a person effectively claims for herself.
today my little brother enlisted.
and it feels like I failed as a big sister.
for all the talk, and discouragement,
I had no better alternative to offer.
or maybe not enough investment.
and I feel like, maybe its time to go home.
feeling like a do-gooder in someone else’s city.
the real challenge is always at home.
in 2010 I was meeting up with an acquaintance for lunch at the Pho spot in IV. It was in a discussion about the Zapatistas and opportunities to travel and visit los caracoles, that my perspective was changed. I was, like most of my peers, so hell-bent on the idea of traveling abroad and seeing the world, under the unquestioned assumption of course that the world was mine to see, to take, in. All of the privilege as a mostly middle class, college student who had been told her whole life she could do anything she wanted (thanks mom) had indeed manifested. I, even before Beyoncé released it, was singing the song like “I’m a nearly-grown young lady, I can do what-ever I want!” And, I did. We can get into what that looked like and the innocent bystanders that got the shit-end of that stick another time. But the conversation turned to while, being absolutely grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to travel to be a part of the Zapatista’s conferencias, there was a feeling of being torn between participating, and knowing one’s place. Not in the punitive sense, but in the way of knowing how one can be most helpful. My compañero decided to not go. Now, I don’t want to speak for him, but what I took from that was in order to be truly helpful, to stand in solidarity, is to understand our place, and to work from it to the best of our abilities. It is not a race to the bottom, as I often see folks try to assuage their guilt for various privileges embark on. It can not be a pissing contest of lived oppression. The irony is that in my experience it is those with the most privilege that engage in these sorts of conversations more often, while others of us are demanding more action than story-telling. With great mobility comes great responsibility, we can not deny the things we have been afforded. To do so is to disrespect the sacrifices made for us to be wherever we may be. But its a fine line between being the best you can be and remembering that we do not exist independently. Makin’ moves for the greater good.
Wow. I made it through the first day, Friday. I’d like to say that is a feat in itself, most times I’d say I couldn’t start anything on a Friday because its the weekend, especially not a fast. Nothing but water for the weekend?! But really drinking isn’t doing much for me, and it hasn’t been for a long time. Although I will say it made me really aware of my inability to deal with emotion, that and the people I was drinking with. So thank you all, from afar. As far as the actual fasting goes, yesterday was not bad at all. Hunger pangs around midday, and later at night, but really other than that it hardly even crossed my mind. Looking for mental clarity, there were a lot of thoughts, not too many definitive revelations, but a good spin of the old hamster wheel all day. Today I woke up so easy and feeling good at 7AM! My only cause for concern was that I didn’t want to wake up…I think it has to do with the anxiety, I’ve had it happen before, that dread of starting your day. So I layed in bed trying to sleep for a half hour but just couldn’t do it anymore. Not eating late is definitely a real thing. I then was a bit overtaken with anxiety, which I’ve been grappling with lately, but letting that come up is good. Definitely better than suppressing it. So I let it run. Walked Mila at 8:30ish, felt lonely and still anxious but I really breathed it out. Got back just in time to bike to yoga at 9, had a GREAT workout! Sweat, baby, sweat. I felt a surge of frustration that has also been a major emotion for me lately, and pride, the kind that won’t let you ask for help. Both of which I’ve allowed to make me unhealthy and unhappy, so being able to feel those out today was a good litmus of where I’m at. Finished class, was hard to quiet my mind for ending meditation, but also what I’ve been allowing to take over me in the past couple of months lately, so no surprise there. Once I was done I did feel a little like crying, but it was brief, like a hiccup of about to and then it was gone. Biked home, and committed myself to sitting outside and typing it all up. Here’s to keeping dates with myself.
Also a little more about yesterday, now that it’s coming to me. I kept having that choke up feeling where the back of your throat gets all knotted like you want to cry. Hardly actually felt like crying just that sensation, kind of a lot.
Also, I’m sore in my right shoulder, and lower back wasn’t feeling good this morning when I was waking up, but I think that might just be from sleeping on the couch.
So far, I feel good. My day is turning out how I want it to. Feels good to have a Saturday off. I was starting to worry on my bike ride home, finances, scheduling, life goals, etc…but was able to quiet my mind, and just knowing that worry is not the best use of my energy, all I can do is act, and do my best (ultra corny, but so real!) and let the rest play out.
So Much Love.
All of the love.
And wonder, and trust in myself.
After the decline of Ancient Egypt, Anubis finds himself having to assimilate into modern human society.
Nasus, League of Legends
I came to work. That’s all.
it’s amazing the feeling of being able to put words to emotions. things that never felt quite right, but you didn’t know how to express. Being asked “what are
you?” for example, that and all of it’s variations:
“where are your parents from?” “No, but where are you really from?”
all of these microagressions (that I didn’t even know until recently I could call them that) that leave you feeling uncomfortable, sometimes offended, and definitely “other”ed. and no wonder it is so frustrating, there was a brief and unannounced but very definite reinforcement of power. In my experience, these are situations in which white people, most commonly male, assert their privilege by asking personal information that they misleadingly believe is their right to know. But reading and reflecting on Andrea Smith’s book “Conquest” has really validated the hostility I’ve felt around those questions. To know someone in any sense of the word, physically or emotionally, must be a consensual experience in which neither party feels pressured to share. To know someone allows you to have a certain power over them, and these seemingly innocuous questions are a way in which that unfair power dynamic is actualized. Therefore, as Andrea Smith writes, to withhold knowledge is an act of resistance against those who desire to know you in order to better control you. And it can be argued that people when asking this do not necessarily mean to do that, but ignorance is not an excuse for perpetuating these fucked up power dynamics. I don’t go around asking white people what they are, and I don’t know any person of the global majority that does, isn’t that fucking weird? It’s because there is a clear racialized, able body normalized, sis gender rationalized, systematic oppression being perpetuated by these “harmless” questions. So, no I will not obligingly share that information, and No, I won’t stop myself from answering a question with a question, just because it’s polite. Sorry mama, manners go out the window when dignity is on the line.