I am tired of breast cancer. Tired of writing the same old thing about commodification and sexualization of a deadly disease. Tired of the battle, of the exhausting blowback. Tired of the lack of progress. Tired of the fractured advocacy community, the infighting, the branding, the lack of transparency, and the self-serving exploitation. I'm disillusioned by the Animal Farm nature of it all; no matter where I shine my light, some animals are always more equal than others.
And tired, oh so tired, of good people dying. Tired of my utter powerlessness to do anything about it. Most days, I believe that I am a part of a larger, albeit imperfect, movement that changes the world, but sometimes I am overwhelmed by the fundamental uselessness of it all. About a year ago, when Ashley died, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I can lure the giants into battle. I can get shots in. I can build a readership and empower others to do the same, but at the end of the day, so what?
I can't save my friends.
I've inadvertently built a brand here, the angry chick causing train wrecks. Yes, I am that and I created that perception. I'm also a lot more. I'm a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, an employee, a citizen, a writer, a thinker, a friend. I cook dinners, plant flowers and tomatoes, and taxi the kids. I recycle, I compost, I mess up a lot. I am a member of a community that doesn't make breast cancer the only measure of its attention, and I am grateful. I ponder and contemplate - culture, religion, politics, parenting, right action. I am an optimist who believes in the basic goodness of the universe.
When I look at my blog's stats, I get exponentially more hits when I agitate. When I post my poetry: nothing. I don't need constant praise, but it’s frustrating to think my outrage is so highly valued while the rest is tree falling in the forest stuff. I don't want to choose my topics based on what will play the best because that turns me into nothing more than a trained monkey begging for treats.
I was not cut out for the circus.
Like so much of the world, I’m suffocating in the toxic air of my own invention. A virtual and well-intentioned Frankenstein. I avoid this space entirely and am considering a total shut down. But I think I can still work toward making peace and meaning here; I have an inkling that I’m missing something.
I don't know what I'm going to do and this post is not an attention-seeking exercise in brinksmanship. It’s just me, doing what I do, trying to find my footing.