Milasol, January 6th, 2017
If I were to set a status for my relationship with my country, it would be “it’s complicated.” I mean we only really interact every couple of years around election time, the time I get to formally submit my opinion on something. The rest of the time I am content to ignore the relationship and hope it grows according to plan. There are times when I’m so dissatisfied with this relationship I want to break it off and move to Canada, and other times when I’m posting selfies with National Monuments and tagging it #USAUSAUSA. Sometimes I’m downright angry, and most of that time I only let it out with passive aggressive Facebook posts or by sharing the words of someone else who shares my feelings
This is completely different from the care and interest I give to my romantic relationships. I don’t let my significant other wonder why I am mad. We talk about it, often even before they have a chance to upset me. “FYI if you do this I will be angry.” There are also times when I communicate too much (which in some circles may be deemed nagging). What is it then that makes me think it is okay to remain silent when my government upsets me?
Until recently I would be dissatisfied and still say nothing. It’s the classic silent treatment, or terse “I’m fine” when everything inside is exploding. Real relationships (romantic or otherwise) take honesty and require discussions of what your wants are so you and the other party can work together to navigate the minefield of human interaction. Is it then my duty to my relationship with my country to be honest from this point forward and keep these lines of communication open? I’ve been in enough complicated relationships to know that burying anger will only cause resentment. The person who suffers from that is me and me alone and that can’t make for a healthy, sustainable relationship. I know that, but how does one go about opening the lines of communication with a country?
Here’s what I think: act up, speak up, write up, draw up, heck sing up if that’s your thing.
Why do we protest? Why do we march? Why do we call, petition, write letters? We are trying to be a part of this adult relationship and communicate our needs and desires more than once every 2 or 4 years. We cannot fall into the stupid pattern I’ve faced in the past where my significant other and I are in a fight, but I’m the only one who knows about it. We have to make it known what makes us dissatisfied, what we are fighting about, why we are upset or else there cannot be change, and they will be unable to make us happy. “What’s wrong?” can’t be answered with “nothing”. We can no longer say “I’m fine,” when we aren’t fine. That shit doesn’t fly in any of my romantic relationships, why would it in my relationship with the government?
I am dedicated to working on our relationship and being open and honest about our feelings. That’s why my friends and family will see me speaking out, can catch me at a protest, will see me at the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st. Without even doing the minimal effort of speaking up, the relationship will never get better and we might as well break up. Truth be told, I have not yet googled how to immigrate to Canada. I am not ready to give up on this relationship yet. So America, this is me…