Posts Tagged ‘wtf’

(This.Shit.Gets. Messy.)

This morning I came across a song that lead to this post on accountability and “digging deep”. Lately I’ve been sitting on a couple  of topics to bring to the blog I just haven’t had a chance to sit and just…write. But today’s lyric (brought to you by Spoons “I Turn My Camera On”) reminded me of a core value which I have been working my brain around; Transparency.

“I turn my camera on
I cut my fingers on the way
The way I’m slipping away
I turn my feelings off
You made me untouchable for life
And you wasn’t polite”

“I turn my camera on- I cut my fingers on the way” 

This reminded me of  how I came into this program and realized I wanted to see things from a different lens, but that turned into a painful process for me-it meant digging deep.

“I turn my feelings off, you made me untouchable for life…and you wasnt polite”

This screamed transparency for me. And most of all its messiness. Transparency has the potential of making you turn yourself and your feelings off. Who really wants to have to own up to their shit? I surely didn’t. The bit about it being impolite? Who is it coming from? Do you know of their intentions? Delivery? Tone? Location? All  things to take into account about the transparency of the person.

Truth is, Public Allies gave me a space for reflection that I had turned off a long time ago. I was hesitant and stubborn and realizing I wasnt going to change any or all of that in the context of this program was the most difficult. There was no “band-aid” solution to my socialization. I couldn’t  just pinpoint something I wanted to work on and expect a puzzle solution.

My difficulty was in understanding how could I truly believe that when I was challenged it was because someone cared about me and not because they were being vindictive and mean?


A constant thing to have to shield myself against. No, I don’t want to be vulnerable- it’s like driving without a seat belt or riding a bike without a helmet. You hurt yourself once (or someone hurts you, for that matter) and it’s really easy to not want to deal with that anymore. It’s “messy” It’s making me have to dig deep.

I think Public Allies has really helped me in finding out that to turn yourself inside out for all to see isn’t such a bad thing after all. It’s baby steps.It’s speaking your truth and your realities. We’re not being “opened for the sake of being open”. It’s moments when our vulnerability serves a purpose. I feel that in finding that purpose I lost myself at some point,  only to find myself all over again. It was messy that’s for sure. But so far, it’s been well worth it.


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If in theory you think you’re either an optimistic or a pessimistic, I’m going to have to challenge you on that. Correction: I’m going to have to challenge myself on that one. You know that saying about how depending on whether you see the glass half empty or the glass half full you are either an optimist or a pessimist? I have to thank the ever so witty and funny Demitri Martin for challenging that notion and saying the following:

 You know how they say people that say the glass is half full are optimists, and people that say the glass is half empty are pessimists? They don’t really specify what the glass is full of. What if its a half a glass of sh’t? As an optimist I would like to see it has half empty. Baby blood is even more confusing, cause is this blood going  to a baby, or coming  from  a baby? Cause if it’s coming from a baby, I’m gonna say “All right, come down, it’s a half-empty glass of baby blood, no big deal. Don’t ask me how I got it, just listen to what I’m saying…”” Demetri Martin

 What does this have to do with my Ally experience? Content,context,and patience. It has been very easy to me in my personal life to always focus on the negative. My “short fuse” makes me jump to conclusions and be impatient about the things that aren’t going as I planned.  I joke and say I’m an optimistic pessimist but I have realized the following: 1) at some point I’m going to be neither, or just one of those. And 2) why am I so focused on binary thinking again?

 So here I am juggling these big words like “binary, deficit perspective” (and my favorite one, although not so much “a big word”) “Its all in your head” (Credits: PA Coach). If this is all in my head and I’m freaking out for no reason- I just lost sight of content, context, and the need to be patient. Insert the identification of the fact that I have a deficit perspective and that more than likely it’s my default. So the ideal answer is to be vocal about what is not so negative and about my needs in the context of serving my purpose. When we loose sight of an end goal or objective (for Public Allies that would be serving our community) it’s very easy to begin focusing on “every little reason why my life sucks”, and that’s just shitty in general.

It’s been a painful process (aren’t they all at this point?)  a challenging one (that’s why I’m in the program, right?) but also an enriching one ( Pessimism:2 Optimism:1…almost!). The best part is that I’m developing a support group that has caught my deficit perspective. Sometimes something as simple as “Let’s look at the bright side” shatters my tunneling deficit vision. I guess I could give this a try.  I’m working on it.

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