I would like to make a statement, before I am deemed irrelevant, insensitive, or ignorant by my peers who will read this.
Yesterday, I took time to read, to listen, to grieve, and to meditate. This morning, I rode out into nature on my own two wheels, and spent some time with the sun warming my shoulders and my face. But instead of crying more tears, I hopped on my bike and rode back home. Because what else could I do?
I am fearful of many things.
I am fearful now, more than ever, of walking on campus after dark alone. I am fearful that I am more vulnerable, seen as weak, and will not be able to stand up for myself.
I am fearful that everything I study and stand for – aiding international environmental politics, environmental peacebuilding, feminism, environmental justice, human rights – has now somehow been deemed invalid. I will fight to keep doing what I love and what I believe in, but I fear that my career projections will be laughable when I graduate in 2018.
BUT MOST OF ALL I am fearful for my friends, my friends who I love, who now feel even greater fears than I. I fear that they will suffer and I will be unable to give them all the support they need. I am fearful because I know my fears are not alone.
I will continue to fight. I knew that all I believe in was in the minority, but I didn’t realize my battles would begin so soon. I will fight for environmental justice, for indigenous rights, for climate change adaptation, for a greater connection to our environment, and for peace. I will live every day with intent, and I will strive to remain a beacon of inspiration for those who need it, even on our darkest days.
I am fearful of many things, but I am not afraid of my own agency.
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