Choice is important. When we can choose, we have agency. With agency comes power. Without choice we feel limited and stagnant. We are powerless. We feel like we don’t have control over our lives because decisions are made for us– decisions whose purpose may actually be to incite an even greater sense of helplessness.
When we first decided to move I was anxious. We’d been together for just a few months and it seemed reckless. I’d always been conservative, once religious. I didn’t like feeling hypocritical. I didn’t want to disrespect the heritage of traditions I’d once coveted, traditions that I too believed. I wanted to be married and settled first.
Six of my colleagues passed away in less than a year, and I didn’t want to feel like I was running from something. Things have a way of coming back. I had to remember that this feeling, this helplessness, didn’t start with that. It wasn’t grief.
Houston was a fail safe. We’d both seen friends left vulnerable in unfamiliar places because of a long-distance move and the promise of commitment. We didn’t want to be responsible for the other’s unhappiness, so he chose my home. If time wasn’t kind to us, at least I’d be back with family, protected.
I celebrated Chinese New Year during Black History Month at my niece’s school. Each grade level did a song, poem, or dance in honor of Chinese cultural traditions. One of the first graders recited I Have a Dream from memory in Mandarin, English, and Spanish. She did a little shimmy after each stanza and earned herself a standing ovation.
Biscuits is heartworm-free.
We want to put down roots and become immersed in the history and culture of Houston. He wants to create more viable transportation options for the city, and he’s started getting more involved in Bike Houston. He’s started going to Critical Mass more often, and he’s exploring more of the city beyond the loop.
I’ve started volunteering so I can get more connected. There’s work happening in 3rd ward that we want to be a part of. I’m hoping to start volunteering with Project Row Houses as well.
There was a hiring freeze at some of the universities in Texas as a result of the political changes. I’m hoping to speak to more education leaders so I can learn more about which schools are affected and for how long.
The deportations have more and more people feeling hopeless and helpless, which I assume, is the point.
What important choices did you make this week?
What makes you feel powerful?