I feel powerful. It's Nine AM and I've been up for 3 hours.
I set up the water coolers, hung posters.
Cut bananas for the 5K runners.
No big deal. (SO much better than sleeping.)
I walk home in my free t-shirt, no outside motive except I BELIEVE in what this thing is about.
"Voices of Courage."
5 K for abuse prevention.
People register to run and then attach inspirational quotes to their backs.
Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself.
I stand on the hill and take pictures, with no need to shout my story. No need to center myself as a main event-- just joining. Being this girl. "Here, have a pin. Wanna pose for a picture? Make a strong woman face!" At the end I sign the pledge, my name the same size as the others. We are pledging against silence.
On someone's back:
"In the quiet heart is hidden, sorrow that they eye can't see."
That's my line! A million journal pages of this quote flash in my head and I realize:
I am not the only one who separated it from the song.
These words stand out, and there is no need to justify my conviction.
I turn from the pledge and duck out of Brooke's way, a camera suddenly between us.
"No," she says.
I want to take a picture of you."
I stop. Smile.
"Do you want to guest post on our blog?" she asks.
Yes. I say.
Really? I ask.
"Yes. Definitely. I love you."
Her sincerity matches mine and I am both comforted and taken aback by this. Maybe that's why this morning is big, because my sincerity is being matched in a clear and bright way, which feels different than the shadow of hesitance that usually meets this subject.
YES. Yes I want to write for this. I have so much to say.
And then there I am, walking home with resolve.
"Your voice matters." I remind myself.
Not because I get to post, because it does.
It matters even in the absence of blogs and journals.
For the first time in weeks, I feel indisputably VALID.
That my perception will lead me, instead of confuse me.
I'm not nuts. It's going to be okay.