The Woman’s March, Facebook & Tracy Chapman—A Recipe For An Unraveling.

Kelly Seaman Girls

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There are not a lot of things that can make me feel like I’m 21 and completely alive with possibility again, but just about any Tracy Champan song can wreck me in all the best ways.

If you knew that you would die today

If you saw the face of God and Love

Would you change?

Would you change?

I marched with my two year old daughter, Magnolia, and a few of my dear friends in the Women’s March in Austin. I marched for what feels like a million reasons, but mostly for my baby girl: my heart, carbon copied and walking around on this earth. I was close to tears from the time we rounded the corner of The Capitol. SO. MANY. BEAUTIFUL. HUMANS. The mood, the unity and power was static in the air. Every word I spoke felt like it was too much, like I needed to stop and listen to the voices around me; hold a space for the present moment; be still. Magnolia’s unruly, red hair spun into ringlets in the humidity, while she danced between my arms and the ground. Everyone kept bumping into one another, laughing at our closeness, our shared mission. As we started to march, groups moved forward, while others slowed. The ebb and flow of the march was so beautiful as new voices found their way beside us. We chanted, sang and danced, and I kept whispering, “Girls can do anything,” into Magnolia’s ear. It was hot, the air magnetic. After the march had ended, when we finally got some water and food, I felt myself breathe for the first time. What a powerful moment in history, for me, for my daughter, for our nation.

And then I went and ruined everything. I posted on Facebook.

What chain reaction

What cause and effect

Makes you turn around

Makes you try to explain

Makes you forgive and forget

Makes you change

I had promised myself that 2017 would be the year that I broke my ridiculous Facebook addiction. Although I publicly announced my New Year's Resolution with a super cool quote graphic and carefully thought out caption, guess what? I was SECRETLY logging in and LURKING ALL OVER FACEBOOK. I was purposefully not liking things so I could remain in cognito and seem super intentional and self- controlled. Yep. There’s my truth: I am usually scrounging around for self control at the bottom of chip bags, while testing how far back my newsfeed really goes. All of my good intentions are lost when it comes to Facebook.

I shared a picture of my daughter holding my friend’s sign that said, “The Future is Nasty.” I may as well have shared a picture of me holding her off the side of a cliff. Before we even got home, I received concerned Private Messages, commentary about individual freedoms, and even AN ANGRY FACE. Yes, my loves. AN ANGRY FACE on the picture of my two year old daughter.

If you knew that you would be alone

Knowing right being wrong

Would you change?

Would you change?

If you knew that you would find a truth

That brings a pain that can't be soothed

Would you change?

Would you change?

That night, I curled up to my computer and turned my old, college ipod on shuffle next to me as I tried to write about my march experience, because that’s where all my feminist playlists live. Instead, I found myself on Facebook. I began responding to the criticisms from people who I love in person, but I evidently hate terribly on the internet. I was so mad. My perfect day of soul convergence had been broken, tarnished, mired, and it was all my fault. I could feel the disappointment sit down on my chest. And then, because my story is a happy one, the beginning chords of Tracy Chapman’s, Change came from the ipod.

If everything you think you know

Makes your life unbearable

Would you change?

Would you change?

If you'd broken every rule and vow

And hard times come to bring you down

Would you change?

Would you change?

Suddenly, I was 21 again. I was hearing her voice for the first and the millionth time at the same time. I was alive and present and powerful again. I knew what I had to do, what I had needed to do for a long time. I made my husband change the password to my Facebook account. I didn’t need to repair the confusion left on Facebook. I didn't need to prove or heal anything, Tracy, goddess on earth, yes. I would change. I guess I just needed a little shove in that direction, and nothing does shove like an angry face emoticon on a picture of your two year old.

2017 has to be the year I stop writing, “GET IT TOGETHER, KELLY” in my journals, and I start writing, “YOU’VE GOT THIS” instead. I am doing all the things that feel right: quitting Facebook, voracious non-fiction reading and writing, picture taking, silence, laughter, dancing, playing at the park with my kids, forgiving myself, a whole lot of breathing and Tracy Chapman when things feel rough. Fingers crossed this is the section of my life I look back and kiss myself for.


About the Author

Kelly Seaman

I'm Kelly. I live just outside of Austin, Texas with my husband, who I stalked til he loved me, and our three gorgeous babies, Hendrix, Roscoe and Magnolia. I am deeply passionate about the people in my life, and I am currently trying to figure out how to time travel so we can go back and do this fun stuff all over again. Come hang out with me on my .

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