Crazy in Love

As wedding planning grinds my stress responses into dust; as I am tearing out my hair more and more at all the little details I need to manage; as I am truly wishing I could emotionally handle having an elopement because it would be so much simpler, I keep returning to one simple fact: I am crazy in love with Ogre, and I want nothing more than to pledge myself to him in a ceremony before the gods and our chosen witnesses.

And what helps with this has been listening to an Aphrodite playlist on 8tracks, because music helps me cope with life — but especially this song:

It’s a cover of Crazy in Love by Beyonce, and the fact that it’s a cover cleanses it of the taint it acquired when used for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. (Fifty Shades of Grey is about abuse, not love. I have written extensively on this in other places.) For me, at least. I can’t listen to the Beyonce version for FSOG without cringing, because the trailer played so many times it made me sick.

Still, it is a good song, and yes, it does describe a lot of my state with the Ogre.

So I listen to it on repeat, and imagine how beautiful our wedding will be, and calm my ass down so I can actually plan the thing.

Allow Yourself to Celebrate the Triumph of Love

“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public”

Cornel West

Love triumphed in the States today.

This morning, same sex marriage became legal nationwide. Those few states who were holding out for a right-wing hero are screwed — gay marriage is now federally recognized, federally legal.

This is a victory. This is a victory for love, for queer rights, for justice, for the progress of us as a species.

And yes, there is much more work to be done. Things still pretty much suck across the board for the majority of QUILTBAG people, especially trans* folk. We should not forget that, ever.

A rainbow-striped heart on a transparent background.

By JorgenCarlberg (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

But we should take some time to celebrate.

Today I saw people say, in the same breath, “Hooray! BUT LET’S GET BACK TO WORK GUYS” — allowing themselves a millisecond, at most, to feel good about this victory before throwing themselves back into the fray.

This is the fastest way to burn yourself out and make yourself useless to activism. Trust me — I’ve been there. Multiple times. I now have such a short burn-out fuse that I can barely accomplish anything, and am only able to focus on one or two small issues to fight for. I destroyed myself in the pursuit of justice, because I did not care for myself.

In the long, grand scheme of things, same-sex marriage may be a small victory — but it is still a victory, and dear Aphrodite does it feel like a big one. And it’s one so many people have been working towards for so long. Achieving it should be a celebration.

Aphrodite isn’t just the goddess of romantic love, or sexual love. She is love — which means She is justice, and She is self-care. Never forget self-care when you’re in the pursuit of justice.

Refusing to take any time to celebrate, to breathe — even for small victories! — will guarantee you burn yourself out quicker. It will make all the losses hit you harder. It is absolutely essential to taking care of ourselves as activists to allow ourselves time to celebrate.

So take three days. Three days where you just bask in the triumph of love — because love did triumph. And then on Monday we can all get back to work, more refreshed, more eager to take on the fight.

We’re only human. We are not tireless machines.

Love yourself, as Aphrodite loves you.