We all have things we hold dear - things that make our souls feel whole and our heart's shine. Here's a list, in no particular order, of things that are important to me:
- Recreation: I love getting outside, whether it's in a tutu or not. The fresh air and the mountain breeze rejuivnates me in a way that nothing else can.
- Creativity: I enjoy that I work for a company where I can be so creative, and where I don't have to fit a mold to be rewarded. Tonight I'm wearing a unicorn horn for a work-related event. Because I can. It's awesome.
- Fairness: I've always had a strong barometer for fairness. I don't know why, but I get very upset when I feel like things aren't fair.
- Snow: Growing up in Montana, snow has always been a part of my life. I have to drive a little further to get to it, but I'd like to see it stick around for all of the winters to come.
- Facts: I like living in a fact-based world, which I know is more aspirational than reality (for example: Christopher Columbus was a horrible human being why are we taught he's so great in US schools?!?). But facts are important, they inform decisions and create an even playing field.
- Equal Rights: My best friend in high school came out to me when he was 14. I was the first person he told, and it changed my life forever and for the better. I can no more choose to love women than he can choose to love women. Why is that so hard for people to understand? And why should he be judged differently than me because of it?
- Earning It: Unlike many of my peers, I worked through college and paid for it myself. I bought a house this year on my 32nd birthday, and I earned every penny (and paid off my college loans). I believe in helping people, but I also believe in working hard for what you have. Entitlement does not sit well with me.
- Active Listening: I'm not always the best model of this, but I do think collaboration leads to a better product and victories are sweeter when shared.
- Wildlife: I once let a spider, who I named "Stanley", live in my shower for a month because I didn't want to kill him. We had a good time together, Stanley and me. I also love elephants and turtles and frogs. For no other reason than they're awesome. And birds. Because birds are basically little dinosaurs.
- Freedom: I can write this little blog every week about anything I want, and don't face persecution for it (other than a few internet trolls). We're supposed to live in a country where everyone is afforded the same opportunities.
I'm afraid for my niece, a 10-year old living in a red state. What kind of sex education is she going to get? What kind of resources will be available to her when she needs reproductive health support? What are the boys in her class going to learn about consent?
I'm worried about my job. I work for an outdoor nonprofit. Will there be a place for conservation work under a Trump presidency? Or will we just take a big step back on the environment? Will recreation even be available for my kids?
I'm afraid for my friends who are LGBTQ, or not-Christian, or who aren't quite "white-enough". Will they be safe?
I'm worried about my way of life. Both as a recreationist and as a woman. The snow-capped mountains are my escape, my place to wander and renew my soul. No one bothers me for being a solo female traveler. If I can't go there, what will I have? Where can I go?