hello again

hello again! it’s been several months since i’ve written. today is a slow day at my new(ish) job and i thought to re-read some of the stuff i put on here when i was more actively writing. i thought i’d find it in worse shape than i did, and be a lot more retro-actively embarrassed than i am ! hooray.

i’m not sure what this space will grow into being. i’m not sure what this space is to begin with. a blog, yes. a place to put my feelings, frustrations, thoughts, art, joys, etc. maybe. i just know i’ve got a good deal of downtime at work as an administrative assistant and wanted a way of spending it that doesn’t involve endless scrolling or online shopping.

i’m not sure where to begin, and i think i’ve been hampering myself by fixating on how my voice will sound to other people, how i will seem, who will hate me and who will love me and who will find me incredibly boring. as if it should matter, as if any of those things can be avoided (or encouraged!).

something i’m working on learning is vulnerability. openness. trust. forgiveness. for me, my inability to be vulnerable, open, trusting, forgiving, comes up constantly in how i find myself able to relate to other people. i’ve gone to a number of events in the city, especially lately, always alone, hoping to meet friends. it’s not getting there that’s necessarily hard for me, it’s taking the next step. it’s being open and outgoing and unashamed of my desire for friendship. it’s being able to sit with feeling needy and lonely and to slingshot that into genuine overtures towards people i think are cool and want to hang out with. i’ve found it hard, always, to take that step. in high school and middle school and college i was lucky enough to find a few friends that led me to more, and that having those friendships steadied and supported me in forming even more. now i feel alone. this city has probably too many opportunities to meet people — there’s no object permanence. there’s nothing corralling you into seeing the same people again and again, which naturally forces a friendship. i’ve yet to have co-workers my own age, let alone with enough shared interests for me to develop friendships with them. and truly, honestly, i’ve let my existing friendships slide. a lot of the people i know who live in the city are part of their own friend groups, and again, the kind of radical vulnerability necessary to developing friendships just isn’t there for me right now. i want to work on it, but it’s scary and hard and often it feels easier to just hunker down into my life as is. you know the feeling?

that’s one of my goals for this year. work on my vulnerability. part and parcel with that is working on my ability to forgive myself and others. i’m not one to rail against so-called “PC” culture, but i do think the level of hyper-vigilance that many people are feeling is not entirely helpful towards greater social justice goals. look, we fuck up. we all fuck up. you know that saying, “all your faves are problematic”? it’s the dang truth. we all have and we do and we will, and the main goal should be recognizing when we do, working for transformative justice for people who we have hurt, or in situations that are hurting, and moving forward more aware and mindful and informed.

i’m not saying this to absolve anyone from having to try. we should all be trying our best. but the reality is, we live in a fucked system, and no one is exempt. there are always identities we do not have, and ignorance that’s baked in to us (intentionally!) that’s gonna make us fuck up. and, at least speaking for myself, the sort of defensive hyper-vigilance that a lot of people are feeling as a result of the current hyper-visibility of a lot of issues and the rise of cancel-culture is not helpful. our first thought shouldn’t be how to defend ourselves from cancellation, it should be how can i learn here, how can i kindly teach here, how can i grow and work to dismantle systems of oppression. fear and anxiety around cancellation (while helpful to the degree that they push people towards seeking out knowledge) often prevent people from doing the work. so i’m working on forgiving myself for being imperfect, for the times i’ve done and will do fucked up shit rooted in my own ignorance, and on using those feelings instead to relax into changing and growing and to figuring out how i can best be of help. i’m saying this because being able to relax into my own humanness and propinquity for error is a huge part of why i have trouble being vulnerable and having the sort of life, community and socially speaking, that i want for myself. i’m taking deep breaths and i’m moving slowly forward.

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to end, however awkwardly, i’d like to speak into being my goal for this space, that i want it to be one of growth and art and learning. a space to survive late capitalism and the end of the world. a scrapbook of my time here. subject to change, i suppose, but that’s my goal. cheers.

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