I just got back from an Alternative Break trip to DC for Spring Break with my LGBTQ Center cohort First Queers and Allies. It was amazing. I can't believe I'm 3/4 of the way through my first year at NYU. I have so many feelings, and most of them are overwhelmingly wonderful.
During this trip, we spent a lot of time meeting and working with amazing activists and leaders in the LGBTQ community of DC and a lot of time reflecting on our own personal missions and thinking critically about what our "work" will/might be. I've been thinking about my progress this year a lot. Sometimes I'm irrationally hard on myself about my lack of progress in certain areas, but I am trying to reframe the story in my head. I want to take everything I'm learning and bring it to the people who maybe don't get it yet and make change. But I've been hiding a lot in my social justice folks comfort bubble and not really engaging with people when I notice some messed up shit. I am working on shifting my inner narrative to one of gentle self-love and appreciation in this time of incubation. The word "incubation" came to me this week, and I really like it. I am being bombarded with information from every angle and it all feels like THE MOST IMPORTANT and it is, but also I don't need to take on EVERY single issue in the world ever. That's just impossible and exhausting. That being said, I'm really enjoying this overload cause I need to get up to date on all the shit the world is up to, and then I will be able to hone in and find my cause, my mission with time. (And that can always change and evolve with time as well.)
I'm trying to be gentler with myself because I think I'm in a GREAT place for the most part, and everything that's happening is happening for reasons that I can intellectually understand. It's just sometimes harder to sit WITH those feelings and let them thrive. Like, for example, the icky identity and questioning and confusion and sometimes depression of this year is so delicious (from my time machine view in the future). I can't wait to see how all of this changes me in deep and important ways and cultivates magic. I know it will. BUT it's easier to believe that in words than in feelings. MEH, I have a lot of feelings.
One of the lovely humans that we met articulated something that I had already known, but it hit me hard again. She told us to find our work and go inch-wide, mile-deep. This idea is SO hard for me to imagine within myself. I am bursting with contradictions and complexities and information overload and I can't imagine honing in on JUST ONE THING TO DO. But I think that'll clear up with time (as fucking annoying as that sentiment is, ugh time) and I'm excited for my future, hot damn.
We did group reflections in our group every night and towards the end, we had a writing prompt to begin to articulate our mission. I'm still (obviously) very much in flux, but I put some words on paper, and I thought I'd put them here, if only to able to look back on this moment in my life and recapture the feelings.
MISSION THOUGHTS (SO FAR)
- bring social justice work and diverse narratives into stories and media to change public perceptions
- dismantle gender binary and sex biology assumptions
- question compulsory monogamy
- illuminate privileges and oppressions // investigate the gray areas and complexities within
- figure out where I lie in terms of political involvement/conservativeness // how radical am I? // how much do I want to play into Hollywood systems to do my shit?
- eternal self-evaluation and mission-evaluation // not stay in the same place emotionally/mentally/physically // constantly push myself to unpack my baggage and engage with my privilege and power
- process lessons in order to engage with my communities and create change
I'm working on it. Being in DC was really inspiring. It was my first time ever in the city. (LEMME WHINE FOR A SEC: my elementary school went to DC in 8th grade and I left in 6th and my high school went in 6th grade and I cam in 7th, UGH) I hadn't really ever considered it too much, but it was an amazing place. Maybe I'll live there for a smidge. If I decide to engage myself politically. I'm a little bit inspired to do that, but also nervous and woefully ignorant of a lot of the workings of US politics and government. We'll see! I would definitely like to visit again soon. The buildings are so quaint and there's a lot of amazing work being done. It's thrilling, really.
It's the middle of the night, and I still haven't begun any of my Spring Break homework, wooooo! Peace out. Life is pretty cool, folks.