So many people are doing so many good things and, for the most part, I’m not. That’s not to say I’m doing anything wrong, either, but my existence is pretty neutral. I’m not doing much to make the world a better place, and as a middle(ish)-class white person, I really should be. I feel great about doing my part to get a dangerous man slapped with the label “criminal” by the penal system*, but that only affects the handful of women who may encounter him before his unhealthy choices kill him. I want to help effect broad-scale change, because so much change is needed.
What holds me back is my inability to be a leader. I can’t be the one to start things, to do the planning and organizing, and especially the outreach. I can’t join others’ organizations either, because of my social anxiety. Walking into a room where I don’t know anyone (and staying sober) is more than I can handle. I’ve been to a couple protests before, but all I could do was stand to the side holding a sign. Chanting and marching in a group of strangers is far too scary. Plus, I’m also afraid of the commitment, of people relying on me. What if they want me to do something I’m uncomfortable with? What if I get too depressed and just want to lay in bed? What if I’d rather drink instead of do work? I don’t want to put myself and others in a position where I fairly likely may let them down.
Part of me wants to give myself more credit than that, but I know my own flaws too well. I love my comfort zone, and my comfort zone has become drinking and listening to music with Bunny. They might ask me to write a press release or paint some signs, but I’d rather get drunk and sing songs and play on Facebook. These habits have me in a spiral of self-loathing at times, but I’m not sure I have the willpower or the drive to break them.
A long time ago in this blog I made mention of a girl I had a one-night stand threesome with. I knew her first name and had a vague idea of a last name. About a month ago a name popped up on Facebook, and I was pretty sure it was her. It was. Since that crazy night/morning, she seems to have been very ambitious and gotten some cool things done, including an upcoming plan to start a garden. I think, maybe, I can handle starting there. A community garden won’t enact major policy change in our sexist, racist society, but at least it’ll benefit some people. I’ll be doing something positive for the greater good.
* I won’t go into detail for both legal and privacy purposes, but I’ll say that it has proven to be a very good idea for me to write the below post about intimate partner violence. It turns out I’m not the only one.