i.e. A hub for creatives to share their pieces and stories. Anyone and everyone feel free to send me your creations of all sorts at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymity is accepted too. *All pictures taken by me, unless mentioned otherwise* *logo by Ryan Hatton, thank you friend*
It is no secret our social, political, and even environmental climate (see what I did there?) has been under severe division as of late. You can blame it on many happenings in the past months, to resurface long awaited conflicts of race, gender, and the rights of many that are “different” from your average American stereotype. Regardless of the reasons, this resisting and outcry of uncomfortable polarizing views and all the -isms, has been long due. Yet, out of all what may like seem a shit hole for many, multiple doors of unity have been opened. I will expand on this on another post, but for now, Dear White People.
Lately, and I mean a little more than 6 months lately, I have been “woke.”
Woke: a word from African American Vernacular English which refers to an awareness of issues concerning social justice and racial justice. The related phrase stay woke refers to a continuing awareness of these issues.
And strangely to my being, I have always considered myself a relatively progressive person on many issues, but never blind. Surely, as a Hispanic who grew up in a majority white community I was still able to see and understand the hardships of other minorities… right? Wrong. And as you have it, in my past what always seemed to me like a relatively docile school system erupted into a thread of falsehoods.
Ever since the naïve age of 12, my mother instilled in me the importance of taking care of my face. My mother, ahead of her time, wanted to avoid her daughter from developing dark spots and acne craters she was often plagued by. And so it became routine, every night and every morning.
A slight bragging moment here: I never went through a ferocious acne phase, which can be attributed to good genes or my skin care routine. Although what I lacked in awkward facial anomalies, I made up with my never growing body frame (my 5th-grade graduation t-shirt still fits, only a bit snug under my armpits).
Lately, I’ve been feeling a deep discontentment. And frankly, I ask myself constantly what is the source of my increasingly restless nature. Why am I waking up with my heart beating a thousand miles a minute or feeling random bouts of nausea (no, I’m not pregnant)? According to our beloved apocalyptic WebMD, these symptoms are attributed to anxiety. I am feeling anxious. I have to let that sink in… because for the longest time I would pride myself in handling stress well. Five exams in one day? Pfft, I got this, there are bigger fish to fry. Gym, classes, meeting with a professor, work, and a pile of coursework?
Recently, I had an interesting discussion with a teacher about race. She was recounting a conversation she had had with a student of hers about the “typical American boy.” The way the girl was referring to this type of boy was resounding. And many may conjure an image such as this:
Tall, blond, light colored eyes, handsome af, tough, white
Smart, chivalrous, parents love him, white
Sporty, football, varsity, white
But I’m not blaming or accusing anyone. These were adjectives I came up with, of how I imagine an “American boy.”
And I thought to myself, I need to change my mindset.