Is it too early to write a piece about the third day of the government shutdown? I have been up thinking about it for some time, and the best ways I have found to release the musings of my mind is to process and share them through creative means of expression.
Last night, I went to a local open mic with a coworker. We talked about life and work and things in between. I felt loved and supported. I felt like a part of a community. I felt less alone.
I went to sleep last night promising that I would not wake up angry. I succeeded.
I did not leap from my bed with enthusiasm to begin this third day of furlough, but I was not filled with anger.
This does not mean that I am not frustrated and also worried. I just graduated with a doctorate, and my student loans begin at the end of this month. I have a mortgage to pay, along with rent.
It means that while I do not accept the choices of my government, I am making peace within myself with what is. I cannot change it.
What I can do is continue to communicate and advocate for my colleagues across the National Park Service and for myself.
I do not know most of my colleagues by name or even by face. But I feel closer to them through this injustice. We have all been let down by the people who have signed on to preserve and protect the American people.
It fills my soul to read the words of solidarity and community and love that come from all around the country and meet in a virtual, shared space.
My heart, mind, and spirits cannot and will not be defeated. I will not be shutdown. I am not always proud to be an American, but I am proud to stand with my colleagues in solidarity.