It’s no secret that I’ve been pretty involved in Texas politics over the last few weeks, and this trend isn’t stopping anytime soon*. The second special session that Texas is in regarding the anti-choice legislation (previously HB60/HB16 and SB5, now HB2 and SB1) will go until the end of July. We have a lot of work to do this month and that work will continue, regardless the outcome of the bill. Even though I technically became engaged in all this at the end of last month, my grown up goal for July is to do my civic duty to the best of my ability and to encourage others to do the same.
I specifically say “to the best of my ability” because I am learning firsthand about burn out. One of my dearest, most inspiring friends posted (and later testified) about access and ability to be present back when we were protesting HB60. She was on vacation from working at the Capitol and was supposed to be spending time relaxing with her family in Houston, but identified that she had the ability to come back to the Capitol to fight when a lot of Texans didn’t. The whole reason we’re protesting this bill is because it aims to limit access to health care for women. I live in Austin and will likely have access to clinics unless the country shuts them all down, but the majority of Texans don’t have that ability. Since she had the gas money, transportation, and support, she was able to drive back and fourth from Houston to Austin a handful of times to stand with Texas women.
Watching her dedicate herself to the cause inspired me to do all I could do. I came out. I stayed. I invited friends to join me and kept others informed when they couldn’t make it. I’ve been there, I’ve marched, I’ve tweeted and blogged, and now? I’m tired. I’m burnt out. But the fight’s not over!
So much of my advocacy is about encouraging people to take care of themselves. You can’t keep fighting if your body, mind, and spirit are weak. This whole experience has been rough on made every bit of me sore, from my fist-pumping arms to my will to not call into work every day. As important as it is to be present, in order to do my civic duty to the best of my ability, I also have to be in tune with my needs. I need to take breaks and engage in acts of self care.
So, yeah, I’m going to keep standing with Texas women, whether it be inside the Capitol, from Twitter, or by taking a bubble bath and reading a funny memoir so I have the ability to stand the next day. And when this bill is said and done, I’m going to keep encouraging my friends to become involved in whatever way they are able, even if they just means showing up to the polls when it’s time.
*I do want to make note that this isn’t going to become a political blog by any means. The aim of this blog has always been, alongside the style posts, to give my perspective on modern feminism and to write about my experiences. I feel that most posts thus far on the issue have aligned with that mission, rather than delving into the actual politics of the matter. I recognize that not all of my readers, or even my friends, have the same beliefs I do and my goal is never to offend anyone. If you have any questions or comments about this issue or anything else I’ve posted, please always feel free to email me!