My good friend Mike invited me to go the Women’s March on Washington with him. He was getting a van and he had a place to stay in DC. I turned him down. Even though I believe in the protest, I explained, being in protests is hard for me. I get anxious in the crowd and duck out early.
Mike pushed back, on phone and in email. This is important, he said. Nothing bad is going to happen to you, and we need people out there. I agreed. Nonetheless, when I have marched in protests before, no matter how cathartic or important they are, eventually my stomach knots up, my mind races so I can’t think straight, I start walking faster to avoid the people around me, and I jump out before I lose it. I told him I wasn’t going. I also resolved to get to the bottom of what was upsetting me and show up as 100% Michael at the sister march in NYC.