I don’t want to write about politics. I don’t want to write about abortion laws, women’s rights gun rights, or religion. I don’t want to write about the evils of this world, pretending as though the evil within me does not exist. I don’t want to write about how I am right, and you are wrong. I don’t want to write about hypocrisy on “both sides,” pretending I am somehow above it all. I don’t want to use words to puff myself up and put others down. I don’t want to write to separate myself from “them.”
Instead, I want to write about my heart, about days that it has soared and days that it has broken. I want to write about how I see the world from my little vantage point. And then I want you to tell me how you see the world.
I want to write about how my life has been richer because of the many children with Down Syndrome I spent time with growing up. And I want to write about how the idea that parents could choose not to have a child because of this breaks my heart.
I want to write about friends I have known whose pregnancies wreaked havoc on their body, causing them to have to make unthinkable choices. And I want to write about how it breaks my heart to think they may have had to face legal obstacles in addition to the already unbearable pain.
I want to write about how endometriosis forced me to choose between the fatigue that an IUD caused and the heavy menstrual bleeding that kept me close to a restroom for days each month. I want to write about how I will never understand how one could say that health insurance should cover a hysterectomy for heavy bleeding but not an IUD because it might impede the implantation of a fertilized egg. Does the lack of a uterus not also impede the implantation of a fertilized egg?
I want to write about how my heart ached as I heard the news of the Sandy Hook shooting on the anniversary of my brother’s death. I want to write about how I listened to the news for days afterwards trying to make sense of the unthinkable.
I want to write about how it is easy for me to propose extremely strict gun laws when I know so little about guns. I want to write about how tempting it is for me to do some academic research and think I know the answer to gun violence without ever speaking with those who have touched a gun to learn what has made their hearts sore and break.
Mostly, I want to write to know myself better and create room for personal growth. I want to let the time that it takes to put my thoughts on paper reveal the things hidden from me, the ways that I haven’t even realized my life has shaped me to think and act certain ways. I want to write to get a distance from these things, so that I can decide which to keep and which to throw away. And I want to write to create a door for you to walk through, a door through which you can see me and a door where you feel safe to come in and show me you.