That’s exactly what I’m doing with this monthly posting/article/blog/somethingorother.
I’m throwing out all of the rules I’ve set for myself.
There will still be pictures. There will still be words on a white screen. But no more links at the bottom to previous posts. If you wanted to read more, you’d find a way.
No more jargon to try and get you to bite. No more trying to reel you in with catchy words or sentences I don’t really know the meaning of.
If you want to read, you can read. This is a space to do that. It’s a space for my perspective, for you to agree or disagree, and for you to respond accordingly.
I want this to be enjoyable for you as much as it is for me, but I don’t want to force it. It should be natural. I have to let the words come as they are and I have to be kind to them. A few of them will only be visitors and aren’t meant to stay. Their journey is important to me, too. They deserve a good ride.
What a whirlwind this life has been these last four weeks. Packing up. Saying goodbye. Letting go of a place I called home and the people that mean so much to me. Driving away. Trying not to look back. Arriving. Arriving. I haven’t understood what that means until this time around.
Unfolding myself into a new space. Trying to find the words that can fill the spaces inside of me that I’ve become hyper-aware of. Something about moving to a new place with new people and a different community can change the way you look at yourself.
I’ve realized that overwhelm has taken over my life. More often than not, it’s a feeling that fills me. Recently it’s been the intake of information that is causing me to expand while having very little structure or time to reflect on the experience. This isn’t bad news; it means I’m in the middle of growing and won’t truly realize it until I take a step away.
I’m inviting the overwhelm in for a cup of coffee. S/he can stay. Learning to live with the things that are a part of me is an important practice in being myself.
What I’m listening to right now:
“Where You’re At” by Allen Stone
“I keep my dirt on the surface so you don’t gotta dig,
The people that make me nervous tried to hide all their sins.
And I’ve got no reason to cover my tracks
The best part of learning is just loving where you’re at.”
“Rivers and Roads” by The Head and the Heart
“Been talking ‘bout the way things change,
And my family lives in a different state.
And if you don’t know what to make of this
Then we will not relate”
“A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke
“There been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long
But now I think I’m able to carry on.
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come”
In talking with a new friend, he asked me, “What has Ball State meant for you so far?” My answer: “Opportunity. A chance to become.”
I often ask myself questions to figure it all out: the knots, the kinks, the tangled mess that can sometimes describe my life. How do I be the best version of myself somewhere new where my identity hasn’t been fully explored? How do I choose in every moment to be myself and to be grateful for who I am? How do I add value to the people around me?
In everything I do, I ask, “What am I looking to feel?”
The answer is always, “fully alive.”
A few pictures about the last month of my life.
Something to note: I cannot stand by and remain silent when there are people who are hurting and need love. The #BLACKLIVESMATTER movement should not be dismissed. To my friends who support #ALLLIVESMATTER, please work to unlearn the idea that the BLM movement is anti-police. It’s simply a movement that recognizes what has become an epidemic for African-American bodies throughout history; an opportunity to believe that black lives do matter. It does not work to minimize all other lives, but does work to call attention to what others are looking over. Black lives are not an afterthought. To state that All Lives Matter is greater than the BLM movement is to erase the work that is necessary for eventual healing.
If we want to be better, we all have to scan ourselves for the things that we are not cognizant of. As a white heterosexual male, I’m aware of a few apparent privileges that I carry with me on a daily basis. It is not my job to be silent and let others do the work. Just because I can hear the news and not have to worry about the things I carry with me doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. My whiteness doesn’t exempt me from being a change-agent for the work that is necessary. If I stay silent, I am a part of the problem. I didn’t choose the privileges that I carry. But I can choose to use my privileges to leverage equality for others.
This is a discussion that needs to keep happening. It’s going to take a lot of work. Empathy and general kindness for those who are hurt and in the middle of the mud trying to heal is so important. Have the courage to move past guilt and into a space of love for one another.
I don’t have all of the answers. Not even half. But what I do know is this: if you are hurting, if you are struggling to understand how people are treated differently due to the color of their skin, I am here. I will listen. I will support you.
And if you are still coming to understand what role you play and how you can help, I’m here for you too. Our enlightenment as humans is an ongoing experience. We are evolving. We are transforming. Let’s do it together.
This next month, I want to explore the parts of me that I have yet to uncover. I want to explore people and ideas I’m not familiar with. I want to organize myself in such a way that I have the space to explore the vulnerability that comes with being a human.
The reality of where I’m at in life is that I will have opportunities every single day of my life to learn, grow, and find personal peace. I will have the chance to serve others and to be myself with every step, every new experience, every ounce of love given to others. I want to recognize it as it’s happening and allow new discoveries to change me for the better.
This is what it means to be an observer of the human experience. That’s what I’m all about, change and all.