Let me tell you about some of the things I’m grateful for.

Pandora’s currently playing an a capella version of “I Want You Back”, a problematic song in a lot of ways, but I have a serious fondness for The Jackson 5, and this song–even covers of it–reminds me of so many moments throughout my life.

For eight dollars I scraped together from other budget lines, I bought my kid a biggish Lambie at Grocery Outlet this morning. She’s been hugging it all day long. Today was a day for cuddly hugs from stuffed lambs.

I wake up every morning and write books. I make money, every day, from this thing I’ve wanted to do since I was a child. I literally live my dream job. And part of my dream job is reflecting society through art, a necessary endeavor always, but perhaps even more so now. I’m so thankful that I do this every damn day.

My dog’s eating again. He still wags his tail, and perks up when I talk to him.

I’ve got running water, and a reliable space heater, and even though it’s snowing outside, we’re warm and safe.

When I turned eighteen during the Clinton era in the nineties I didn’t think I’d ever vote for a presidential candidate who wasn’t the best of the worst. But I did. Two times. I voted for a candidate whose intelligence, empathy, and grace I could trust. TWICE. An unexpected pleasure, casting those ballots, and one I’ll remember the rest of my life.

The world I live in is increasingly unstable. I feel that. Sometimes it’s like the ground shakes beneath my feet and I have to grab hold of anything close by just to keep from falling. Too frequently the things available for grabbing are news stories about how scared I should be, or social media posts about how scared other people are.

I’m angry a lot. But I can’t do fear right now. I got kids who go out in the world every day, and I refuse to show them fear, helplessness, and loss. I’m not mourning. I’m galvanized.

This is what I’m here for. I was never here to live a sweet, serene, peaceful life. That was never meant to be my road.

I will stand. I will fight. And I will be grateful for every damn second I can steal from the universe (which always has a few good moments for the taking, no matter how shaky things get).

Water has never tasted as cold and as sharp as it does right now.

You won’t see me on Twitter anytime soon. You might see me on Facebook, if you’re in the Irregulars. I am absolutely not surrounding myself with anxiety and fear and shrill voices. If you’re ready to fight–with your words, your art, your songs, your sourdough starter, your research, your perfect diy window cleaner recipe, your smiles for grumpy customers (or coworkers), your monthly gathering of friends, your game design, your theory, your philosophy, your clear and calm voice rising above the rest–then I will stand with you.

If you’re not creating something right now, even if it’s just for you (or for your old, sick dog, looking at you when you interrupt his sleep because you made yourself laugh), if you’re not making something in the world, then maybe I’ll see you around sometime. But probably not soon.

I need folks in my life who stay standing when I reach out. I need folks who don’t hesitate to reach out to me, knowing I’m stable, and standing, and I won’t be intimidated.

I’m not afraid of the next four years, or the next eight. I’m fucking dangerous. People should damn sure be afraid of me.

And you.

Featured image is “The Kiss (2006) – Francisco Vidal (1978)” by Pedro Ribeiro Simões on Flickr, used under Creative Commons license 2.0.