I am writing this quickly because it is urgently necessary, so pardon my inelegant prose.

I was inspired to write this after a conversation with my ride or die Edna, in which we struggled to navigate the triumph of the Women's March with our critiques of its significant shortcomings, as well as our pessimism that the movement would continue among the most privileged of us.

Star Wars isn't without its problems, but I have been delighted in its resurgence as stories of strong women, and I wanted to see if I could frame this conversation in something accessible. And man, I sure do miss Space Mom Carrie Fisher.

As I said, I wrote this sort of quickly, so I know it's missing a lot. I welcome further musings and corrections, and I am listening.

Prior to this exchange, a perhaps naively enthusiastic Luke Skywalker has just been mocked by Han Solo after getting shot in the butt in a blind lightsaber duel with a laser remote. Not to be defeated, Skywalker tries again and successfully defends himself against the droid, his motions guided by nothing but the Force -- by nothing but intuition. He tells Obi-Wan that he felt something, that he could see the remote despite having his eyes covered. And that's when Kenobi nods and stoically observes that Luke has taken his very first step into a destiny much bigger than he is.

Did you march? Did you knit a "pussy hat" and go out into the streets? Did you wave signs and shout chants? Did you feel something? Did the Force perhaps flow throw you? That mystical energy that binds all beings of the galaxy together? Was it a feeling of triumph? Did you march because something stirred inside you, some intuition that something very wrong has happened and that you need to say something?

I am proud of you. I am extraordinarily proud of you. I had to stay home because, ugh -- cancer -- and the day before I had a low-key panic attack at the office that I am still trying to stabilise from. Maybe that's just an excuse, which is why I am sincere when I say I am proud of you.

But much like becoming a Jedi, this is only your first step. And just like Jedi Master Yoda, I'm going to insist you lift the X-Wing out of the swamp. You're going to tell me I ask for the impossible, I am going to casually retrieve your starship from the depths of Dagobah.

Let me tell you who I am and how I got here. I am the daughter of immigrants. My mother came here from Mexico and my father fled here from Cuba. Neither of them spoke English, and they both faced tremendous obstacles in their lives. I am their firstborn. I am ethnically ambiguous -- white passing in some environments and identified for exactly what I am in other environments. I was raised middle class and have only ever attended private schools where I was their token Latinx person.

I am college educated with a degree from a distinguished university which is more known for its football team than it is known for its rampant culture of white privilege and rape. Though I am petite, I am conventionally attractive, lean, able bodied, articulate, and cis gendered. I am queer but I am in a relationship with a cis queer man of color. I am paid a six figure salary and work in an industry that is very comfortable.

Though my family has not turned its back on me, my upbringing left me with both inherited and personal trauma. I am mentally ill and take daily medication in order to keep my debilitating anxiety at bay. I have outlived cancer for a year now, and I am in the middle of a course of treatment that renders me legally disabled, however, most people can't tell that I am sick. There is no cure, only managing to outrun my illness. My relationship is heteronormative in appearance, but neither of us identifies as straight, and we each genderfuck in our own ways.

I was molested as a girl and raped in college. My entry into software development was a desperate act of survival after I was laid off from my job, and even then, my career change came only at the tremendous advocacy of an ally, and I was initially very underpaid. As a queer Latinx woman, I am one of the most underrepresented groups in my industry, and as such, endure a thousand paper cut aggressions every day. I don't know how to speak Spanish because my parents didn't want me to face the discrimination they experienced, which means I have a firm grasp of English, but a very unstable idea of my own fractured identity.

This is all to say I occupy a very complicated and liminal social space. My very existence is held together like tectonic plates by the tension of the contradictions I embody. I am complicit in things I abhor but benefit from the privileges of simply because I was born luckier than some others. Even as I am an oppressor I am an oppressed person, and I have never escaped the profound awareness that I am often the only brown person, the only woman person in a room.

I got to live a lot of my life in ignorance until life forced the revelation of inequality on me. Which is why I feel like it's my responsibility to do the emotional labor of broaching this topic -- because I occupy levels of privilege that give me the luxury of extra spoons to do so. (However, please internalize that more aggressive and confrontational approaches to this are not only valid, but justified, and your job to listen to.)

This election frightens me. That man is not my president. However, more than that spineless impostor, I fear what his popularity implicitly and explicitly means. His normalization of racism, misogyny, sexual assault, and xenophobia has given permission for the most devolved among us to come out of the earth's moist dark caves like mynocks in an asteroid worm's gut.

The Women's March was an important step of resistance to this, a triumphant display of collective outrage and solidarity. I was thrilled to see photos of crowds swollen with pink knit hats and clever signs. Out and about in San Francisco, I felt warm camaraderie with the folks coming home bearing rolled up poster board and some decorative pink. However, the Women's March was only one very small first step. And like Luke Skywalker, your next mission is to descend into the cave and confront your own face in Darth Vader's mask. It is not enough to merely say you want to be a Jedi. It is not enough to merely march.

How are you going to continue resisting? And how are you going to continue examining your privilege in these movements and step aside to center those with far less luck in a system of structural oppression? If you are a man, did you stop another man when he said something disparaging of women? Did you explain why the Women's March is so important when your friend scoffed, "What are they even protesting?"

If you are a white woman, did you march for Black Lives Matter as well? Did you correct a colleague's stereotypes? That not all our pussies are pink -- that some of us are flowers of different shades, and as such, considered less sexually desirable?

If you are a cis person, did you let your fellow marchers know that centering this resistance around certain anatomy does not take into consideration the full spectrum of gender and body configurations, and how folks for whom these things don't traditionally align are harmed by such essentialism? That not all women have vaginas or uteruses, that some women were born with these things, but because of illness or whatever, had to have these things removed?

Have you defended sex workers? Neurologically atypical folks? Folks with disabilities?

I know: The X-Wing fighter seems firmly entrenched in that swamp. How can such a feat be achieved? Luke didn't immediately give up -- he tried. And it was with great frustration and perhaps shame that he snapped at Yoda -- a Jedi Master who fought in the Clone Wars and had lived long enough to see the galaxy change shape. Skywalker's path to self-actualization was not an easy one. Luke rushed to Bespin against Yoda's wisdom only to lose his hand and learn the horrible truth of his history.

That he -- a warrior of light in training --is related to a legacy of intergalactic terror, only a few degrees separated from the annihilation of the entire planet of Alderaan, and born amidst the turmoil of political tyranny. Anakin's actions are not the fault of Luke, but Luke Skywalker cannot deny that his power is inherited from one of the most ruthless dictators in the universe.

It's okay if you cannot lift the X-Wing out of the waters. To become a Jedi requires disciplined practice. The Luke Skywalker who received a laser shot to his butt at the smug amusement of a space pirate eventually saved Han Solo by infiltrating Jabba's palace with Jedi mind tricks. Skywalker even managed to redeem his father and save the galaxy. But he initially failed to move the X-Wing, and he failed to recognize the lesson in the cave.

I understand that asking you to carry the Women's March in from the streets and into your daily lives is a large, seemingly impossible task. I certainly wasn't born a Jedi Master, and I have failed too -- too many times to count. I have been corrected, and been embarrassed by that correction, and felt the twinge of petulance and shame when my privilege was challenged.

I have been uncomfortable and scared standing up for others, and I try not to think about how every time I speak up I jeopardize the career I worked so hard to earn to survive. Some days I cannot fight, some days I have to withdraw in order to protect myself. Other days the battle seems devastatingly overwhelming.

Your resistance work is not done. Your work is far, far from over. Your work will never be over. Your work will not be easy. Your work will be painful, confusing, and at times upsetting. Your work will sometimes -- often times -- tell you that you are not welcome, and it will be unpleasant to hear, but you already took your first step into a much larger world, which means you are already brave enough to keep doing the work even when the work asks you to raise up a seemingly impossible task. You already marched. You proved that you can do that much, and I know it wasn't an easy thing to do.

It's okay. Start small. Here is your second step into a larger world, and how to carry on the momentum of the Women's March and do the things your heart was moved to march for in the first place.

Just listen. Listen to women of color, to queer women, to trans women, to sick women, to disabled women, to black women, to crazy women. And I mean really listen. Don't just hold your tongue and wait for the other person to finish speaking. Listen with no response. Listen and say nothing, listen and focus on the other person's words.

Listen to me -- a crazy, sick, queer woman of color. The Women's March is far from over. Take it from the streets and into your hearts and into your everyday actions. Listen to the critiques of the Women's March, and know that you didn't do anything wrong, but that there is still more you can do right. It is your first step into a larger world. I am so proud of you. Welcome. We've been waiting for you.

Liz Acosta is mostly a gym rat who happens to also be a software developer and a writer. In 2016, at the age of thirty-one, she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive breast cancer, and at that point, she officially had no more fucks to give. She is an advocate for access to mental health resources, patient rights, and greater diversity in STEM fields. She is almost exclusively powered by male tears, and writes about cancer, lesbian cowgirls, and punk bike detectives over at her Medium.