For the past week or so, I’ve been trying to find the right words to describe the small declutter and purge I did this month. I was going to tell you I bagged up another 33% of my books to be donated to the library. Then I was going to talk about how my teeny tiny wardrobe has somehow grown from 28 pieces to 39 – but is now down to 33, after this purge. And from there, my plan was to talk about how decluttering is not the most important step to take when you start a shopping ban and go on to explain what was.
I’ve been trying to find the right words to describe these things, until I realized it really doesn’t need anything more than that single paragraph. It also, perhaps, doesn’t need to be talked about at all. The world doesn’t need another post about decluttering this week. That’s not meant to knock anyone else for publishing one, but you don’t need another from me. I’ve written at least half a dozen before. And something much bigger has been happening in this part of the world that I’ve been a little too quiet about until now.
I’ve been scared to talk about the election / this administration / all the stories of what’s been happening in the US because I’m not from there. I’m Canadian and I didn’t want to say something stupid because I might be misinformed about how the politics work. I’m also a Canadian who works with Americans. And I’m a Canadian who loves to travel within the US and have probably seen more of it than some of my American friends (32 states and counting). Heck, I’ve even looked at different visas that could bring me down there one day.
So, I’ve been scared that something I say here or on social media could either make me sound stupid or damage my relationship with the country I share a border with. I said this to a few friends when I was in Denver this weekend, and then I remembered that is what it feels like when you’re in an abusive relationship – being afraid to speak up and use your voice. I know from experience that not using your voice can cost you a lot. (If you want to read more about that, I encourage you to read this post by Allison Fallon.)
In his latest post, Chris Guillebeau wrote, “One day we’ll all be asked this question: where were you during the Civil Rights Movement of 2017?” I’m so grateful for every word of that post, but especially that question because it forced me to realize that remaining neutral or “not wanting to get political” has been a mistake. He also showed me that I can say a lot with just a few words. And it is because I have such an important relationship with the US + so many people there that I want to make sure you know where I stand.
I don’t support the bigotry and hate that has grown under this new administration; the derogatory comments made to / criminal and violent acts taken out on / rights that have been stripped from people of all races, religions, gender and sexual identities. Being Canadian, it’s easy for us to assume people know we are an open and loving nation, or that we are neutral, but we aren’t immune to this either. So, I want to be very clear: you and your human rights matter to me. This is my little corner of the internet and you are all welcome here.
I’m going to take this week off the blog. There’s nothing wrong with carrying on with our lives and our work, right now, because that matters too. But this week, I want to make sure you know which side of this movement I’m on. Canadians might be neutral, but I will never be neutral or impartial about bigotry and hate.
And I’m sorry I didn’t say something here sooner.