“Momma you have to tell me why you’re crying!”
I waved her off in a futile attempt to silence her. Using the collar of my t-shirt, I wiped wipe my tears, mumbled and pleaded between sobs, “I will, I promise, please just listen, Bridget, just listen.”
I started to cry when Oprah mentioned her mother. My entire body shook when she said: “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.”
It is. Truth is as stark as it is powerful. It is black and white. It defines right and wrong. We cower from it until we embrace it. We voice it and we fear it. We can feel it in our heart, in our head, in our mind, its presence is invisible and substantial. It propels us to do things we never thought we could or would. Because of it, we’ve been Judas and Jesus on the same day. Yet, we always come back to it. Our truth is our moral compass. Mine always points to H: Hope, that even on the best of days, that tomorrow will better.
Oprah’s words, bellowing from deep within her, were a gift. It reminded me of the sacrifices that I have made, as a wife and mother, as a single mom, as a friend, as a daughter, as a niece, as a sister, as a cousin, as a friend, a co-worker, a manager, a leader, a follower, and more. I remembered all the hats that I have worn to get shit done, and to be shit on, and to still carry on as if there is no bird turd on my head.
This last year, I hung my head ashamed to be an American living with a morally vacant leader, who surrounded himself with self-serving buffoons. I have been ashamed of this leader whose only desire is to massage his own ego and possibly other body parts, both acts are so sickening that I’d care not to imagine. My attempted ignorance of this leaderless leader is not bliss. It is so far from that. It is nauseating. Some days I feel as if he flipped the switch, the nuclear bomb exploded inside of me, my sense of self-absent. And in staying quiet, I let this narcissistic leader steal the oxygen with which I live, suffocating me because I failed to hail him, and all men who disrespected the gender that gave them life, as my leader.
Oprah’s words reminded us that no one can steal the truth. They can try to change the story, bury it, twist it, deny it, mock it, and exploit it, but you know what, they just can’t kill it. From Pentagon Papers alive again through The Post to a simple New York Times ad, the truth is all around us. When spoken, it comes to life.
Thank you, Oprah. Thank you, Golden Globes. Thank you, NBC. Thank you to every person who dressed in black to show solidarity for my need, for our need, to live in a world that respects our neighbors and strangers. #MeToo is about speaking truth. I started to voice to my offenses last year. This year I won’t spend time punishing the offenders. My voice is too powerful for that. Instead, I will spend time working toward making this country great again. That means that Hope is Present, once again.