20 Jan 2009, 2:45pm

be the change


how are you? happy inauguration day, i guess. i admit that i am, well, too much of an idealist to be super excited about another dude delivering pretty words and compromises, especially when i remember, for example, how disgusted i was at the way even liberals and the media treated hillary clinton during her primary campaign. yes, there is that little hopeful(!) part of me that thinks maybe i just feel this way ’cause for eight years, more than a third of my life, all of my adult life, we’ve had this awful guy hangin’ out up there on the presidency. and now i will get to see what it’s like to live in a real democratic republic with a leader who is not power-hungry, who represents the people, who works with them (us) rather than in defiance of them. but i’m skeptical. that said, as other have pointed out, it’s really fucking cool to see everyone getting all excited and worked-up and groupthink-y about something so positive and optimistic, instead of something violent or vengeful or hateful.

i’ve been thinking about “change,” actually. mostly in my own small personal life, really, but everything stands in for everything else, in some way, doesn’t it? i just mean, trying to figure out what kind of life i want to live. super to cheesy to repeat the quotation everyone’s heard a million times, but, you know, “be the change you wish to see” blah blah blah. that’s a tangential part of what i mean, though. mostly, i have been thinking about traveling, and i have been thinking about buying a house. “what?” you say. “i thought you were a broke theatre bum!” yes, yes i am. but i am counting my chickens before they’re all the way hatched (there’s little cracks beginning to form, though, and maybe some tiny beaks sticking out) and thinking about my insurance settlement.

i got hit by a car and it sucked a whole lot, but because i was lucky enough to be hit by a decent person who didn’t drive off, acknowledged that she was at fault, and had current auto insurance, it’ll end up being the most lucrative thing i’ve done since graduation. ever, really. (even so, ask me sometime to tell you exactly how fucked up the system is, and one of the many many reasons we badly need universal health care now. it is only because of even more luck that the events of june 12th have not totally destroyed my credit rating for life!) no, of course the money doesn’t make it “worth it.” my point is–getting hit by a car changed my life in ways i still haven’t figured out. and i feel this weird pressure within myself to use the money i’m gonna get out of it to, well, change my life. to do something big. like go everywhere i have ever wanted to go (hopefully with some kind of positive intention–i don’t want to travel aimlessly). or buy a home (with my parents’ help) and plant a garden and paint murals on the walls.

obviously neither of those choices are really permanent. if there’s anything i have learned, it’s that You Can Always Change Your Life. at least, i can, because i am extremely lucky and was born with a certain amount of privilege. but i think a lot of people can who would rather not admit it, because it’s hard to change your life, and it’s easy and even fun to complain about your life instead. (i am very much talking to myself here.)

in any case, i have been having a fine time entertaining these possibilities. daydreaming about walking across england, or trekking in the himalayas, or biking through the southwest, etc etc. imagining my lush garden full of lavender and rosemary, and my walls painted with beautiful designs. while i sit in my room and look out my window at my neglected backyard, look at my boring unfinished wood dresser (for example); while i bike along the same routes between the same familiar places i know and love in portland instead of seeking out the new and different blah blah blah. i mean, i am wanting to Change My Life but i am trying to do it the easy way, by making some big decision and letting everything come from that, instead of being the change. if i were to travel right now, i would probably be lonely and aimless. if i were to buy a home right now, it would probably be as cluttered and neglected as the one i live in already. unless i’ve got the change in me, behind my actions, already.

whoa, guys. i didn’t really know that when i started writing this entry.

what i actually meant to wind up with, in some way i hadn’t quite figured out yet, had more to do with that first paragraph up there. what i wanted to say was, i think that in my ideal world, the world’s population is much, much smaller and arranged into little happy mutualist anarchic communities. but, what we’ve got is what we’ve got. but, i think there is something to be said for living as though the ideal world is possible. i want to take what i need and give what i need to give. i want to contribute to a loving and supportive community by nourishing my friendships and relationships as best i know how. i want to know how. i want to learn how. i want to be the change. and i want to acknowledge what i already am and what i already have, too.

so there you go. writing about politics and ideals makes me feel really nervous and ignorant, which is part of why i am trying to do it anyway (albeit hiding in the midst of entries like this about my personal life). conversation fights ignorance, right? even if it’s mostly just conversation with myself.

yes yes yes yes yes.
i have totally been thinking a lot of the same things about myself & change. rob brezny has been telling me the same stuff too, haha.

[...] from a year or so of laissez-faire, so to speak. maybe i will find a new passion. remember when i wrote about that big windfall i’m gonna get sometime soon from getting hit by a car and all that? [...]

16 Feb 2009, 11:50am
by Kate (rag_and_bone)

i tend to stay away from heavy topics/politics for the same reason: it frightens me, makes me a little jittery, makes me feel pretty…young?

but also: how amazing that you came to what you did in this entry. i feel like i was on a ride with you and we both came to that moment together.



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