I’m learning a lot about love languages right now. Talk about a crash course…whew. As I process my feelings, I have the blessed opportunity to be part of a community that also has very strong feelings about my transition. Some react with kindness and words of affirmation. Some don’t speak and instead prefer a hug (affection/personal touch). Others wallow a bit, upset about their loss of me (loss of quality time). A few have asked how they can help (personal services). Today, I received the last language: gifts – both emotional and tangible. I am so thankful for my friends who took the time to share their well wishes and memories with me today. That was certainly a gift. I hope that I can respond in kind.
For the last month I’ve been losing sleep over the Housing Impact Fee. Two years of work on behalf of working families, the elderly, younger generations…all squashed into a quickly changing public affairs strategy with a political climate that is changing faster than the polar ice field. We did it right. Our policy position is founded in data and addresses adverse impacts. We worked closely with all stakeholders – even ones that we were categorically opposed to based on the premise. We worked with them even when their advocacy made me feel like I was in a human vice. I know we did it right because at the end of it all, ours is the only position that both the advocates and the developers agree with. The only one that brought two opposing groups together. This is the kind of work that a Mayor is supposed to do – and instead, we did it. We did. And when we were done with the last major policy position I will work on for the City of San Jose, we went for drinks. Sad, celebratory, ceremonial drinks, which were really only a vehicle to stay in fellowship for a few more moments.
The policy process – all two years of it – was a gift. The advocacy exercise was a gift. The final product was a gift. The fellowship was a gift. Hopefully the outcome on Tuesday will be a gift for generations of people chasing their dreams in this place.
I spent the rest of the night with my girls. In a group text that drained my cell phone of every ounce of life today, we realized that we were all having very strange days. So for drinks and sushi and cupcakes we went. That was a gift.
When I came home I found an amazon package with a new book, a google shopping express envelope with pup treats and a bag of dog food, all from the Warrior prince. Those were pretty heartwarming, tangible gifts.
Feeling lots and lots of feelings right now, as outlined in the beginning of this post. Those are gifts too.
And I am blessed.