Monthly Archives: November 2016

And we’re moving

I began Hannah’s Scribblings version 2.0 because I had a mission. I had something I needed to do.

I had to find myself.

My late teens and early twenties were rough. Not nessecarily because of circumstances, but because of me. I’ve felt like an outsider my entire life, never quite fitting in, always on the periphery. It’s a strange thing: When you feel like all people are your people, then you belong everywhere. Which also means you belong nowhere.

I started this blog to find myself, to get over the hurdles and bumps I felt were blocking me from doing anything more than skating on potential. I think I started this blog to find peace with myself.

And I did. On this blog, I discovered the joy and woe of being a caregiver. I discovered that I am weird, but perfectly normal for my rare personality type. Honestly, I cannot truly put into words the validation I felt in learning about my Myers-Briggs personality type.

And I discovered, in my years with this blog, the church I have been looking for all my life. My soul has found its home in the stones of the Episcopal Church. Having never fit into any church because of both my love of ancient ways and modern freedom, of liberal politics and conservative lifestyle…I found a church to reconcile both sides of my soul.

I published my first book. I discovered that my writing truly does have the power to resonate with people. I learned how Pride only stifles my talents and that humility hurts, but it’s still good for me.

So now that I have found myself, now what? I feel like I have reached a conclusion of sorts; I found the door at the end of the labyrinth. And through that door I found another maze. I guess C.S. Lewis was right when he wrote:

“If you do one good deed your reward usually is to be set to do another and harder and better one.”

If finding myself and my vocation was a good deed, then my next task is to be what I have become. Easy to say, not so easy to do.

So I am saying goodbye to this blog where I have found myself. This journal is full and it is time to start a new one. This journey is over and my feet have already started the next one.

Thank you all for your support and please join me on my new blog at http://www.hannahhedges.com

They say third time’s the charm.

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Misunderstood Millennials

Misunderstood Millennials

Two days after the election, I found myself on my mother’s bathroom floor, trying to put words to the anguish churning within me. I had just seen the break-down of the vote, that showed that the majority of Millennials had voted for Clinton, but that Trump had the vote of the majority of the Baby Boomers. Then I had read a social media post from a person over 65 mocking my generation for our protests of the election of a man who believes global warming is a hoax.
I was shattered.
I am a caregiver, and I have sacrificed so much of my youth to care for my elders. I have given so much of my heart and my energy to making sure that the dignity of their sunset years is respected. And I am shattered by the blatant disrespect that so many (but not all) Baby Boomers hold for Millennials.
“One day soon, a lot of these people will have depend on Millennials to be their caregivers,” I said–or sobbed. “They will entrust us with their dignity and their bodies…so why don’t they trust us with the planet? The long-term environmental repercussions of this election will left to the Millennials to deal with. In fifty to a hundred years from now, when the environmental debt comes due…the Baby Boomers won’t walk this earth. But my generation will. We will be the ones who are stuck with a consequence that we voted against…and we are mocked for the horror we feel. We are called stupid kids. How is that right? How can I be okay with this?”

The next day, my mother published a post on her blog. Among her beautiful, raw words I found this:
“I am publicly apologizing to my children and the children of the world for an older generation who seem not care that we are leaving a desperately ill planet full of problems for them to sort out.”

And I am reminded that among those who come before me, there are those who have fought bitterly for the environment all their lives. I am reminded that they have been mocked and belittled for daring to turn their backs on what was easy and “making life harder than it has to be”. They have been made fun of all their lives, far longer than I have been called a stupid kid.

I say no more. I say enough. Preservation of the environment is not the stance of one political party or one generation. Climate change is not an opinion. Responsibility and sustainability are not optional.
To all those who have fought for my future before I was born, I say, “Thank you for your work.” I honor the sacrifices you have made and I promise, your struggles will not be forgotten. I am building off the foundations you helped to lay. Without your struggles, my future would be bleak indeed.
To all those who do not understand my passion and my protests, I say, “Thank you for your respect.” I get how I may seem strange, out of touch and consumed by things you do not understand. The life I live is so different from the style of your youth. I understand. But please do not mistake my passion for my future as a rejection of the memories you hold most precious. I do not believe that we should sweep aside the past, but I cannot live in the idealized dream of an age gone by. When I am your age, I want be able to enjoy the same beautiful planet you do now. I want to be able to go to the ocean without seeing large, floating islands of trash. I want to be able to walk outside without choking on air gone foul with pollution. And I want to be able to go to a zoo and not have to tell my grandchildren: “What you see in front of you is the last of its kind”. I just want the same things you have enjoyed all your lives and I know these things will not happen on their own. The pictures I see, of islands of trash floating in our waters, of the ice-caps melting, of dying polar bears…these pictures break my heart. They motivate me to vote the way I do, to think the way I do, to act the way I do. I want to grow old on a planet as beautiful as the one you have grown old upon. To do so, I believe there must be short-term sacrifices so that there can be a long-term future where my grandchildren can enjoy both a pristine natural world and clean energy.

So that is why I am standing up for what I believe in, why I am involving myself in the politics and direction of this country. And I promise I will still be there in the end for you, even if we do not see eye-to-eye. Even if you cannot understand why I am upset, I will still be there, as your compassionate caregiver. I will always fight for your dignity, even when you cannot. Especially when you cannot.
Trust me then and trust me now. I swear to you that I will always strive to be intelligent instead of ignorant, respectful instead of resentful, compassionate instead of cruel. All I ask is for you to listen to me, to hear me out even if you disagree. I promise to do the same for you.

To all those of my generation, I say, “Don’t give into complacency.” This is our fight now, this fight for the future of this fragile bouncing ball that we call home (God, I love Five For Fighting). We cannot afford to sit idle, to grow complacent, to sit on the side-lines. It’s our future, our planet, our lives.
We are the generation raised on Harry Potter and we have no excuse to forget these words that we absorbed in our childhood:

“Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”

If we must be Dumbledore’s Army, then let us remember to seek out the Order of the Phoenix. Let us not forget the wisdom and struggles of those who have come before. I promise: not all of them are going to shame us for being young and full of passion.

And even if some of them do, than let us consider this our chance to prove, once and for all, that we Millennials are not stupid and self-absorbed. Let us be compassionate as well as passionate.

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The words I must say

When the nation is deeply divided and tensions run high, how can I express honestly what I feel?
I do not want to be yet another voice of division and strife, and yet I cannot swallow what I am feeling. To do so would be untrue to my personality, unfaithful to my principles. I cannot be silent. I cannot pretend to be okay.
I have written this post over and over again, swinging wildly in tone. I cannot hear anything else but these words pounding in my soul. So I will write once more; I will lay my soul bare in the hopes that maybe then I can move forward.
Freedom of speech is a glorious right and I ask the indulgence of everyone who disagrees with my position. Let me speak here, put down why I feel what I feel and as strongly as I do. I have and will continue to listen with respect to those who do not believe the same as me. I can only ask for the same.

I am in mourning. Every day since the election, I awaken feeling sick with dread.

I did not vote for Hillary Clinton because I particularly liked her and I do not pretend that she has never made mistakes. No, I voted for her because her platforms aligned with my values far better than Donald Trump’s.
In particular, I voted for clean energy initiatives, preservation of the environment, and the reduction of our society’s dependence on fossil fuels. I voted for the continued existence of the Affordable Care Act. I do not deny its flaws, but I will not leave unsaid what a great blessing it has been to my family. The Affordable Care Act has granted healthcare insurance to many Americans that were denied before, including those with autism and other developmental disorders. I voted for the equal rights and treatment of all God’s children, no matter where they were born, no matter what color their skin. No matter if they are Muslim, or even just from the Middle-East. Not every Muslim is ISIL. In particular, I voted for compassion on behalf of immigrants and refugees from tyranny. I voted for respect in the treatment of women and the marginalized, especially those who are LGBT. No matter what you believe about the spectrum of human sexuality and gender identity, I believe that we cannot forget that they are people too. I cannot believe that Jesus, who ate with the sinners, smiles upon those who treat anyone with hate.
And I voted against Trump in solidarity and support for all victims of sexual violence and harassment who have said that his mannerisms and attitude give them flash-backs to the worst moments of their lives. I voted against him so that young boys would know for absolute certain that sexual intimidation is not how to be a real man.
In short, I voted for the planet and all the peoples upon it, children of the most high God.

And then I watched as my nation elected the man who does not share my deeply-held values, a man who ran a campaign based on fear. A man who seems more interested in building walls than bridges; a man who seems to care more for the short-term bottom line than in the future of this beautiful, fragile planet.
A man who seems to care more for white male privilege than he does for the Golden Rule.
I am in mourning. I am not okay.

There is a poem I have been quoting to myself ever since the results were called. That’s me, a writer and reader seeking comfort in the written word.
I will quote it now, for all the marginalized and all those who also feel sick with dread for their future. In the words of Edna St. Vincent Millay in her poem Dirge Without Music:
I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

I do not approve. And I am not resigned. To all the marginalized, to all who fear for their safety in this current climate of fear, I say this:
You are not forgotten and you are not alone. Not so long as I live and write.

The next major election is in two years. I will vote then as I voted this year, for the preservation of the environment and for the dignity of all people. In the meantime, I dedicate myself to those values. I further vow not to give in to hate and despair—I will not give anyone excuse to dismiss my words and opinions because I lost control of the passion and pain churning within me.
I will follow the example of my president and my presiding Bishop, Barack Obama and Michael Curry. I will make my protests in peace.
I serve Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace and I uphold His Golden Rule and His gospel of mercy and love.
May God bless everyone.

Categories: ordinary life | 1 Comment

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