Sunday, May 1, 2011

Move me

Today is moving day.  Quite literally.  I am moving all my "stuff" from one place to another.  Again.  The weather is perfect for it.

As I sit and type this it's the calm before the storm.  I can't go to pick up the truck for another couple of hours yet.  Although I've been here in Arizona for a few days now my body is still confused as to what time zone it's supposed to be on so I've been waking up early.  The good news is that mornings here are the  nicest, most productive part of the day.  The bad news is that it can often make for long days....

I attended the University of Phoenix commencement ceremony yesterday.  A dear friend was receiving her diploma so there was a full row of a dozen of us there to share her day - her mom, her dad, her son and daughter, her sister, and various other friends and relations.  It spurred some long forgotten memories of my own graduation from Syracuse University.  The date was May 2, 1981 - exactly 30 years ago tomorrow.  We were the first event in the Carrier Dome, and our keynote speaker was Secretary of State Alexander Haig.  It seems like more than a lifetime ago.

The thing that I noticed about the graduates yesterday was the age range.  People from their early 20's to their late 50's or early 60's were there to receive their degrees.  Truth be told - I'd love to go back to college - not for the paper so much as simply to learn again.  Of course, that implies I'm settled in one place long enough to actually attend classes.

Someone questioned a statement in my previous blog entry about why I'd rather be here than at a recent meeting at the White House with a group of trans community leaders (article here).  The reason is a simple one - that's not where my passions lie.  There are those in the community who are involved in the broad spectrum of "political activism" who should probably have been there.  When I served on the HRC board I had more than one discussion about my own passions being more geared toward social change as the catalyst for political change, and a general consensus there that in the end, everything is political.  I disagreed then, and I disagree now.

I don't in any way mean to diminish the importance of any single aspect of activism, of this meeting, of the huge shift involved with having a group of trans politicos at the White House.  It's like the space shuttle - the first few flights were amazing but after a while it just became commonplace until a tragedy happens.  Until only recently it was unimaginable to have openly trans people attending meetings at the White House.  The best news out of all of this is that it's not necessarily big news any more.

All that said - I still believe that no legislation would have changed what happened in that Baltimore area McDonald's a couple of weeks ago.  That's not to say that legislation isn't needed, or that those fighting to ensure political and legal rights aren't needed.  Of course they are.  But as for me - Donna - I'm much more comfortable talking with students at a university, or with corporate folks, or in any number of other forums than I am sitting in a room talking trans politics.  It's just that simple.

I'm at a stage of life where I have untangled myself from all of my various formal activism commitments.  For the first time in a long time I'm not serving on any boards, I'm not turning my schedule upside down to attend something somewhere, I'm not eating and breathing and thinking activism all day every day.  If I ever write another memoir I'll have to share some of what I know from the days when I was up to my neck in it all.  And although those days are gone and others are now carrying the load I feel fortunate to be able to do the things I enjoy and best suited to do.

Right now I'm just focusing on simple things.  Where is home?  What am I going to do?  What about a personal life?  Or a relationship?  And what about my health?  Or my pups?  That's where I need to focus my energies.  And, that's what I'm doing.  That doesn't mean turning my back on anything or anyone.  It means knowing when it's time to focus on what....

I have enjoyed being back in Arizona over these last few days.  There's something that continues to bring me back and that makes me feel comfortable here.  No matter where I go expect that I'll always feel that connection whether this eventually becomes home for me or not.  I've had a couple of opportunities to enjoy some down time with friends, and I've been running around doing what I came here to do.  It's the perfect mix.

So - today is moving day.  I hope it'll all be done by nightfall.  Tomorrow I go to the doctor, and take care of a number of other things.  Tuesday I'll head back east.  And next weekend I'll be at the Empire Conference in Albany.  After that?  Who knows.  We'll see what unfolds.


sweetbrandigirl2004 said...

Donna it sounds like this is your finally big move East, if so then Best of luck. As for the meeting with the Trans activist at the White house I see it as merely lip service for Obama in an election year trying to rebuild the support he had in 2008....Since he's pissed off ever progressive group that once supported him.

Sophie Lynne said...

I wish you a safe trip! :) And enjoy the Empire conference. Wish i could be there