LOVE NOT HATE DOES MAKE AMERICA GREAT!! Love you xoxo you little snowflake you xo x


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