I read this on a Twitter post today. The actual quote was:
It’s gotten me to thinking.
For most of us, your twenties are the time in your life where you are a walking fuck up. Everything you do, think, and say, for the most part, is wrong. Of course I don’t mean this in the most strict literal sense but, you get my drift.
I spent my late teens and early twenties making my share of fuck up’s. I experimented with people and things. I learned some invaluable life lessons and I did what most of us do, I grew up and used those lessons to make me a smarter better person.
During that process I ran my race mainly with my blinders on. I didn’t have time to worry about social injustices while trying to make the rent, I couldn’t be bothered with learning about microaggressions while I was trying to figure out where my next meal was coming from, no time to debate racial issues or political commentary when I was just trying to make it until payday.
Coming into my thirties though, life was interpreted differently for me. It seems the world around me shifted almost at the same second that I said goodbye to my twenties. Even my Facebook feed seemed to have morphed into something unrecognizeable. All of a sudden the world, my world, was “Woke”.
Classmates and acquaintances around my age weren’t talking about the trivial issues of celebrities, clubbing adventures, and sexual escapades. Suddenly everyone was talking about political correctness, racial bias, gender inequality, and a whole bunch of other grown ass shit that quite honestly, I ran from at 30.
My philosophy? Once you wake up, you have to do something about the things you learn about or else, you become a conscious complicit part of the problem. I chose to stay asleep.
While I was busy performing my greatest trick, sticking my head in the sand and ignoring things I had no time for, life sent in a set of friends that had a way of broaching subjects I had been avoiding in a way that forced me to engage.
Caught me slipping.
Since then, I’ve slowly been pulling back the blinders, peeking under the bed, asking questions, and becoming interested in things outside of my home. To one friend in particular I’m sure this has been quite an experience. Seems every conversation I have with her she’s introducing me to something new. I’m constantly asking her “What does that mean?” And “What is that?”
In becoming more engaged, I’ve been finding myself in some rather interesting situations.
I’ve been forced to have feelings and express them about a multitude of things.
It has caused me to become more communicative and less at the same time.
I’ve been learning about things I previously wasn’t priviledged enough to afford to invest time and resources into.
Of the the lessons I’ve learned, I can honestly say that I have been doing better about applying them to my life. Things like being able to spot microaggressions and dog whistle rhetoric, that I call out, when it is safe for me to do so. I’ve been doing the work of learning about my toxic behaviors and trying to break those habits. I’ve been following, donating to, and helping to spread the word about social injustices as I become aware of them. I’ve been trying to do my part.
I must admit though, that while I have been becoming more aware and vocal in some areas, I’ve remained stagnant in others.
Because when you know better, you’re expected to do better.
Am I supposed to want to know better in all aspects in order to do better or is it okay to be and remain selective?
Have you taken all of the wisdom you have collected this far in your life and applied it to all the applicable areas?
Are you selective about the areas you choose to seek growth in to ensure you are only required to face the things you want to face?