AHHHH NEW SINGLE FROM GIRLS ALOUD!! When I'm giddy, this is what it sounds/feels like in my head.
Just for myself, I'm posting the video to my current favorite song:
This quarter alone, a Stanford student's cancer relapsed. Another student found out that a loved one is going through lung cancer. And it wasn't them but their roommates who reached out to me, hoping someone in my position could provide support. Yesterday morning two of my close friends in Colleges Against Cancer, who I cherish so deeply, lost their mom to cancer. This last bit of news really hit home for me. My heart is just filled with love and hurt for them. Something like this could just as easily happen to me. Something like this could easily happen to us.
I hate cancer. I hate this dreadful disease more than anything in the whole world. And now I'm sobbing because I'm so damn frustrated. I feel helpless. I want to punch something.
So I'm having a lot of trouble sympathizing with many of my peers who behave as though the stress of finals is going to somehow make their world collapse. I'm trying to be supportive; My friends are worried about academic failure (which I guess means a B-) and I want to be there for them. Do they know that there are worse things? Do they know that someone in their same position, who is also stressing about finals, might also be going through something much more serious? Maybe that's the real reason why I've been crying. Because I feel like there are much bigger things happening and all anyone can think about are their silly, meaningless finals. The perception that cancer isn't an issue that affects Stanford just makes me angry. I mean, what could be more relevant?! People at Stanford are hurting! People in the world are losing the people they love! We need to be doing something about it!!
It's times like these that I feel really helpless as CAC President. I only know how to mobilize, fundraise, raise awareness. But when something real and tangible and awful happens, do any of us know what to do?
I feel like I only ever update this thing when I'm in crisis mode. Maybe because just writing it all down helps me calm down. I promise I have fun things worth talking about as well.
On entirely related notes:
In my public service leadership program class, which had its last session on Thursday, everyone came to class dressed up as their superhero alter ego. We were all accepted into the Social Justice League and it was AWESOME. I came to class as The Antioxidant: "the Free Radical who fights free radicals". I'm so inspired right now. I want to be doing more.
Relay means a lot more to me this year than last year, or the year before. By the way, if you or anyone you know would like to make a donation to me/my team/my teammates, or even join my team, it'd mean a lot to me --> http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayF
Anyways, I'm trying to keep things in perspective. And remind my friends to do the same. There are limits to what we can do. Instead of letting what I'm feeling right now paralyze my productivity, I should probably sleep and then study. I'm so tired.
And to keep this entry from being a complete downer, here I am as The Antioxidant. In case you're wondering about the pompoms and discoball earrings, I combat cancer with my powers of dance and raw enthusiasm.
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I suck at updating. If you care enough (or are bored enough) to know about every little weird thing I'm up to, I got a twitter! It's all very self-indulgent and attention-whoreish but I don't care :D
And if you have a Twitter, I'd certainly like to follow yours!
Dance Tracks Mashed Up in quite possibly the Hottest Mix EVER EVER EVER. HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT I can't take it! I can't live. This is sooo fabulous. *dies dies dies*
I can't believe I've never even heard about Girls Aloud until just recently.
I did something scary and unpopular. And as much as it pains me to hear the malicious things that have been said about me since I did it, the hurt only lasts for a little while. Because now I feel so strong. And I believe in myself more now than ever before.
I need to hold on to this feeling.
I believe in everything I'm doing and everything I'm about to do.
I'm telling my parents tonight. It's going to happen. I'm tired of being afraid to do the scary thing. The scary thing is only scary at first, and then afterwards you feel strong.
My heart is beating so fast---the terror and the excitement. When I sit still and the room is quiet, I can feel it thumping really loudly. There's so much strength in me. Now I'm more afraid of this power in me than I am of all the scary things.
Mom: I am learning Tai Chi at a deeper level.
Me: What does that mean?
Mom: It mean Tai Chi is deep.
Me: How is it deep?
Mom: Tai Chi is about energy. Come from within.
Mom: Kung Fu is outside. Tai Chi is in here [points to chest and stomach]. And when the other guy hitting you, fall and lean away.
Me: How are you learning this?
Mom: Reading the internet and from the youtube video.
Me: Oh okay.
Mom: I have to memorize 88 moves.
Me: Why do you have to memorize stuff?
Mom: So I can lead the other women in Tai Chi group.
Mom: Right now I am at 44.
Mom: Everyday I add two more.
I heart my Mom so much.
And by "little", I mean, COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED, NO TIME FOR ANYTHING ANYMORE, MY SOCIAL LIFE and MY ACADEMICS ARE IN SHAMBLES, kind of busy.
Things at Stanford have been turned radically upside-down. The political scene here has been transformed as a result of our truly monumental efforts against Proposition 8. I feel very strongly that we have made our mark in history (A University Dean has been quoted as saying that she hasn't seen this level of activism at Stanford since the 70's). Without listing out too many of our accomplishments, we held the largest phonebank in the entire state campaign against Prop 8 at Stanford. (The second largest took place at the Equality for All headquarters in the Castro with 130 people. Ours had 270 people.) We distributed 1000 purple "No on Prop 8" shirts. Students/grad students/med students were wearing these all over campus. You couldn't go a single day without seeing at least 15 people wearing shirts in support of our campaign. Gavin Newsom came to campus and got us pumped for election day. And when Prop 8 passed, 350+ students/faculty/staff protested (the article says 100, but they got the number wrong) by sitting-in at the bicycle "intersection of death", each person holding an "I Am A Second-Class Citizen" sign. I got some time at the megaphone to lead with us in chant and release my inner rage ;) I'm prouder of myself and of my peers than I've ever been.
Below is a letter to them and to all of you who have been involved in the fight for marriage equality.
Proposition 8 has changed me forever. It made me wake up. And bigotry makes the world an ugly place to wake up to.
I spent the days leading up to Nov. 4th wondering whether the world was falling apart or coming together. I fell apart and came together this quarter too. I know there are many involved in Stanford's campaign for marriage equality and in the state campaign, who felt what I felt: Like the weight of the earth was on our shoulders, crushing us. Like the community was mobilizing too little, too slowly and too late. We wondered why everyone thought we were so crazy. We questioned our own sanity.
Whatever. I quickly gave up on sanity. I also gave up on reason. and bureaucracy. and "playing it safe". I didn't want to play it safe anymore because my ENTIRE BEING told me that this was the right thing to do---the ONLY thing to do--and it simply HAD to be done. Sure, there were rules. Fuck the rules. I Stopped thinking and started DOING. Our heads were often bigger obstacles than the opposition. So I chose Action, not Anxiety.
I learned to lead with the heart, because it's stronger. It's fire and rage and hurt and most of all, it's love.
It's also extremely effective. As I've been so quoted as saying, "We did shit." And we did a damn good job. We did our best, and we are not done DOING.
This campaign broke me down. Sometime mid-October Jamie died. The old me with my old ways of thinking and leading and campaigning were buried into the ground. Then Kill Bill, Uma Thurman-fist-through-the-ground-style, I rose the fuck UP and I fought. I wasn't even alive. I was an angry dead person. And when I surfaced, I found all these other cool angry dead people above ground, standing and fighting alongside me.
To my angry dead people: You make me feel more alive than I've ever felt in my whole 20 years of living. I feel a closeness with you. I felt it when I saw you at the phonebanks. I felt it when I saw the "Vote Down 4 & 8" pin on your backpack. I felt it when I read your facebook notes. I felt it when you came to the rallies. I felt it on election night when we cried together. And I felt it when you were asked: "When Civil Rights are Under Attack, What Do We Do?" and you shouted: "STAND UP!! FIGHT BACK!!"
And the feeling hasn't stopped!
I feel it when I bike past you on my way to class and we nod at each other knowingly. I feel it in class when I see you still wearing your purple "No on Prop 8" shirt. I feel it when you invite me to a bajillion different facebook groups demanding for the repeal of Prop. 8. I feel it when we guerilla protest for queer youth. I feel it when you attend the national protests. I feel it in our conversations. I feel it when we hang out. You are my favorite person. Do you know that? Do you know how much love-solidarity-goodness-wonderful-aweso
See, I'm not really in the mood to go back to sleep. Pretend like nothing happened and go on like things are normal again. Forget blissful ignorance; I'll take this new anger, this new power that you've given me. No more sleeping. Only Awake. No more living. Only Dead.
Election Day has passed. You have convinced me that the world is actually coming together. We will win because our victory is inevitable and because we are that badass.
Thanks for reading this. And Thanks for being dead with me.
On the last day, when I realized it was almost over, I got really really sad. Then on the bus ride to the airport, when it dawned on me that these amazing people---these wonderful, beautiful, fantastically good-hearted and good-spirited people---were spread out all over California and not concentrated in one area where we could all do good work together, I was struck with an all-too-familiar kind of loneliness. Not the one you're thinking of. More, the loneliness that comes from being one of only a few people in your community who cares, deeply.
The last time I felt like this was leaving New Orleans with Alex. Volunteering with Hands On New Orleans was one of the best decisions I ever made. Even if my stay there was brief, even if I can never afford to go back for a third time, meeting the volunteers and the people of New Orleans was an absolutely inspirational experience. It was an arrival. As if I finally came home to a family of people who just got it. A group of people who were at once total strangers to me, and also totally on my wavelength.
That's what it's like for me when I'm hangin out with fellow CAC-ers. I know it was only for the weekend, but almost immediately I thought: They just get it. They get me. They get why the work we do is so important. More importantly, they get things like positivity, enthusiasm, fervor, and optimism. Oh optimism! I miss optimism. Am I the only one fed up with jaded upperclassmen? I grow weary of cynicism---it's less realistic to me now than it is utterly (and tragically) predictable. I've changed too--- I'm so jaded, I've come to expect cynicism! Ha! How terrible!
I want to forever be surrounded by people who are as excited about life and about changing the state of things as I am. They Inspire Me. More good people. More kind people. Please? More volunteers. YES DEFINITELY more volunteers. I love volunteers. More than I love coffee ice cream and creme brulee. In fact I'd give up both of those for the rest of the year in exchange for three new Stanford Colleges Against Cancer members this year :)
They INSPIRE Me!!
Hey You! Yeah, you tabling and passing out the flyers for an important fundraiser---You Inspire Me! And You too---Relay For Life participant---You Inspire Me. You who plans events and workshops to improve the community and make it a more welcome and more wonderful place. And anyone who cares about ANY worthwhile cause and puts your ass on the line to raise awareness and fight---You Truly Inspire Me. Don't stop, and don't give up. We need you. To give the rest of us weary warriors a much-needed kick of energy.
Yeah, I'm tired too. Can we hug and then go to sleep? And then maybe when we wake up tomorrow, one more person will care and the world will be a better place.