I am a lawyer, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a lover of dogs, chickens, and (reluctantly) one particular cat. I have been working on a variety of immigrant rights issues since 2001, and it sometimes feels like my cell phone number is on a
phone booth online forum somewhere under “for a good lawyer call…”
I have spent many years doing passionate advocacy for my individual clients, for organizations, before courts, local city councils, state legislatures, and once in a blue moon federally as well.
Despite all this, I’ve always been a bit of a reluctant activist. I love a good protest as much as the next person, and probably know more chants in Spanish than your average activist. Heck, I went into labor with my daughter at a rally in 2006 (this is true). But activism exhausts me.
Partly, this is physical. I have rheumatoid arthritis and every single medicine I take (and oh, I take many) lists “fatigue” as a side effect. Now, I have breast cancer, and we can add a whole passel of fatigue to that. Maybe some day there will be a side effect of “beauty and riches and tight abs,” but so far just fatigue, and one med that promises weight gain.
Partly, though, it’s temperament. My style is conciliatory, my strengths are my compassion and ability to listen to people, my willingness to find common ground and connect people.
What I have learned, slowly, slowly, so slowly is that my strengths have to be enough. And my strengths help me advocate and be my own kind of activist. This blog hopes to help others identify their own ways to advocate, and to stay sane in the process.