Archive for March, 2007
Yesterday I had to call in to work sick (for the first time ever!) as I succumbed to coughing and fever and aches and chills. Steve made me pudding and soup, which I ate in between naps. The fever broke today, but the pain at the base of my throat feels like it is just getting started. I sound like Darth Vader when I breathe. Steve tells me I need to “cough it up”. I don’t know how to do that. It’s going to have to rid itself some other way, because I’m not coughing it up.
We got about a foot of snow over St Patrick’s Day. We had 60 degree weather through Christmas, so I’m not complaining.
Mar 20th 2007Everyday life
Your Blogging Type Is Thoughtful and Considerate
You’re a well liked, though underrated, blogger.
You have a heart of gold, and are likely to blog for a cause.
You’re a peaceful blogger - no drama for you!
A good listener and friend, you tend to leave thoughtful comments for others.
Mar 13th 2007Quiz
We got a membership to Costco and it ROCKS. I can buy everything in one trip and it will last me the rest of my natural born life.
This weekend began to feel like spring. The sun is all warm and shiney and makes it hard to keep my eyes open. The other effect of early spring is the sudden unbridled urge to go shopping for clothes. I nip this in the bud by going to Plato’s Closet, where I can buy several outfits and spend approximately $60.
I start thinking about traveling. This morning I woke up with the sudden, inexplicable wish to be in Boston. Instead of going to work, I would walk through the parks and busy streets with the sun on my face. I would buy a single item of clothing that costs $60. My brother and I would go out to eat at an exotic Thai wrap place with the eastern flair.
Mar 12th 2007Everyday life
Last night Steve asked, in genuine puzzlement, even though he was sitting right there listening to Jen and me converse:
“How did you just go from talking about strippers to talking about flossing your teeth?”
I forget how, but trust me, there was a connection between the two topics.
I have discovered that there is ONE thing that George W Bush has done with the power that he wields as a president that I wholeheartedly support. That one thing is to move Daylight Savings up a month! Holy crap that is awesome. THIS coming Sunday I will be springing ahead my clocks. No more walking the dog in the dark! Time to start basking in how the daylight lingers a full hour longer after I get home from work! It’s all happening sooner!
If I were president, I would probably go ahead and move it ahead yet another month or two. I guess that’s what happens when we get power hungry.
Mar 8th 2007Misc
we were lying in bed and Steve informed me: “The cat is taking a bath between my legs.”
Mar 5th 2007I Laughed When
Steve got Guitar Hero (Playstation game) for his birthday, and has barely gotten a chance to play because I’m hogging it. I play until my hand is cramped and my eyes have gotten so used to the rolling screen that when I look at something else, my vision continues to scroll. It’s pretty funny. I haven’t been hooked on a video game since Super Mario Brothers and Tetris.
Lately I have had new thoughts on “oppression”. Oppression and diversity were big topics at my internship. This was mainly around looking at how one’s background informs their assumptions and attitudes, and being careful to not unwittingly harm others who come to meet with us. Lately it has occurred to me that I may have had “oppression” and “prejudice” a little mixed up. Oppression is not passing someone up for a job because of their race, religion, handicap, etc. Oppression is not marginalizing or ignoring. Oppression is not negative looks or statements or ideas. Those things are prejudice.
Oppression is not external. Oppression is internal. Oppression is internalized and turned against the self. Oppression becomes the critical voice that doubts and criticizes the self. Oppression becomes unconscious because it has become experienced as the self. Subtle looks, ideas, assumptions and expectations of family members, schoolteachers, and society during our formative years create oppression. Most of us carry it with us and do not even know it.
The questions then arise:
How do we recognize it in our self? If it is experienced as one’s own thought, as low self-esteem, as outward silence, how do we detangle it from our true voice?
How do we work through it so that we do not let it hinder ourselves anymore?
How do we exorcise the oppression toward others that is ingrained in us? We have all been trained to be politically correct, but that has nothing on the unconscious, subtle gestures, assumptions, expressions and expectations that we harbor toward others. It is human nature to categorize, label, and think that one knows a great deal about a deeply complex human being after the first impression. God knows I have been pinned enough as “quiet” to tell you how wrong people are about these things.
What does oppression feel like? To me, it felt like helpless imprisonment of the personality. My experience of myself was completely incongruent with how many saw me. To me, freedom from oppression will be the day I can be freely myself anywhere and with anyone. The self at home will be the same as the self at work. The self inside will be the same as the self outside.
Instead of conforming to people’s expectations of me as a young, blonde female, I will show them it has nothing on my true expression of intelligence and capability. I will speak up confidently to educate others that I am not quiet or aloof or devalued, I have a hearing loss. The real self will shine so strongly that oppression does not get a chance to take hold again.
If oppression is internalized and becomes unconscious by the time we are adolescents, are we helpless against the force of a larger collective culture? Can we change it in ourselves and in those we meet? If one is sleepwalking and listening to an inner voice that is not really their own- how do we change that?
Our experience must be presented to us in the right way at the right time. This may come in the form of a book, a movie, an interpersonal relationship, a therapeutic relationship, a dream. In whatever form it comes to us, it is an element capable of separating and distinguishing the inner voice and exposing it for what it is- an oppressive veil that steals confidence and self-worth, silences one’s voice, breeds doubt and darkness, imprisons energy and dampens the spirit. When the bonds begin to fall away, it is clear in the return of energy and increasing levels of comfort and confidence. This is ongoing, grievous, joyous work but it is one of the most meaningful struggles of our lifetime.
Mar 5th 2007Introspection