the sweet spot
Here we are.
This FBI investigation was about as believable as the plumber in a porno. The GOP has its head so far up its own ass that all it can hear is its own IBS. Flake’s got all the grit and moral fortitutde of his own g-d synonyms: Jeff Sliver, Jeff Shaving, Jeff Scraps, Jeff Crumbs. Sasse ain’t got none to speak of, and Operation Dave has yet to replace our Dear Leader with Kevin Kline.
Yes, I feel the despair. Have you? It was all for nothing. Nobody cares. We tore ourselves apart to prove that we bleed red blood, and all we got was Jeff Flake using his inside voice to say, “golly, we should wipe up that blood puddle before someone trips.” He’s going to be confirmed. Nothing changes.
After the despair comes the terror - Is this the beginning of the end? Have I given up? I have to stay in this fight. Now is when it counts. Every fight is its last round. I read on Twitter they they WANT us to feel despair. I don’t want to help them. I’m just so sad.
After the terror comes grief, as deep as my fatigue. And I feel bad about that feeling too. Buck up, buttercup, for fuck’s sake. There’s work to do.
Times of extremity are hard to navigate when you are picking yourself apart in an attempt to pull yourself together. You’re trying to process your personal pain, make space for your collective trauma, engage with the unrelenting shit show of the news, stoke your rage, nourish your hope, and pack a peanut-free lunch for your Kindergartener.
It feels like there must be a sweet spot, an ideal proportion of all these powerful feelings that dangit, I just keep missing.
You want to get angry? Good. Get angry. Stay angry. We need that energy. Our rage is our fuel. WAIT! Not too angry. You don’t want to explode. You don’t want hotwire into a disconnect, the kind of “FUCK IT ALL WE’RE FUCKED ANYWAY” implosion. You want to stay angry, but be optimistic that you could make a difference. Optimistic rage. Yeah, that’s the sweet spot.
WAIT! Not too optimistic. It’s too early to talk about silver linings when you’re still enveloped by the black cloud. If we look away from what we need to do on the ground today in order to search for good news, we’ll lose the momentum of our urgency. So we want optimistic rage balanced with pragmatic urgency. That’s it. That’s the recipe. So like, “EVERY ONE OF YOU MOTHERFUCKERS BETTER CALL YOUR SENATORS IT MIGHT FUCKING WORK THIS TIME BITCHES.”
WAIT! I forgot humor. You have to laugh to stay balanced. Humorous optimistic rage and pragmatic urgency. WAIT! Don’t forget to drink water! Hydrated humorous optimistic rage and pragmatic urgency. WAIT! Not too funny. People have to know that you’re only laughing to keep from screaming bees. But WAIT! You can’t just go around screaming bees all the time, that’s unsustainable. WAIT BUT SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO SCREAM THE BEES. WAIT WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN.
WAIT DON’T FORGET SELF-CARE.
OK, so I think we’ve nailed it down. We’re shooting for:
Hydrated humorous optimistic rage and pragmatic urgency while you keep your mouth sealed shut against the screaming bees until it’s time to scream the bees while you raise the next generation of intersectional feminists and treat yourself to a Thursday afternoon pedicure & cupcake.
GREAT NO PROBLEM WE’LL ALL JUST DO THAT THEN.
This “Politically Engaged Woman in Trauma” sweet spot sounds absurd, right? I mean, who would try to be all those things at once, right?
Remember when you were Perfect Mom and you were patient but firm and creative but practical and exhausted but keeping it tight while you baked fresh bread and taught your toddler yoga and hydroponic farming?
Remember when you were Professional Woman and you were focused but laid-back and emotionally buttoned-up but not like a frigid robot bitch and professional but attractive but not too attractive but not too buttoned-up but effortlessly?
The razor wire that we’re walking on should feel familiar. This is just another day in the life of the woman who moves through the world in pursuit of becoming everything to everybody, and never becomes fully herself. This is a scavenger hunt for acceptance, and at every stop on the way we need to perform a new, pleasing trick (this guy’s favorite is spunky, be that) (he gets angry when questioned so be sweet) (but don’t try too hard).
We’ve been told our whole lives that the sweet spot, the perfect woman, exists, and we just don’t fit in it. We’re too loud, too messy, too hairy (speaking for myself), too demanding, too emotional or not emotional enough.
Yes, of course there’s a “right way” to be gutted when we watch our country ridicule a woman who is so much like us we already know what we’d put in her gift basket. No, of course we’re not doing it the right way. We never do.
We’re too angry; that’s not helpful. We’re too sad; it’s depressing. We’re too hopeless; get up and fight. We’re too optimistic; know what you’re up against. We’re too practical; leave room for hope. We’re too idealistic; grow the fuck up.
We’re coping too much; let yourself feel it. We’re feeling too much; keep it together, girl.
Who else feels like there’s a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting in their heads right now? Half the voices are thanking you for your bravery as if your bravery were enough. Half the voices are calling you insufficient and you wish you didn’t believe them.
Who else feels like the sweet spot is there, and you’re just too salty for it?
Who else is used to that feeling? Who else is fucking sick of feeling like the one piece that doesn’t fit in this puzzle, no matter which way you turn yourself around to try to lock in?
So OK, I can’t fix society today. It’s not my kid’s lunch. I can’t even fix the committee style conversation that yes, I’m still having right now about whether this post is true enough to share yet. I’ll read it again before I post.
But here’s what I’m doing today. I’m making myself a script. I’m reminding myself what’s true. If you’re feeling like I feel and need some backup, please use these.
I’m saying these bitches out loud and I don’t even care that my windows are down in the Elementary School pickup line.
Anger is the only reasonable response to my own dehumanization, and the dehumanization of other human beings.
Their apathy is the problem, not my anger.
Their apathy is as fucking disgusting as a fart in my elevator.
I trust my body to be disgusted when it smells shit.
The farts are the problem, not my nose.
I am uncomfortable in this culture not because something is wrong with me, but because something is wrong with our culture. Because by living my own life, I am in conflict with people who hate me and want to control me and make me smaller.
I’m proud of myself for disagreeing with those assholes. What’s their problem?
I fucking love me. I’m fucking outstanding.
I deserve all my feelings. ALL OF THEM. I reserve the mirrored banquet hall at Versailles to set a sumptuous candlelight dinner for my feelings. There will be four dessert courses and six kinds of pasta. I do not merely tolerate my feelings; I welcome them. They are my honored guests today. I set a place for every one of them.
My feelings do not make me irrational. My feelings make me human. I am emotional and I am smart at the same fucking time. I am ALL THE THINGS.
I am complicated. All the best people are. I have layers for fucking millennia. My complexity is a gift, not an inconvenience.
I am not sorry for getting in your fucking way, sir. Not even a little bit.
I don’t need you to like me. I don’t need to perform myself for you. You do not command an encore of me. If I surprise or displease you, then that’s NOT ABOUT ME and your feelings are not my fucking job. That’s an A-B conversation between you and your expectations, and if you need to go cry in the shower about that, I’ll C ya later.
I am worth the trouble.
I am worth the fight.
My story is worth telling.
I have never given up yet.
I am powerful. I scare the everloving shit out of the men who make it their top priority to lock me down. I am so fucking powerful. I am the thing that scares them most. We are. You and I are their nightmare.
I can trust my memory, my instincts, and my perceptions. The more people try to convince me that it’s a scary time for boys right now, the more my body, mind, and heart grow deeper in their conviction. Fuck those tools. I know what I know.
I know this situation is fucking awful. I know it’s going to be a long fight. I know we are worth fighting for. I know I will not ever, ever stop fighting. When I wake up every morning I will fight. We always have. These fuckers can’t defeat us. They can’t even.
I am not alone.
I am not even outnumbered.
I don’t need to try to become someone else in order to find the sweet spot. The spot is sweet because I’m on it. Just me. It’s enough. I’m enough. I’m a goddamned abundance.
Here is your daily YYYESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS:
The water bottle is in the air. I repeat. The water bottle is in the air.
We’re in that split second of history between conflict and culture shift. It’s gonna feel so fucking good when we (not we as in the survivors and women who have endured, because this was NEVER our fucking problem to solve, but we as a collective society that decides to make being a piece of shit exactly as painful as it used to be to be around a piece of shit) land that final blow.
Take care, you glorious abundance. Fuck the sweet spot, you’re a feast.
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