And I thought once a quarter was ridiculous

12 01 2011

Now that it’s been six months since my last posting… I find myself sitting in church and thinking about things, and then thinking, you know, I should really write this stuff down somewhere.  Like, oh I don’t know, a blog? 

So what I was thinking of, sitting in church and trying to not get irritated with the sermon – which was addressing the “divisive” issue of ordaining homosexuals, and boy is that a blog post for another time – and I found myself fondly remembering a time when I didn’t care so much about these issues. 

Because there was a time.  I thought of myself as mostly liberal, maybe with a little bit of an edge – in fact, I think my supposed “edge” was what made me cool and interesting in my own mind.  I cringe at the memories of my supposedly edgy humor of the time, of the things that fell out of my mouth so I could get that combined response of laughter and “I can’t believe you said that.”  I lived for it.  And that kind of thing is its own drug, so I believed that if a little was good, more was better, and oh, the lengths I pushed it to.

I’ve changed so much in ten or fifteen years.  Part of it was probably losing my husband, which knocked every last edge off of me for a time.  I was an unprotected hatchling, no shell.  Anyone or anything who wanted a piece of me could have it.  And somewhere in there, living as a single woman again and venturing back out into the world of dating and coupling, I started reading more about women and feminism.  I learned more about racism and sexism, things I thought I knew quite a bit about already – and along the way I came in contact with privilege.  Misogyny.  Ablism.  I found the many ways that people “other” the people they share a world with. 

So now I feel, and ache, and rage, for the struggles that so many have.  And I am painfully aware of my own privilege as a white straight cisgendered woman… I know I MUST be constantly aware, so that I can protect those who are struggling through so many challenges, those who feel as unprotected as I did in those months after I lost my husband.  I try to protect them from others, and also protect them from me, from years of thoughtless privileged habit.  There are times when it wears me out, caring this way.  There is so much work to be done.  The need is so great.  So many people are hurting, needing love and care and understanding. 

So sometimes I look back on my edgy liberal days and Goddess help me, I know it’s wrong, but I miss them.  I miss that blissful ignorance that assured me of my place in the world, and that it would never change.  Where I would always be employed, married, housed, cared-for.  It was so comfortable and so wonderful to live that way – where I could subscribe to what I then called “the choice theory,” with the implication that you make choices in your life that put you in a certain place. 

It’s horrifying, really, to contemplate.  And I’d take apart anyone who talked that way around me now.  And yet.  That was my old normal.  It was an illusion.  But it was warm, and it was comfortable, and it required so little of me… and it was secure. 

No, it wasn’t.  But it felt that way.  I loved that feeling.  I miss it, even though I know that the intervening years have taken the heart of stone I had then, and given me a heart of flesh.




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