Unexpected themes and patterns emerged as I wrote chunks of my memoir. I’m not talking about my self-generated patterns and themes. Of course they are there, painfully – and sometimes hilariously – present.
I’m referring to the moment it became clear that every system I’ve ever engaged with has – or has threatened to – chew me up and spit me out.
Here’s a partial list, in close-to-chronological order:
This list of systems I’ve tangled with personally doesn’t include the ones that affect us all: political, public health, or how they are all currently at affect of the systems of race, sexuality and gender.
Filtered through a lens of personal responsibility, it’s easy to ask what’s wrong with ME. To seek to change myself to fit in.
If the systems could want something – they can’t, they’re inanimate – that’s exactly what they would want me to do.
If there’s an up side to all this – and there always is – it’s how f*cking resilient I’ve become, and how thoroughly I’ve come to know myself. Since resilience and self awareness are superpowers these days, so I’m appreciating these acquired skills with gratitude.
I just finished writing to this to a friend:
“When you find and do what’s right for you, that’s the greatest gift for everyone involved.”
Often that means unhooking from one or more systems.
I can’t help but think unhooking has everything to do with being able to see, coexist with – and potentially change – “the system.”