The January 21, 2017 March on Lansing marked my first experience protesting. I showed up without a sign, without a hat, and without a clue what to expect. I worried I'd feel out of place, that there'd be chanting and I wouldn't know the words, that I'd be questioned about my motives and wouldn't have a strong enough political education to know how to explain what I was doing there--none of that happened.
The first memory I have of stealing a word was when I was ten years old. It came from a brochure crammed in the pocket behind the driver's seat in a shuttle bus that was taking my family to a beachfront hotel. "Waves crash rhythmically upon the sandy shoreline," it advertised. I plucked the word from the page and I tucked the brochure back into its pocket.