Monday, April 6, 2015

Struggles

When weighing my struggles against the majority of the world, they are such a tiny tiny drop in such a vast overflowing ocean, that I usually check myself and opt to shut up. But in the off chance that airing them out might help someone else, I will post some here.

My perspective is constantly changing. I mean constantly. I feel like such a different person than I was ten years ago, five years ago, two years ago, since October and even since last week. The further down the line I look, the more embarrassed I am about things I thought and said to people--the ignorance! The unrecognised privilege! The crassness!

It wasn't all bad. There are some periods where I actually think I was a much better me than I am currently. Somewhere along the line I think I went too far, analysed too much and was confronted with some things that I still haven't fully been able to process. Compared to those brief ideal periods, I am now paralysed. I am still working to unstick myself from stuck.
I trust it will happen. The last time it did, I didn't even know I was stuck and then one day, all of a sudden, I just shook free--like a leaf from a tree. It probably was even a little like dying.

That said, it's getting noticeably harder to change.
I remember when I was small, and even relatively recently, there were moments that defined a transition in my life. Moments that happened when I was about to go to bed or was in some other way alone. I would reflect on my life, how some things made me unhappy. Alternatively, I would be curious about the outcome of living a different way. Then, I would make up my mind to change, and did so.

I would stop telling boring stories. I would start sharing more. I would make a point to learn more about different cultures. I would travel. I would listen more. I would stop giving a fuck what people thought of me. I would try to have compassion for all people I came across. I would experiment with loving all members of a group I was in. I would try--for a few months, not to worry about how much money I had. . .I would make a concerted effort not to tell lies, even white ones. I would make a concerted effort to tell the whole truth. . .(yeah, that one is still a high flying goal).
Just like that, I would act on and alter my life to incorporate these changes.

When I was small it was easy. I would make up my mind to change something and I would change it. What did I have to lose? I would commit and it would happen, like a well oiled machine, changing gears and turning in a new direction. But somehow, over the past couple of months it seems, the gears have started to rust and squeak. I think the potential to change is still there but it certainly has lost it's appeal. . .and the effort that would be required to turn the gears! Ugh.

Is it because I'm 30 now?

I notice these struggles especially in my ongoing journey to be a more compassionate person. I feel bombarded and overwhelmed by all of the opinions and perspectives that are available through my facebook newsfeed and troubled by those that make the mainstream conversation instead. It is a catch 22. Article after article, post after post on my newsfeed offer fresh and thought provoking perspectives on every imaginable issue. It is incredible that the internet has made all of these voices accessible and is able to bring so much more consciousness to the world that has been, for way too long, seen through a very limited and limiting perspective.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media stories are tired with see through agendas that are increasingly disconnected from the issues/values that concern mine and later generations.

However, both sides of this spectrum just serve to increase my paralysis. I am so overwhelmed with perspective and the inept feeling from reading blogger after blogger's thoughts on a particular topic that I doubt my own opinions about everything. I am definitely not knowledgeable enough to write about anything. Even if I was, my opinion is definitely not cutting edge enough. Even if it was, I definitely need to check my privilege/be more of an ally/use gender neutral pronouns/widen my perspective on cis/trans/queer terminology and issues/stop using words like "crazy", "stupid", "automaton", "robot". . .etc.

Sometimes I feel like the only way to maintain sanity is to switch off. But then you just get further behind.

I want to be a good ally, keep my heart open and continue to evolve with important movements, but I'm starting to find it difficult to keep up with everything. Is this what ageing is like or is it because I haven't committed to one particular movement and stuck with it?

I guess, as a new mother, I am at this weird juncture where I am starting to see the struggles of the coming generations and how those struggles will be completely inaccessible for my parents--who are by no means bad people, but who grew up in another time with their own struggles and victories that have since become antiquated. The future builds on the past but at a rate that is difficult to keep up with if you don't pay close attention and actively engage with it. I have always hoped I would be able to be a super cool grand or great grandparent who is progressive all the way through to the end. . .but I won't be able to make it if I don't work to keep on top of the current pressing issues.

I think the saving grace is that love, compassion, respect for nature and all people, equity and a sustainable future are usually the side worth fighting for. It is just a fine balance to determine, practically speaking, which movements further those aims for all people and which, in their short sightedness, diminish them.

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