Hello friends! Once upon a time, I used this corner of the internet to write about the things that I know and love — quadball (the name changed since the last time I posted here), food, beauty, books, travel, social justice, a little bit of everything.
Then COVID-19 changed things. (Understatement of the century, I know.) Writing, something that’s always been at the core of who I am, became too raw and painful a thing to do in public. I’d lost my ability to be my forthright (and occasionally oversharing) self.
One thing that did not change is that I never lost my love for writing. So if writing for and as myself was too raw, why not be someone else for a while? I started by being a dungeon master for my friends, a big step for me after years of sticking to the player side of things as a tabletop gamer.
But I wanted to do more. I knew I was capable of more. In a year that forced us to come to grips with the fact that Black Lives Matter, a year where the sky was on fire because climate change is real, and a year where I decided that I wanted to start a family in a #SanJoseForAll sooner rather than later, I knew I had to do something with myself besides sit and home and simmer in my sorrows.
That something ended up being volunteering for a City Council candidate that wanted to make my neighborhood and others like it a place for everyone.
Thus began my unexpected journey into politics. I worked on local campaigns. I worked at City Hall. (Technically. I never actually used my poor abandoned cubicle.) I failed and fumbled and eventually followed my heart, which landed me a statewide gig.
Career achievements aside, I knew I was healing when I started to write again. Not that I ever stopped. What changed was that I started to write as myself again, not as a candidate, an elected official, or an organization. I started to write as the self I’d become after a few years of being forged by the double crucible of politics and a pandemic.
I know and love some new things now. But it doesn’t feel all that different. You’d be surprised by just how much planning a social media campaign and a quadball tournament have in common. I love the not-so-local work I do now, doing social media for over 310,000 California educators as the social media manager for the California Teachers Association. I love staying grounded in the local matters that matter most to me by helping out progressive campaigns that share my values.
I went back and forth for a while about coming back to my blog. I read through my old posts and it feels like a stranger wrote them. A really cool stranger that I have a lot in common with, but still a stranger. Should I keep this space for her?
Obviously, that’s not the decision I came to, because here we all are. For my longtime readers: don’t worry, all my writing isn’t gone forever. It’s archived away for now. I’m sure some of it will come out of the vault eventually, but I wanted a fresh start.
If you’ve made it this far, welcome back to Barcelos Knows. If you’re new here, the rules are the same as before: if it’s something I know and love, I’m gonna write about it. That could be sparkling water or social media strategy, niche sports or hyper-niche local politics, or whatever else I’m feeling like commenting on.
Thanks for reading. Let’s have some fun and learn a little bit together, shall we?