One year ago today, I was standing in front of a museum in Florida, standing up for the right of two moms and their children to be recognized as a family.
Today, I'm a writer and nationally recognized activist. I've done a lot of reflecting today. This is all so amazing. How did I even get here?
Well, a lot of hard work for one. I've taken it upon myself to learn a lot over the past year. I've also learned a lot about balancing the things that are important in my life. Doing what I love helps, but passion will only carry you so far. I have to work every day to get better. The more I learn, the more I can do.
I took a step down a path and before I knew it, I met others along the path and we started walking together. My friends and colleagues help me keep moving forward and I am continuously humbled at how many people continue to help me along my journey. I'm a writer, and I can come up with no words sufficient to express my thanks to so many.
We, all of us, have the power to work together and create beautiful things and build a amazing future. In order to do that, we have to start by paying attention to the present. All around us, there are issues in which individuals can make a real difference.We choose to listen to the voices telling us we can't and we don't matter or instead to the voices telling us that we can, that one ripple in the water can lead to a wave of change.
Figure out what it is you're good at. Figure out what you're passionate about. Don't try to be someone else. Stand up for what you believe in. Stand up for things that are really important. Figure out how you can help make a difference for others. Then get to work and don't give up. It really is that simple.
I continuously say that I don't know where the path I'm on will lead and that's the truth. But I truly appreciate every step I've taken so far. And despite all that's happened over the last year, I'm still the same person I've always been. That's because my pursuit has always been the truth and in order to speak the truth, you have to be true to yourself.
I have a lot of goals in life, legislative and otherwise, but one of my main goals has been to get other young people to speak out. I've seen a lot of that over the past year. I want to see more of it over the next one. There are so many things that hold young people back. They're afraid of what others will think, they're afraid of standing up for themselves, they're afraid of the truth that lies within themselves, they're distracted by things that don't matter. This isn't just holding these individuals back. It's holding our country back. It's holding our whole world back.
At least once a month, I find myself saying, "This was the best day ever." That's an awesome thing. An even more awesome thing is saying, "Wow, look at what we've done." And there are many more things we can continue to do by moving forward together and refusing to take one step back.
Believe in yourself and be the change you want to see in the world. I believe in the power of all of us.
Here is a list of every US Senator on Twitter.
And here is a list of all the members of the House of Representatives on Twitter.
Show them your truth.