I’d been holding off of writing for the last few weeks because I had this gross, guilty, feeling that everything I wrote was futile in the Age of Trump. How could I share stories about my life when millions of lives were being threatened by Trump’s Draconian policies? How could I have the audacity to express my joy when I was listening to stories of Somali refugees who, after finally being approved to seek asylum in America after spending decades in a Kenyan camp, learned that they couldn’t come to the US, and had to return to the camp with nothing but the winter coats they had bought for their new lives as Americans? If I wasn’t expressing rage, or sorrow, or sharing political articles, should I be expressing anything at all? Who was I to write about what a great time I had at the Taste of Cayman festival while 450 miles away, the executive order on immigration had just come into effect?
I felt small and powerless during this time of extreme fear and unrest.
But then I realised: feeling guilty and staying silent isn’t the answer. Withholding my story isn’t helping me, or anyone else. Even though these policies don’t directly affect my life, and even though I may feel isolated from what’s happening in the States while I’m on this small island, I came to the realisation that sharing my truth can be an act of resistance. I’m a mixed race, liberal, foreign woman. The rights of people like me are being infringed upon. And the fact that I have the ability to share whatever I wish to share is something that I cannot take for granted. So, maybe sometimes I’ll share links to articles or podcasts that I find thought-provoking and pertinent, and other times I’ll share a recipe for the smoothie I had for breakfast. . . and I need to remind myself that that’s okay. Because spreading a little light amidst the darkness isn’t superfluous or superficial, it’s necessary.
And with that being said, I’ll say that things in my life have been pretty great lately. Last weekend I celebrated a friend’s birthday by dancing my troubles away on a boat party. On Wednesday I went to a full moon Rave Aerobics class, which is as amazing as it sounds… a high energy dance workout under the stars, led by an awesome crew of people, complete with light-up rave accessories! This past Saturday I was lucky enough to attend a concert by the Juilliard Jazz Ensemble as part of the Cayman Arts Festival, which was phenomenal. And this morning I woke up to the news that my best friend Mel has booked her flight to come visit me in April!!! I feel so. damn. grateful to be where I am and to have these opportunities.
So, a gentle reminder to those feeling disheartened by ALL THE THINGS happening right now: stay woke, and also enjoy your life. Because you can do both.
Sending all the light & love,