BEYOND MERE SURVIVAL


what it all comes down to
September 13, 2008, 5:11 pm
Filed under: rants and such, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

i feel overwhelmed. how can anyone not feel overwhelmed right now? it’s a race for mental space between what to do in the next year, being probably way too anxious about the oncoming election, figuring out what is going on with my surroundings, and how best to create a less fucked up world. i am overwhelmed by seeing all that goes on that is hurtful and awful, and that i feel so powerless to change most of it.

i felt like a joke tabling at the movie gallery last week for sexual assault prevention, while an onslaught of movie previews were streaming on the numerous TVs around the stores, slapping me with continuous sexist messages. it seems like an incredible paradox that the people that can create the most change are the ones with the most power. i don’t want to try to collect as much power as possible, just to be able to have my voice heard. the very process of accumulating power seems to be such a fundamental part of so many systems of oppression.

at the same time how do i create any change if my voice is silenced? whether because i have no financial stature, or because of my gender, my nationality, or my disability. so, i am struggling to figure all of this out while i am deciding whether to enter the world of graduate school. weirdly enough applying to graduate school, which seems to be such an elite institution, comes largely from having so little economical mobility. if i keep going to school i can be paid to keep on learning, instead of working a minimum wage job, and having the smallest bits of time to do the things i love.

i keep reading inspiring essays, or watching strirring documentaries, or listening to music that speaks to so much of what i have been thinking about, and i am tired of being the recipient of all of it. i want to be part of the discourse, and participate in the discussion. the hard part is figuring out how to find a space to do that without falling into all the pitfalls of elbowing my way through the crowd, and making the same mistakes that i am trying to change in the world around me.

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addicted to change
June 4, 2008, 10:51 am
Filed under: rants and such | Tags: ,

growing up is hitting me in the face. maybe because i have had adult experiences when i was not an adult ( like becoming a parent at 18), the reality of adulthood comes as somewhat of a shock. a good friend a few days ago was talking about his experience in chicago, surrounded by people in their mid twenties with lofty career apirations and seeminlgy blind, hungry ambitions. to him it made no sense to live that way, to me i am not sure. i see the slow settling down of the people around me, and it’s not a negative change by any means.

as i have known people through the years, many of my friends seem the happiest lately, because their choices to buy houses, or have a steady job, or romantic relationship are deliberate and chosen, not the result of thoughtless adherence to societal pressures.

personally i have to admit i watch these changes with a tinge of reluctance. maybe i am just addicted to change, but i can’t see myself being happy with a steady life. i want to keep on going forward somehow, and to feel unsettled and challenged. any kind of stillness makes me feel restless and wound-up. my push forward is not toward greater amounts or wealth and power, but more like knowledge and experience.

the last struggle i had that sprung up form the conversation with my friend is coming to terms with money matters.  i find a great deal of the people i am close to being very disdainful of money, and yearning for a simpler life , away from the excess of materialism. again i seem to be in a different place.

growing up in border-line poverty, the kind where your mom has to put groceries back on the shelves after they have been rung up because you don’t have enough money, or where you can’t go to the doctor when you need to, i have no desire to be poor for the rest of my life. maybe i am lacking imagination, but i can’t help noticing that my relationship with money is changed by my experience with poverty, in the same way that my friends growing up in middle and upper class backgrounds can embrace frugality, because when it comes down to it, their parents will pay their rent , or their car insurance, or their medical bills if they really need it.

i have not found my balance yet. i don’t know how to juggle the desire for getting out of poverty, with a rejection of capitalism and the inequalities and fuck ups that come with it. i won’t stop trying though.