In my life, I've come to associate normalcy with happiness. As jacked up as it is to say, in my life there, hasn't been a moment of unconditional bliss that I can recall. There was always something that was wrong and needed to be taken care of. Bills, food, jobs, being undoc etc. No matter how good things got, there was always something that seemed to ruin the moment. Even at an early age, I knew my family wasn't "normal" because how we lived and the things we had to do to survive, that much I knew. That's when I started associating "normalcy" with happiness and over the weekend I was finally able to make the connections in a way that made sense to me. An epiphany of sorts.
It happened like this. During a pot luck dinner with friends, as per the season, DREAM Act family got together to relax for a brief moment, but also to welcome back friends who participated in civil disobedience in Washington D.C. earlier that week. We all came together as an extended family to welcome back our friends and to celebrate the work done to make sure they were alright. Libations and home cooked food satiated our appetites, fueling our bodies physically and spiritually for the dance marathon that followed. For those few hours, nothing mattered in our small world anymore. Like a veil lifted, we came together as a whole, knowing that these opportunities are rare.
While it rained outside, we were kept warm by the rhythms of cumbias playing all night long. I stopped at one point to cool down for a bit outside before it started raining and all I could hear from inside was laughter, music and bliss. I realized in that moment what it meant to be happy and normal. That normal isn't living a specific way, having certain things, a status quo or anything of the superficial things it's normally associated with. I realized that being normal is just being happy for your friends and for yourself. In our movement, our set backs, personal and as a movement, tend to out number our progress. Everyone is on a constant state of alert and hyper awareness that it burns people out. Thus, those few moments in which we can forget everything that is wrong in the world, the work that has to be done and the struggles that await us, we dance, eat and drink just as our ancestors once did to celebrate a new season, a good harvest or the blessing of extended family.
And that's what we are all to each other, extended DREAM Act family. The love and energy we share with each other is unconditional and welcoming. We all share a unique experience that may be similar to others, but is completely our own and we have come to own it. Undocumented and Unafraid. Now more than ever I know where I'll be in this movement DREAM Act or not. 2011 is gonna bring about gargantuan changes that will be difficult at first, but will be for the best.