Thoughts That Can’t Stay Put: Why I Can’t Shut Up.

Recently I’ve had thoughts that just pile-up. They are crammed in corners and crevices, pages torn out of my school notebook and tucked in my planner, post-its stuck in my journal, tiny writing cramped in corners of books. They aren’t very poetic, or incredibly nuanced, or thoughts no one has had before. But they are snippets I can’t undo. They are a cold wind rattling in my chest and catching on my breath. I can’t promise very much about them at all. The thing I can say for sure is that they are honest. I’ve never been particularly stealthy or good at keeping my mouth shut, but there are things that even I tiptoe around. They are things I’ve kept to myself, because they are taboo, or could get me in trouble with someone somewhere. I’m hoping maybe someone somewhere will have had a thought or two like this too.

I try. I really do.

I promise that the part of me that really doesn’t want to stir up trouble is still lying dormant somewhere in the depths of my personality.

Proceed without caution, but hopefully (even prayerfully) not with ignorance.

I’m a sucker for a good story. Especially one where the morals aren’t clear, the lines are somewhere closer to blurry squiggles, where you guess who is good or bad and the end leaves you with that feeling of unfinished business. I guess you could say I identify with the anti-hero. The person who dares push back against the starkness of morality, who works outside the lines to get the right things done. 

Maybe that’s why I can’t stop myself. It’s why when I see something wrong, I do my best to push back. I believe just about everything is open to criticism but that recognizing ourselves, the spaces we come from and the privileges we hold is just as important. I see institutions, even the “good” ones, as faulty. I believe in a need for constant reflection. Pushing back against the norm is what I’ve done since I was 14 and was given a shortened version of The Odyssey because I wasn’t quick enough at solving puzzles to make it into the “advanced” class. Instead I brought the real copy in and read it during class instead. The teacher tried to make me read the text book version. I refused. I wrote a paper I was subtly accused of plagiarizing because it was too good. I stopped doing the work for that class and read the books the other class was reading. I barely passed that class, but I’m proud of that moment of backlash, of teeth and grit and spite that raged against the things that weren’t right.

I don’t do tight lipped gentleness with people. I don’t ignore and stay quiet and rant later. I listen, I study, I give feedback and I try not to be heartless. I’m interested in making people better, in making the world better for everyone. That’s why I do what I do.

I love a good story of push-back against the system, against THE MAN. Maybe you do, too.

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