living out loud

bravery of learning.

Welp. I opened up a can of worms again, but this is how I do seem to like to learn all my lessons: the harder, the better. I dig challenges. (Not really. I’m actually kind of lazy – it’s just I’m like a Jungian wet dream; were Carl still alive, he’d hold me up as the perfect specimen of what he was talking about when he came up with his archetypes and concept of synchronicity.) After what I did, and the consequences I got from it, I finally decided to stop wasting my energy on that thing – I’m going to just focus on being me, and finding that person I was at this time last year. I liked her a lot more than the one I was, say, last month. Blinders, on. Focus, initiated.

I do want to say that, unless you are Carl Jung himself or have a degree in psychiatry, psychoanalyzing someone based on whatever they put on a social media account or write in a blog is a gigantic waste of time and energy. Unless I’m sitting down with you personally and sharing intimate details of what’s actually going on with me and telling you exactly all the things I’m doing offline privately, just watching me on social media or reading this blog isn’t going to even remotely scratch the surface of where I’m at emotionally. So there’s no way you can even possibly know anything about me unless we are personal, offline, real life friends who actually hang out at least once in awhile (or we are personal, online, real life friends who make contact quite frequently). Of which I have tremendously awesome ones, and will be eternally grateful the Universe keeps sending them to me because I don’t even know why – I’m the most exhausting human being I know…and that’s coming from someone who’s parenting a 7 year old who never, ever stops moving or shuts up until she falls asleep, and even then she talks in her sleep and does karate kicks.

I was in my counselor’s office last month, talking about all the scary-crazy crap I’ve been through since October (scary-crazy crap I have mountainous documentation/evidence of, scary-crazy crap I still occasionally sift through whenever I need a reminder of why I don’t need to feel a single bit of guilt about anything I’ve done because anything I did cannot even possibly compare to the extreme bullshit I received in response), and when she asked me what my overall takeaway from the experience was what I said (basically) is that we can’t be responsible for or fix or control anybody but ourselves and having expectations or even hopes of what other people can, should, or will do is always a bad idea. Because having hopes and expectations for other people is always going to let us down because the only people we can ever fairly place expectations on or have hope for is ourselves.

…I sound freaking GREAT, don’t I? (She thought so…she furiously jotted all of that down, and if she writes a book and I see any of that in there…I’m getting reimbursed, goddammit.) Yet I can tell I am still not ready not to see her at least once a month, soooo. There’s that.

In other news: today is Martin Luther King Day, a day you’re supposed to ON, not off. Here is how I spent my ON day so far:

  1. I slept until 9:45.
  2. I woke up with a cold.
  3. I made coffee and cinnamon buns (out of a can; I am no kitchen talent).
  4. I read Henry and June by my dead writer hero Anais Nin.
  5. I cleaned my bathroom and kitchen, and made friends with the nice apartment complex repair guy who came to fix my garbage disposal – he let me know he’ll come change my light bulbs for me, too, not just do a 3-second readjustment with a small wrench on the garbage disposal. All I have to do here, basically, is keep the place clean. Which means this place is officially HEAVEN.
  6. I made a sandwich.
  7. I wrote this blog entry that is about to note exactly why Dr. King is my best hero.
  8. When I’m done with this, I’m going to write lesson plans and go to the public library for books on CD so kids can learn to read.

I’m pretty sure Dr. King would be super proud of my very ON list for today. Especially about #8 because that’s helping the world, which Dr. King said to do. Even though the state of Georgia wants to pay its teachers, like, minimum wage. (I’m writing my representatives, I’m shaking my fists at them…but I also know how politicians work, so I think I’m going to grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the shitshow when Georgia enters a massive teacher shortage crisis in a few years if/when that pay-for-performance dumb idea passes.)

Anyway. Where was I? Right. Martin Luther King.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of my heroes. He fought for social justice for black people, but he had the foresight to know what he was fighting for would benefit ALL people. He was a Big Picture kind of guy (I am not a Big Picture kind of gal; I desperately wish to be, but I get mired in small details and am easily distracted). He wasn’t a perfect human being by any means, but his commitment to love and freedom and equality and goodness overrode whatever flaws he may have had personally. Dr. King wasn’t perfect; he may have had a wandering eye, for example. Which makes him a good example of how you can make mistakes and STILL be a good person and make the world a better place. Because Life isn’t about perfection; it’s about moving forward, no matter what, and mistakes are part of the process. Even scientists will tell you mistakes only make their theories stronger – you mess up or something doesn’t work so you ask a different question, try a different strategy, or just trash it all and begin again. And thus goes Life itself.

I think if he were alive today, he’d be pretty pleased with what he fought for – we’ve come a long way. I wouldn’t have met C and been able to marry him, and Miss M wouldn’t be here, without Dr. King. I wouldn’t be able to work with a lot of the kids I get to work with. I wouldn’t know some of the magnificent people I’ve gotten to know over the years and have gotten to keep in my life. Dr. King made the world a better place – he fixed some really broken pieces for us, and he sacrificed himself to do it. The amount, and kind of, bravery he possessed is simply mind boggling to me. If you need a personal hero, may I suggest you pick him? I really don’t think you can go wrong if you try to do what he said to do.

But we’ve got a long way to go – I mean, I submit Donald Trump as Exhibit A, everyone. And I don’t think Dr. King would support what’s going on in public education right now, especially the impact it’s going to have on poor kids. In fact, I don’t think Dr. King would support what’s going on in much of our political sphere (I’m specifically thinking of how easily politicians are bought and paid for by big business and well-funded lobbyist groups). It’s a very different fight, on a very different playing field, in the new millennium: we have 24/7 news, rampant social media that never ever ends, TMZ, and the Kardashians.

Though I’m pretty sure King would have a kick-ass Twitter account if he were here today. Pretty sure. Bet he’d be great at Instagram, too. Vine, maybe. But definitely SnapChat.

At any rate. This is my most favorite Civil Rights song – oh, how I love The Roots, and the footage in this video always make me a bit teary-eyed. Any time I need a reminder about real bravery looks like, I re-watch this.

Here are my most beloved Dr. King quotes. I don’t miss him as deeply as I miss, say, my dad. But I do deeply wish he were still around so he could come up with more thoughts like these. And maybe also tell his kids to knock that petty, stupid sibling rivalry shit off. (I mean, honestly. Pull it together, Bernice, Dexter, and #3. Hug it out.)




Happy MLK Day, Internet. Keep moving forward, y’all. Wherever you’re going, you’ll get there.