I have a note in my phone full of topics that I had every intention to write about, but somehow those blogs were never written. 2016 has been a tumultuous year for so many people and for so many reasons. At what feels like a tipping point, 2017 is gearing up to be a year full of challenges. My hope is that the lessons learned this year will better prepare us all to tackle those challenges that lie ahead.
Topics to write about seemingly come at the most inopportune times; waiting at the bus stop, walking down the street, or (most commonly) in the middle of the night. I’ve always had really vivid dreams so I guess it makes sense that I’ll wake up startled in the middle of the night with an epiphany that needs its layers peeled back.
I’m very fortunate to have people surrounding me who also like to peel back layers. Conversations that go deep, question my very own values, and force me to see a new reality, can sink me into a couch butt groove for hours. I’ve solidified incredible friendships with people who meet me for who I am now and bring inspiring perspectives to life that I’ve never thought about before. Asking questions has been my greatest tool this year, not just of others but of myself as well. Why do I think this way? Why do I feel this way? What is lying beneath or behind these feelings or thoughts? It’s funny, you spend so much time creating your identity only to reach an age where you start questioning it. As it turns out, much of the how’s and why’s have some sort of deep seeded truth or, contrarily, a glaring flaw. I relish in the moments where I begin to understand where my thoughts originated from and how I can change them to be kinder, more compassionate, and best of all, stronger.
As I sit here with the “53 drafts” button glaring at me and a lengthy list of topics that intrigue me sitting in my phone, I started to wonder why I stopped writing. I still love to write and find it to be therapeutic, but the truth is I stopped writing because I became disengaged from it. There were so many topics that pained my heart or tweaked my curiosity that I felt overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. I also realized that I need to be careful about my perspective when writing about topics like race and racism for example. As a white person I’ll never truly understand what it’s like to be on the receiving end of racism, but I know my voice is important in the fight for anti-racism. It’s something that I want to really dig into while staying in my lane.
I want to write more about sexual assault, patriarchy, male dominance, and misogyny, but it’s been a tough year for women. As we slowly see an uptick in the conversations around these topics in light of recent stories of shitty men being assholes, my internal dialogue is flooded with things to write about. But to be honest, I’m tired. This is a hard fight and one that’s met with animosity at almost every turn. People really don’t seem to get how sexism works or where it’s roots lay. I’ve spent a lot of my time calling out men on social media, fuming over the blatant sexism that exists in pop culture, and rolling my eyes so hard I’m surprised I haven’t detached a retina at all the self-proclaimed “good guys” who do a pretty terrible job at reinforcing even the most basic of sexist stereotypes as they’re trying to claim that they really care about women.
Looking back on past blogs where I’ve completely contradicted myself, I look forward to this writing as a lesson from which I’ll learn from in the future. My mind and perspective changes with each new experience as I continue to peel back those layers. It’s time to start writing again and push that internal dialogue externally.