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I am not a sore loser.
I am not a delicate snowflake.
I am not an <insert insulting epithet here>.
I am a human being.
And, I am marching because I feel inspired. Inspired to lock arms with thousands of my fellow humans who all want the same things. Equality. Safety. Civility. Unity. Acceptance. Understanding. Peace. Did I say love? Because, yes, we need more love for sure.
I want my voice to be part of the song that carries through the air in our nation’s capital. Not a song of anger (though many are angry), not a song of protest (though many are protesting), not a song of fear (though many are fearful). Our song will be that of affirmation.
We are here. We won’t be silent. We won’t be silenced.
When I decided to march, I did so with the knowledge that I would be involved in a history-making moment. That I could, with my eyes, ears, breath, and hands experience solidarity on a level not known for decades in this country. That I would be there for this one blip on the timeline of the universe—and know that I did something that mattered.
Will our marching change the current path? No; I’m not naive enough to believe that. It won’t in the immediate sense, anyway. But, will our example positively influence the next generation of young men and women? I like to think it will.
That’s the idealist in me talking.
But, let’s be real for a second. I’m about to get on a charter bus with 50-plus strangers from all around West Michigan. For 10-plus hours. They will smell and they will be loud. I will wonder what I’ve gotten myself into. Someone will annoy me. Someone always does.
And, we will arrive at the site and it will be utter chaos. Those people I wanted to lock arms with? There will be times when I want to push them away. I will have to dig deep to find serenity, but there will none of that to be found on this day. I will be out of my comfort zone without a trail of breadcrumbs to get back.
Oh, but right. This is not supposed to be comfortable, is it? Because even though it’s not an invitation to battle, it’s still a fight.
Allison has been a West Michigan resident since 1987, when she moved from the east side of the state to attend GVSU. She currently lives on the northeast side of Grand Rapids and has been a professional writer since 2002. Recently, she launched her own freelance writing business. An enthusiasm for arts and culture brought her to The Rapidian to participate in the ArtPrize Community Journalism Program. A love of writing and her adopted city promises future community journalism endeavors.