I talk a lot on my blog about my struggles with life. In fact, it’s almost exclusively what I talk about. I know it may come across as self-centered (which it probably is) and whiney (which it definitely is), but it helps me sort through my thoughts, come to conclusions, and establish theories and opinions. Furthermore, it connects me with others who are similarly minded, and (hopefully) offers a unique perspective for those who aren’t so plagued by existential confusion in day-to-day life.
With having my struggles and occasional disparity being blatantly displayed for public consumption, I want to qualify my bemoaning by explaining myself a little more throughly. I’ve often felt the urge to explain (and occasionally apologize for) myself. I don’t know where it comes from. However, that’s not the purpose of this blog, so I’ll back burner it... for now.
I am a straight, white, American man. These are my identifiable traits. Not that I necessarily strongly identify with any of them, but if you need to assign identifiable characteristics to the boil-down of who I am, there ya go.
Admitting those are my identifiable bullet points is the first step. Admitting they result in privilege is the next step. Having a mind attuned (be it to a varying degree of awareness) to the experience of people with who don’t share those traits is the third step. Acknowledging the massive disparity between different groups with different traits is the step that follows.
These steps lead me down the path of understanding how good I have it.
I have never been insulted, threatened, or attacked because of my sexual orientation.
I have never been profiled, systemically oppressed, victimized, or brutalized because of my skin color.
I have never been subject to unchecked totalitarianism, violent dictatorship, or denied access to basic human rights due my nationality.
(I understand some people will argue with me on that third point, but this can be measured against truly evil governing bodies using the weight of comparison.)
Now while I understand and readily admit this; I don’t want to make this a soap-box lecture. I just want to illustrate where my perspective lies.
Look, here is my point. This blog is about my experience. It’s a documentation of a (possibly futile) search for understanding and hopefully a metric with which to measure personal growth. It’s a means to connect and stay connected. It’s the appeasement of intellectual curiosity and the itch to write both personally and creatively.
I submit these traits and what they bring because I want you to know I understand. When I emphatically relay my anxieties, when I pose questions pertaining to the abstract qualities of living, when I express fear, elation, disappoint, and confusion, when I straight up whine and complain; I remain aware.
Aware of how good I got it.
Aware that that comes from the fact that I happened to be born into a dominating group that’s coalesced around key identifiable traits.
Aware that that’s fucking bullshit.
Aware that measures needed to be taken to change things. To fix that protracted, pervasive, and perverted disparity.
This right here is an admission. Of who I am. Of what’s wrong with the world. Of being born into a place of privilege.
However, It’s also a declaration of no longer wanting to have to explain myself.
I’m going to continue writing and searching and scratching that intellectual itch. I’m going to keep walking the path that feels right, and keep living the life that makes sense with regard to creativity and moral stances. All of this is done with the acknowledgement that I’m in a position of privilege in this world.
Like I said, this is a blog about me.
How I feel and who I am.
Does that make me a narcissist?
I don’t think so. I usually have pretty negative things to say about myself.
Does it make me self-absorbed.
Without a doubt.
But that’s where I need to be to get my head right. After that, I’ll move on to things bigger than myself.
I know something much bigger is out there. I’m preparing myself to meet it.
I hope you keep reading. Because I’m sure as hell going to keep writing.
With all the love and honesty I have.