I am already here by Olivia Lowery D'amato

I get worn down easily. I wake up cranky on a Monday and quickly fall into the cycle of “this isn’t going to work,” “I don’t know what I’m doing, I feel like someone else should be doing this,” or “I don’t see how doing this is going to change the state of things.” I feel like a majority of mental space goes towards talking myself down from these feelings.

I recently realized I have to believe in this work as much as I want others to believe in it. I mean, I feel like I’ve believed in this work for a long time but it’s taken me awhile to realize how much of these anxieties is founded in doubt. We have to work to see the world that is possible ourselves if we expect to bring others along with us. If I do not see this world that’s possible in the places where it already exists and believe that it can happen on a larger scale, how can I look into the eyes of another person and tell them that I know we can get there together?  

Gramsci said, “to tell the truth is revolutionary.” And I’ve realized since thinking hard about my doubts that I have a lot of truth to share. In communities where people don’t know whether or not their children are being exposed to toxic chemicals while playing outside during recess, people stand up and demanding accountability. In prisons across the country, people are suffering consequences for demanding humane treatment. In workplaces, kitchen tables, streets, and churches around the globe, people gather - kind of like I do when I see my App Fellows cohort - to heal, strategize, and disrupt. These are the places where it’s happening. My truth is: I am one of many and this is already happening. I am already here, I might as well roll up my sleeves and help out. I am already here, I might as well trust those around me. I am already here, I might as well trust myself.