I am having one of those days where everything is terrible and dumb. I haven’t published anything for awhile because after the blog post I wrote about not feeling like I belong where I am, Jamie, one of my friends who is indigenous, reached out to me sharing that the post made her really upset. She shared at how she and her community had never felt like they belonged here or that they could just live there dreams, travel or move wherever they wanted, or choose what they wanted to do with their lives. She shared experiences of being attacked on the street for being Native American and the alcoholism and abuse that she experienced growing up. I am so thankful she was honest with me. I knew my perspective was limited – I mean I’ve been locked in my bedroom in Calabasas with my parents for goodness sakes for the last year and a half! Of course my view of the world is out of wack.
As much as I feel like I don’t belong, I know that my lack of belonging is not like Jamie’s. The Native American community is not the only one who has been acted upon in this horrible way. During the pause between posts, more people who are Asian and Black were murdered for no reason other than how they look; more people who are Hispanic and Middle-Eastern and African fleeing war-torn and corrupt countries are being utterly ignored. Human right violations in our country. Oh it makes me so upset and angry. I wish I could do something to make her feel, and others who have that experience, feel like they belong here. I wish I could stop people who do those terrible acts.
I feel embarrassed and ashamed to have been born white.
Sometimes I get annoyed to be lumped in with the label ‘white’. I mean, my mother’s side were Eastern European Jewish immigrants and my father’s side were Welsh coal miners. We were outcasts and oppressed and over generations of hard work and sacrifice and ‘blending in’, we now live in a house with a jacuzzi in Calabasas and I am able to attend the same university as Prince William and Kate Middleton. I have been wanting to write a personal essay about how white supremacy culture has hurt me, too, a white person – and how we need to dismantle it not for people of other races, but for ourselves, for everyone!
I haven’t had time. I’m studying to be a teacher. This is how I think I can best play my small but significant role in doing something to stop the human rights violations, as an English Language Arts teacher. I tried going to Greece, I was supposed to become the Head of Fundraising for the NGO Action for Education, but I did not have mental strength or support system to stay there. Secondary trauma is real. What is going on there is utterly heartbreaking! We need to do something now.
There are so many crises everywhere!! This thought played a role in my mental breakdown. I tried to take responsibility for all of them to do something about all of them, and I fucking lost it. I still have to fight that urge now. I am currently actively involved with Overdue (environmental group), Refugee Empowerment Project, National Alliance for Mental Illness, Friends of the Calabasas Library, the Student California Teacher’s Association Chapter, AND working as a tutor and reading specialist AND in full-time school for my teaching credential AND the co-advisor for the student newspaper and literary magazine at my school. Oh, and I’m also trying to date, hang out with my friends, spend time with my grandparents and family, and do my dishes and all the self-care stuff! I was supposed to get a blood test two weeks ago, and I haven’t had time. OH, and APPLY FOR JOBS! How could I forget!?!?!?!?!
I don’t really talk about all these parts of my life on my social media – I have tried compartmentalizing them, but it is hard. It also takes a lot of time to write and share on the internet things I feel proud of and think represent me. I feel so much social anxiety posting, and yet, I need it. I crave it. I need my support system, and with COVID, social media is where my support system is.
I’m sorry if I haven’t messaged or reached out in a while. I’m sorry if I keep canceling plans or go into a burrow or forget to respond. I have also been thinking of friends who have lost loved ones recently and how precious life is and how quickly it can change and the profound loss and grief and why, why, why. I wish I could support you better.
I am channeling my energy into the vision, the dream, my calling, a teacher!
I have also been really enjoying working with Overdue and crafting our mission statement!
Teaching and volunteering has given me hope – hope that we will all come together soon, that we can work together to create a more equitable, sustainable, and loving society.
I graduate May 23rd, and will rejoin the world and society then! Right now, my focuses are:
self-care (if you want to be part of my self-care routine, hit me up! I will write more about that probably in the summer but maybe sooner because it has been ruminating in my head for months and I think I’m finally ready to go public about the idea)
job applications (if you know any schools looking for an ELA/ELD teacher, hit me up!)
teaching: through teaching I believe I can be part of the solution!
That’s me and my update. Would love to hear from you! Sending lots of love and support wherever you are.