In the last three weeks I’ve written three things, besides this one, that I felt would be blog posts only to realize I didn’t much like any of them in their current form. I fully intend to finish and post all three of them eventually, but I think I have a bit more to learn before I’m able to feel confident enough in them to put them out into the world. This one is nowhere near polished. It’s really just me talking in circles about the fact it’s not possible for me to ever fully understand any of the things I mention.
Each of them are about the various conversations I’ve been fortunate enough to be brought into since I left Columbus. Feminism was a concept I’d never learned much about before this year because the typical opinion of the matter I ran into in the south was very dismissive of the idea altogether. Black Lives Matter was a very controversial phrase back home and a huge part of my life since leaving. The conversations I’ve had with the people heavily involved in the movement in DC have been some of the most special moments I can remember. My extremely brief – yet highly impactful – view into the world of local politics has actually been a little bit life-changing. The scale here is obviously much bigger than it would be in Mississippi (since this city is 7 square miles and one-fourth the population of Mississippi) but that’s meant there are just many more examples of how important local government is.
So none of these concepts were foreign to me but they weren’t exactly familiar either. Aside from the local politics point, my fundamental opinions/understandings haven’t changed about the other two subjects. What I’m appreciating most lately is how patient people are with me in giving me room to learn the more intricate details and how all of these things invade our lives and affect our perceptions of ourselves and others. So much has happened in the last two months that it’s hard for me to believe it’s been so short. At the same time, it feels like I’ve been here forever. It’s honestly a really confusing sensation. I’m so thankful for everything I’ve learned already and it’s a little bit intimidating to realize how much time there is ahead of me.
The biggest learning curve has been realizing just how important words are. I’ve always been very careful with mine but until this experience that’s always been something that annoyed me about myself. However, the words we use to express our ideas tend to dictate how we view the world. Learning how certain ways of expressing ideas can come across to other people is something I really appreciate because it’s made me question how I’m actually viewing people or situations. On top of that, learning how our ideas are coming across to others can really help us alter the way we phrase things to be sure we’re accurately expressing our feelings. I’ve recently found myself getting much more frustrated than I used to when I’m attempting to explain some idea for the first time because finding the words I feel accurately represent my thinking is something that means more to me now than it used to.
As with all my posts, there’s no smooth way to end this. I’ve made a lot of allusions and zero committed claims, which is a bit of a sick game on my part to keep people a little confused about what I actually think. (Yes, I see the hypocrisy there given the preceding paragraph) But hopefully I didn’t make too many things muddled and this was as obviously appreciative of the beautifully patient people I’ve met that have built on the ideas implanted by the countless role models before them.
Thank you so much for reading. Sorry it’s a bit on the long side and I didn’t have a song to help tie things together. But maybe by the end of this year I’ll have learned enough about self-expression to not need those as a crutch to get across my thoughts!