Well-wishes

I wish I may and I wish I might, but what does it mean when we are rather than addressing ourselves, addressing another. It may seem in some regard to be self-serving and yet how can one move beyond the self to really care about another. Mother you really stifled my growth, and yet I can’t blame you for teaching me the same things that you grew up knowing. You taught me the way the world was in your eyes; it’s too bad that your eyes had the patriarchy as their lens. I’m the opposite, in some way rejecting everything you ever taught me to see. And we clash often now but I want you to at some point rest. You may attack me with words, and you may hurt me when you scream that I should leave but I know that you’re just tired, and frustrated, and sad that life didn’t go the way you dreamed it would when you were still young and full of illusion. I hope that one day I can make you proud, that you see in me what you wished to be in yourself. Does it really serve me to criticize and scream out into the void? No, I need to prove more not just for you but in order to fully reject every fear and patriarchal structure that surrounds me. I love you mom and I hope that one day I can take care of you in the way that you never could take care of me.

Student you really push back

You look at me like who are you

But I am just trying to guide you through this vile system that we call

freedom,

I can’t grant you anything except

pre-calculated skills

that will make you somewhat capable

of navigating

the orders, the knowledge, the eventual soul-sucking job

But on the other side, I hope that I can give you

the subjective love for finding what you love

so that in those moments where you can’t bear it anymore

you can look to that love and let it fill you, and

push through this absurdity

and maybe thrive in it due to your love for something.

I hope that you can learn to be rather than to have

Valuing what you are and what you make

rather than what you have

leave the brands aside

they just make you miserable in the requirement for money.

 

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Reification and Wasted Vulnerability

It’s always a white man, the white man who can make ungrounded arguments and thinks that he is so sentimental and deep. Meanwhile I sit on the other side, panicking at his lack of understanding and empathy. He is the one saying that his uncle with the walking disorder deserves no pity: As though people can be expected to act in non-burdensome ways even when they are ill. He says mediocre things like “I’m not good at math but I passed my statistics course”. I stared at him with a stoic smile, but wondered how someone can be proud of mediocrity. But then I remember how upper middle-class white people have the privilege of being mediocre. This privilege comes from not having to tackle systematic inequality and never being denied an argument based on their identity. And then I disclose too much, I disclose too  much to prove that his oh so deep argument is actually a misunderstanding of normality. He says nonchalantly: ” the only life that can seem normal to oneself is one’s own life”. But hello my own life has never seemed or appeared normal. With the shifting moods it has only felt like a life that moves too quickly and I can barely catch up to: as though my life is a train and I am running to make sure that the door doesn’t close on my face. I told him about the bipolar that plagues me. He interjected by praising mania, exclaiming how jealous he is of people that are bipolar, and that yes he is aware of the coming doom, but the mania sounds amazing. Mania is not what the movies show it to be, mania is decisions which leave you empty, in problems, which push people away because everything moves too quickly and you have no inhibitions to control your interactions. I told him that it is not what he thinks it is. We moved on to the cliche topic of how terrible 2016 made everyone feel. He chimes in to say: “Now is the time to figure out how you would behave during the Hitler Era, blah blah.”He proclaims his knowledge that as a white cis-gendered hetero man with blue eyes, he faces no coming persecution. Everything at this point becomes noise, I am being pushed to an extreme discomfort and I don’t know what to do. I feel dirty, as though every part of me is soiled and unworthy. This man so confidently walks around being a disgusting excuse for a human being. All the microaggressions remind me that to indirect racists I am a stereotype, not a person but a reified phenomenon. Not real but an object; an illusion, an invisible figment, a sort of problem. I looked at him who has excused himself to go to the bathroom, and attempt to form a connection through a smile, he looks back, panic stricken, a half smile forming through force, and I know that apart from wasting 4 dollars on cold-brew and basically sabotaging my sleep, I have wasted so much vulnerability on someone who wanted nothing but a surface connection. I went back, I hid, I felt sad. This is the experience of having a complex identity, one who does not fit into definitions of normality, who as a woman am too direct, who has been able to succeed through the obstacles within education and don’t directly fit into the narrative of mediocrity, and yet as I sit with this particular white man, I start to hate everything about myself, particularly the part of me that isn’t mediocre enough to validate this man and in turn is validated. I have a great amount to learn and love still. I don’t know what normality can feel like, nor do I want to though.

Reflections on 2016

cw:rape, mental health and medication

I woke up today and actually felt like a different person, as though a weight lifted and I’m plateauing back to rational. 2016 for me was a stretch of a year, one which made me face myself head on. The lithium medication left me stranded in a small internal hell that I couldn’t represent externally. But I stopped taking it, and even while on it forced myself to be productive. I do remember how inadequate and guilty it made me feel any moment that I was not being productive. I ended my relationship with Dan. I still don’t know how this makes me feel. A great amount of my choices are based on my mood cycle so I never quite feel connected to them, only in some distant way do I feel like they affect my current actions. I’ve gotten very good at compartmentalizing but this has also allowed me to survive the downfalls and bad choices that I have made recently. The resilience to continue despite wanting nothing but to stop has proved to be my best character trait, better than anything I could portray externally. I experienced a third case of rape this year; it left me angry, energetic, self-destructive. I think these feelings are staring to fade, becoming a quiet hum while instead I just want to make real connections. I became for a while this person who kept displaying inappropriate emotions and critique. I think 2016 served to humble me: it showed me that I am no one and that I am not superior to anyone, just living through this capitalist reality. I have a lot to externalize in the sense of repressed sadness but I think that eventually I will be able to and the days are staring to get longer rather than shorter. I think that I am ready to go back and to be at peace again. I beat the beast that was trying to suffocate me and I am in a non-cliche way new.