Take Every Win
Life’s hard enough. Celebrate Yourself!
Not gonna lie, opening this email just before recording this week’s podcast made me smile. Big.
I am not currently earning here, as I have yet to meet the “Magic 100” but that’s okay. If my work resonates, I trust it will happen, and I’ll be back to getting those multi-cent deposits!
On today’s podcast (it comes out Tuesday, 3/29 everywhere podcasts are sold) we talked about stopping to celebrate. Pausing to see how far we’ve come, even as we know we have very far to go. I think it matters a great deal. I spent years in a PR office and we spent a great deal of time justifying our existence. We had to “show our work” as it were, often. We had to tell our story, often, to prove our worth to the organization. A side benefit? We kept good records of our work, and when we stopped to make those periodic lists of our accomplishments, it was a sight to behold. It was affirming. Nourishing, even.
I think the process has application for all of us, especially if we involve ourselves in the draining work of social justice. You’ve got to stop and celebrate even small things, to keep you sane and strong to keep going.
My fiancé is tired. He started today’s recording session feeling great and wide awake. By the time we wrapped, he felt like he’d been wrung out. We talked about race. We talked about a bit of his life experience. We tackled issues that are personally challenging to talk about. Because we decided that’s what we’re here to do. It’s what we were already doing in our home, together and with our friends, routinely. We just added microphones.
Our home is decidedly non traditional. He is black, and cis, and pan. I am white, and trans, and pan, and we have been together for ten years come July.
We love one another, we care deeply about and support one another, and we still turn one another on. We’re a good match. We do not have the same interests, or taste in movies or literature. He was raised in the City, I in the exurbs. He came out at 18, I at 46. And again at 54… and counting. I have blood relations I just don’t owe vulnerability, so we haven’t chatted yet about my current “situation.” I’m tired of being anyone’s situation. Here at home I’m just Martha, and I am cherished. And my man is cherished in return.
He was contacted just this week to host a podcast for and by the Philadelphia Dance Community, of which he has been a fixture for two decades. It’s not a lot of money, but we celebrated like it was a big lottery win! Same with this distinction from Medium, whatever it means or doesn’t (no cash with this one) because it is noteworthy. I’ve been far more disciplined with my writing, and folks are beginning to take note. I am deeply grateful for that.
I write so we feel less alone. If my ability to get a little raw now and again helps one person see one more day because they saw themselves reflected in my journey, its worth the exposure. Entirely.
Right now, many in our nation have turned up the volume on trans hate, and they are pushing their ignorance legislatively. That act of violence (and it IS violent) makes them Real enemies to be dealt with accordingly. But I do wish the younger activists in the LGBTQ+ community would learn the difference between folks they may disagree with, and folks who Work against their rights. We each have but so much energy. If you spend yours fighting folks who are on your side, you diminish your own power, and disrespect your rich ancestry. Save your precious energy for real battles, as there are plenty.
I want our folks to hang on. Stay in the game. Stick with this life while we all work to change the things we can.
I encourage us to find and celebrate every small success. Take each affirmation and build on that ground. And for the love of Grace Jones, if you know you need help with mental health — get it. Insist on it. Find the help to help you find the help. It’s out there. I want it to be far more accessible for all, but in the meantime, call the Trevor Project or Trans Lifeline if you’re thinking this all isn’t worth it. And count each moment you shine, because that matters. Your life matters, wherever you find yourself at the moment.
I will keep writing. And I will keep celebrating each affirmation that comes my way. I lived enough years with no affirmation, so bet your ass I won’t ignore any that come our way.
I’m-a go watch the Oscars! (As a Top Writer, thank you!)
Queer Super Bowl at last!!!
Originally published at http://iammarthamadrigal.wordpress.com on March 27, 2022.