Where Do We Go Now?

Trust me, I’m trying to figure it out too.

Great meeting tonight. Two meetings, in fact, and two more to come tomorrow. “Losing” an election by beating more than half the candidates in the race, and having the distinction of spending less per vote than any other, means a lot.

There’s so much I’m trying to do right now, whether it’s on an interpersonal level (like helping one friend find a place to sleep through this cold snap, or on a far more lame note, listening to another friend’s Boy Drama), or trying to organize another Stuff Drive for the homeless and semi-homeless, which happened in 2011 and it was beautiful.

I’ve been through the thick of a lot of it. I have the PTSD and severe anxiety to prove it. And forcing myself through it by running for office has at least alleviated my depression, for sure.

We gotta get out and help each other. It feels good to drag yourself out and do so much more, though. I remember saying to myself I’d be happy with 400 votes. That quadrupled in the end.

You don’t have to measure your impact in votes, though. If I leave any kind of impact on this earth, it will be because someone who didn’t have a home or food had a home and/or some food to get by and keep fighting. And I don’t even need to know about it or celebrate my part in it. It only matters that they remain alive to do good.

Isn’t that really what matters in the end?

This past week, an old friend from my teenage years tried to (probably unintentionally) rub it in my face that I was never good enough. She’d set her sights on the person I’d really liked when I was a teenager, and she’d won. Teenaged crap. I wasn’t good enough or popular or pretty enough.

I’d bailed out of there real quickly after high school, living all over the country until I landed upon this home, with its infinite possibilities and infinite stories.

From the time that I was a child, a young adult, an older adult, people were desperate to take away my story and my soul. That’s what inspired me to fight for those in the same position. NOBODY DESERVES TO TAKE YOUR STORY. TO TAKE YOUR POWER.

Almost immediately after finding my real hometown in Houston, I started fighting for people like me. Saving homes. In at least a couple of cases, saving lives. I don’t need credit for it. “This is my home, and these are my people.” I’d found family.

The childish crap in other cities is so far behind me now, like it happened to someone else. I’ve buried 44 people in the past twelve years. Possibly, hopefully, helped many more. Life has purpose, even if it’s never been easy.

You can continue with where you are, or you can do better. I’ve lived in many cities that made me feel like I wasn’t worthy enough to get out of bed. Houston has forced me to do so. These people are relentless. They’re beautiful, they’re complex, they’re smart, they’re talented. They’re hopeful.

This is my home, and these are my people. I’d say the rest of y’all can bite me, but they’re doing some good things out west so I’m gonna go sit at that lunch table and bring these Houston “popular kids” with me. My new/old friends.

Y’all finally ready to stop shutting me down up north, and work with me, or what?

Thousands of people in the fourth-largest city in the country are working together, with me and with many others. Down here, we listen and fight and celebrate our cultural, racial, sexual, and economic diversity. We try our damndest to make sure we’re lifting each other up.

Can you promise to do the same, wherever you are, and promise not to beat down some “nerd” who is probably gonna change lives in spite of your social abuse?

Xo,

-A.

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