It’s been a while since I’ve written, overwhelmed by the focus on every day life, and knocked down by the radical change we are experiencing as a collective. As Covid 19 continues to grow and affect our lives, so has a new, or actually not so new, pandemic has appeared. That is the pandemic of police brutality. It’s not new in that this has been a part of our society since the end of slavery, but new in that we can no longer pretend like it’s not happening because we finally have lots of evidence. Lots of video evidence. For the first time in my life, I have been vocal about my stance in this. In the past, I have been afraid of going against the crowd, reveling in the secrecy my white privilege has afforded me. Now, I seem to be operating from this new sense of freedom I’ve found, a sense of freedom that allows me to let go of worries associated with not being liked. Sometimes, it feels as though the struggles I’ve felt over a life time of not fitting in, of not being popular, of not being successful in my work has helped prepare me for this moment. I’ve had to do so much inner work in accepting that I’m not everyone’s cup of tea that I finally gave up. Towards the end of last year, I realized that it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if people like my photography, my style, my brand of spirituality, etc. And from that place of surrender, I have begun to speak from a place of truth. I don’t know why it has taken me 40 years to let go of the desire to be special, to be liked, to be celebrated. I don’t know why but I am glad I worked it out before now because it’s been much easier for me to speak to my feelings about the injustices that are happening around me. I don’t know if anyone is listening, but I can’t help but think that having as many voices that are willing to be heard is better than not. We’ve been silent on these atrocities for way too long. I’d love to blame my silence on ignorance, that I didn’t know what was happening behind closed doors. The reality is that I’ve listened to Black artists since I was in elementary school. I heard the lyrics of Dr Dre and Ice T, of Nina Simone and Sam Cooke. I’ve watched Boyz in the Hood and read books about the plight of Black people. I am no longer saying that I didn’t know. I am saying that I was too focused on my own well being, my own acceptance in this world, to rock the boat. I have been too comfortable enjoying the privileges I’ve been afforded as a white woman. My hope is that I am done with that. My hope is that I am no longer going to allow the fear of being disliked to come before the welfare of others. If there is anything that Covid 19 has gifted me, it’s the ability to be comfortable in my discomfort. I’ve spent more time reflecting on my discomfort in the past 3 months than I have done in the 40 years before. I can thank Covid 19 for that.
I don’t think I’m going to do anything perfectly. I am sure I am going to say and/or do something wrong. I want to make sure that I am taking each day to go within, to drown out the noise outside of me, and to touch base with the truth within me. That truth will guide me down this unknown path and help me to know when to speak up and when to be quiet. I pray that I never think I am cured or that I have all of the answers, because that is when I will stop learning.