Where do we go from here?

Our village is gone.

Or so we thought.

Our towns infiltrated; our community connections uprooted; our support systems dismantled.

Wracked with fear we chose our people and locked our doors and did our best not to yell or cry or let on to our tiny observers that maybe everything might not be alright after all.

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We sanitized and meal planned and gardened and Facetimed and mourned and baked and sanitized again. We went on long walks and read long books and longed to hug our families and talk shit with our friends.

It was our first real encounter with a proverbial “rainy day” (er – Biblical flood?) that older generations had always warned us to prepare for. But we weren’t prepared were we? How can one prepare for the world to suddenly stop spinning?

You can’t.

You can only survive.

Put one foot in front of the other.

Left, right, left, right, left, right.

And we were. We were surviving. But then eight minutes and fourty six seconds of pure evil reignited 400 years worth of pain, trauma and grief. Panic set in.

Are we still doing this? Are we fighting this fight for our rights again? Will our children have to fight for their rights too?

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Breathe. Put one foot in front of the other.

Walk on but let the fire burn.

Let it set the world ablaze until there is no somewhere out there, only somewhere in here.

Keep moving. And as you move, ask:

Do I love myself? Do I love my life? Do my kids know I love them?

Left, right, left, right, left, right.

Am I proud of who I’ve become?

One step at a time.

Where does my prejudice lie? How does it affect others?

One foot in front of the other through a marsh of hard questions.

And then more questions. Big questions from small mouths.

Those must be answered too. Bravely. Thoughtfully. Honestly.

Left, right, left, right.

Lessons learned, lessons taught.

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Left, right, left, right.

Othering, apathy. Put them down.

Empathy, resistance. Pick them up.

Left, right, left, right.

Pick up the pace. Keep up the rhythm.

Keep the direction.

Take the kids with you.

Don’t mourn the village.

The village is in you as much as it’s around you.

So where do we go from here?

Forward, of course.

Together.

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A little more tired.

A little wiser.

Determined.

Left, right, left, right.

One foot in front of the other.

Aleksandra Jassem and Nikita Stanley (also known as The Rebel Mamas) are the bestselling authors of The Rebel Mamas Handbook for (Cool) Moms and co-founders of The Rebel Mama Inc. They use their multimedia platform to smash stigmas, foster community connections, and build a modern village for a new generation of mommy group dropouts.

Connect with The Rebel Mama on IG, FB, Twitter, LinkedIn

 www.therebelmama.com

Photography by Scarlet O’Neill 

Styled by Marisa Buchkowsky

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