Gonna Start a Bullet Journal

I’m going to jump into the world of bullet journaling, which I’m sure will be met with minimal success since I tend to not do well at keeping up on anything. But maybe I’ll be able to keep at it since part of the allure is to look at it everyday to make checkmarks and fill in squares and whatnot. Plus I want to have an excuse to buy more fancy colorful pens. ;D

My days have been up and down, mostly down, and I think it has to do with expectation as much as lack of sleep. The bad sleep is definitely the root cause, but I also have these weird expectations about how my day will go that just isn’t really based in reality. I need to come up with better ideas on how to keep the kids entertained because I know they are so bored out of their mind. Tomorrow I plan to take them to the library.

Random thought: I wonder how fast I type when I’m just doing my thoughts and not trying to follow some sort of prompt.

Anyway. I’m hoping by micromanaging some habit tracking, making sticker charts, etc., that I can work on changing my habits and really get myself into a better place. I think if I spend less time on my phone and more time doing actual shit that produces something, I will feel much better. And I need to remind myself to start small. It’s ok to fuck up as long as I’m making any sort of progress. Right now I am at a standstill because I can’t even get my lazy ass motivated enough to do five minutes of work. Just set a timer, and do something. Anything. For five minutes. Or seven, which is a time someone on the internet suggested but I’m not sure who or where I read that from. Hm.

I often open up my current journal with my colorful pens and I just dont even know what to write. I just know I want to use my pens in colorful ways. Maybe if I take the time to do the bullet journal, and have the excuse to make pretty looking stuff, the combination of doing artwork and seeing progress by actually doing progressive things I can change my habits for the better.

I’m pretty sure I’ve given this same type of pep talk to myself in the past. It sure does sound nice. I hope there’s actual follow-through this time.

I’ve been looking at layouts and spreads, or whatever they’re called, for a few hours tonight. I ordered my journal online so I need to wait for it to get here. And I don’t think I can justify buying more pens this month, but I can get all the fun stuff set up in the meantime. Habit tracker, chore tracker, money/finance tracker. Maybe start a savings one? Maybe after a few months tracking finances so I can know how much to put into savings.

I’m also going to use this new journal as an excuse to get myself back into the GRE study swing. I made all those flashcards a year ago and I have not once used them. Ha! I don’t know what got me off track from that – oh, I remember. I decided to take a pause since grad school wasn’t feeling like an actual possibility. Well, I need to get back to it, so the journal will hopefully create some accountability for that. Or something.

I know I’m a visual creature and I need visual reminders of things to do. When left to my own devices, everything is such an easy distractor. I need that thing to help keep me engaged with goals and whatnot. I’m not sure if I wanna go crazy all out with it and get that cool design tape or whatever it is. Maybe. We’ll see. Maybe stencils, because why not?

For now, I got my lined journal out and I’m writing ideas about what I want to include into the dotted journal, which I’ll get sometime next week.

Oh, and I really hate the internet now. Every page is so full of copious amounts of advertisements. Ugh ugh ugh. Just have a site without trying to commodify every little fucking aspect of it. Bleh.

P.S. Also, lol at “desktop app”, aka a PROGRAM. Jesus how times have changed…. (I just saw an ad from wordpress that says that there is now a ‘desktop app’! OH WOW.)

Still trying to find My Way

When I go several days without solid sleep, I spiral into a depression that is both full or rage and despair. I have no patience for anything mildly upsetting, and my hyperbolic brain goes into overdrive with the desire to give up. Luckily I am able to recognize this, that these feelings aren’t real and that they flare up when sleep is lacking. Unfortunately there’s not much I can do about it until I can catch up on some Zzz’s.

That said, the last few nights I’ve been feeling a bit of an identity crisis. I have no one to garner feedback from aside my husband, and there is only so much one person can do to help you figure out who you are. I’ve been neglecting myself in the name of education or taking care of my kids. It’s rare when I take the time to look at myself in the mirror. Like, really look at myself. I have neglected to nurture myself in meaningful ways, and I’m not even sure what that would look like.

I am trying to figure My Way. Mariame Kaba, prison abolitionist and active twitter user, occasionally tweets out advice regarding getting overwhelmed, finding what you can do to help combat white supremacy.

 

I have been spiraling toward what it is I want to focus on for a while. First it was linguistics, then raciolinguistics, now multicultural education. I’m still not sure what exactly that means, but I do know that the way I plan to approach it is through a cross-discipline point of view. I want to help minoritized kids in school through decoloninizing the curriculum. Through looking at the history of the Black people in the United States, as informed through Black Feminism, with a linguistic and sociology perspective, I think approaching curriculum or teaching teachers how to teach will help move our society forward. But how much will I need to be involved in educational policy?

I know there are people already out there doing this work, but I am not acquainted with any of them, or at least very few. I’m still working on learning my black history and feminism, and perhaps in the next month or two I will move onto reading about pedagogy and papers created by people who are in the educational linguistics and multicultural education “departments.” Continue on my journey to self inform until such time that I get into grad school.

I was hoping that I could have a more direct impact in my community through the NAACP, but I’m not sure that’s going to work out. I will need to find another route since my current reaching out has been met with mostly silence. I have not earned anyone’s trust, I suppose, but my attempts in trying I guess isn’t working out. It is what it is. I’ll just have to find another way.

Anyway, I’m super tired. I wish I could be more alert, have more brain power to write more in-depth analysis of what I’ve been reading so far. One of these days it will happen. Just won’t be today.

Can’t sleep post

I had some late night coffee and have a stuffy nose, so I’m awake whether or not I want to be, at 1:30am.

The “Do” part is finally starting to fall into place. I’m feeling both excited and weary. I will be treading forward into a realm that I have zero experience with, both in process and social interaction. I’ll be frank: I feel very awkward when interacting with people in person. I spend far too much time alone and online, so while I feel more graceful now than in previous years, I still fail at some social expectations, whether preceived or imagined. I just feel awkward.

That being said, I will be working on those skills rather immediately. Luckily this week I can plan out fairly carefully what it is I want to say. I will be attending a city council meeting where I will only have three minutes to talk. I already have some idea of where I want to spend my time researching. AND luckily I know some mighty good resources to start from.

I’ll get more detailed once I get more comfortable with what the hell I’m doing. You get vague posts in the meantime.

Thursday I have a phone appointment with an admissions counselor for the graduate program I’m interested in. I’m going to be getting into contact of the previous committee chair person for an NAACP committee I want to eventually lead. Going to start being busy here soon.

I need to shift my reading focus from Black history/feminism to education and the prison industrial complex. I need to spend more time reading and taking notes on what I read.

I wish I didn’t read so slowly, but I rarely read, so why would I read quickly? Silly me.

OK I’m going to attempt to go to sleep. Again.

The Racism Continuum (& other stuff)

I am so tired right now but I feel the need to write so here I am.

After reading White Fragility, I see a lot of ways that I still fail at being anti-racist. Robin DiAngelo mentions that she likes to think of herself on a continuum, where sometimes she is more or less racist, but it is always there and never ending. It’s a weird thing to realize that we can’t escape our own racism, even if we really try and really want to. That’s how deeply embedded it is in our society and our personalities.

Beyond the racism I know I have some other problematic behaviors rooted in entitlement and self superiority. I don’t like these parts of me. These are both things each of my parents continually showed through actions, and they became embedded in me as well. I think this is probably something I’ll need therapy for in order to help myself out of it. The anti-racism studying helps, I think. It brings with it a humility you must adopt in order to effective at being anti-racist. Yeah, I’m a racist too. I can’t deny it and there’s no way around it. But I can try to minimize it with conscious effort and constant reflection through critical thinking.

That is humbling but not undoable.

Tonight I have been completely listless. My self-enforced ban from social media has left me having to find other ways to spend my time, and while there are things I can do, I don’t really feel like doing any of it. I tried playing Stardew Valley but after one day I didn’t want to continue. I tried some games on the Nintendo but those are skills that need rebuilding but I just don’t have the patience for it right now.

I’ve been knitting a scarf that a friend requested. It’s looking really good but it’s slow work. I just hope I have enough yarn to make a complete scarf.

I’m downloading a new game called Tera. I have low expectations. I just want a good game to play that is RPG and fun.

I had more to say but I’m too tired to continue.

I will always be racist

I just finished reading Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility. I have so many thoughts about it, so this will be a stream of consciousness post as I process my thoughts/feelings. I’m putting it out there so maybe someone else can benefit from it.

The book is well written. It does well to define white supremacy as a system and continually reinforces this idea. One of the major benefits of the book is the vocabulary given to define different aspects of whiteness and white fragility that prevents the discussion of racism from moving forward.

I think this is the most important aspect of the book is the reminder that all white people are racist, will be racist, cannot escape from being racist. No matter what, because of how we are socialized into white supremacy, there is no way to escape it.

I have been guilty of distancing myself from racism. I needed the reminder,

“We must continue to ask how our racism manifests, not if.”

I’m guilty of feeling superior because of this conquest I am undertaking. I feel that “I’m one of good white people” and positioned myself as better than other white people, which only serves to distance myself from the ways I have and will be racist. DiAngelo writes, “I offer that we must never consider ourselves finished with our learning. Even if challenging all the racism and superiority we have internalized was quick and easy to do, our racism would be reinforced all over again just by the virtue of living in the [white supremacist] culture.”

The reality of being white in a white supremacist society is that there is no escape from the privilege of being white. I will inevitably take advantage of being white – whether intentional or not – because of this reality.

I will write another post to discuss the book more deeply, but for now I need to wrangle with my feelings.

A few days ago, Ijeoma Oluo posted this on her social media pages:

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If your anti-racism work prioritizes the “growth” and “enlightenment” of white America over the safety, dignity, and humanity of people of color – it’s not anti-racism work. It’s white supremacy.

As a white woman who is working toward becoming an anti-racism advocate, this is a good reminder for me. Of course the goal of anti-racism work should be to uplift people of color from the weight of white supremacy – to give value to their humanity. Admittedly, my career goal is that of educating other white people, but that shouldn’t be the only goal. And it isn’t. I want to create classroom environments that create space for children of color to be able to have dignity, to feel their humanity, and to not be minimalized into racist tropes and stereotypes. Education of white people will help, but there is more that can be done. And that’s what I’m hoping graduate school can teach me.

 

This work is hard, and it’s uncomfortable. That’s the design of white supremacy – the need to keep white people comfortable so when they aren’t, they’ll retreat back into comfort so the status quo stays unchallenged and unchanged.

My husband has asked me to take a break from my anti-racist learning. He knows it’s valuable work, but he can also see this sort of spiralling path I’m on. Everything he shares I see through the critical eye of anti-racism, and I know I’m not a very fun person to talk to much anymore. I want to pick all the battles, even when I have only limited amounts of information.

I know it is my white privilege that allows me to take a break. It’s actually going to be hard for me to take a break because I’m really invested in this. My social media accounts are full of anti-racist education, so I will have to take a break from those as well.

I don’t think it’s wrong to recharge. I’m in this for the long fight. I know that the amount of stress that this work creates can cause stress-induced illness. So now that I finished White Fragility, I’m now on break for the next week. Then I’ll dive back in.

I recommend all white people to read DiAngelo’s book. I think it’s a nice starting point for joining the anti-racism cause. After finishing White Fragility, I would move onto Ijeoma Oluo’s So you want to talk about race, followed by Crystal Fleming’s How to be Less Stupid about Race.

2019 “Resolutions”

The start of a new year gives everyone the renewed hope that they can make positive changes in their life. I feel the same way, but I’m weary. These things have never worked out for me very long in the past, and I know it has everything to do with lack of discipline. I know what I need to do, but doing it is the hard part.

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This image is a piece of paper with colorful handwriting that states the following:  2019.01.02 This is an attempt to organize my life. Lofty goals – micromanage finances – micromanage food consumption – micromanage chores – create routine – don’t let tiredness & exhaustion dictate your day – take notes while reading – make worthwhile & time consuming projects a reality: i.e. complete them – write everyday

I like the idea of writing down and referencing some sort of organization notebook. I’m not very creative on how to design it, keep it, make it usable. I know, it’s a skill. I need to try.

Is this another part of my making lists and not doing anything with it? Quite possibly. Time will tell. But I’m hoping that if I write about it, maybe it’ll guilt me by having a record of what I do or don’t do.

So, here is today’s task: Make those lists I so lovingly love. Get organized so you know what it is you want, and prioritize where to start since I won’t be able to do everything at once.

I will return later to report on this task.


By the way, it’s good to add image descriptions to any images you post so that those who are blind or visually impaired and use text-to-speech software can know what you are posting. I plan to go back and add descriptions to all images posted on this site to make it more accessible.

Writing Project, Anti-racism workshop, Knitting

I’m in the process of creating an informative post about systemic racism. It’s the first time writing something requiring time, energy, and research in a long, long time. I’m very rusty, and the energy required is great after being dormant for an extended period. Seven years? No, I did stuff like this for work, so more like nearing 5 years. Yikes.

It’s a good goal though. I want to inform, to put work out there. I know this kind of work has been done before, and I plan to utilize and compile those resources in the post I’m drafting. I know I’m not reinventing the wheel. Moreover, I’m creating one another space on the internet to amplify the voices of the marginalized. Another way of framing these issues for a white audience.

It’s going to take a while, as all good things worth reading should.

***

I’ll be attending an online anti-racist workshop in early January. I look forward to it because it’ll give me a chance to interact directly about the things I’ve been learning. Mostly I’ve been silently observing and absorbing, and there isn’t anyone I can really talk to about it without it being unpaid emotional labor. Don’t want that. But I do want to know more on what I could be doing personally to leap into activist mode.

Today’s entry in the #meandwhitesupremacy workbook was “You & White Silence.” I had a very good example of an issue that I don’t know how to handle, something I’m hoping this workshop will help me figure out. Silence is so easy, which is why most white people do it. Myself included. Who wants to be uncomfortable? Well, when it comes to racism, everyone needs to be uncomfortable. That shit needs to be addressed so that minoritized people don’t have to take the brunt of that discomfort/hurt/harm.

***

In other news, I have far too many knitting projects going on right now. Plus two crochet blankets that need to be finished. I’m working on my first knitted sweater, but I need more stitch markers because I keep misplacing the ones I have. Supposedly we’ll be making a trip to Joann tomorrow. I love that store entirely too much. It’ll be hard to resist buying yarn.

Today was my birthday. It was a pretty good one, even if nothing particularly special happened. I got chocolate fondue with strawberries, cheesecake, nilla wafers, and marshmallows. Completely decadent way to start 33. I think this year will be a good year. I think this year I’ll actually get somewhere with my life. Be more than just a stay at home mom. Can’t wait.

Questioning Myself (#meandwhitesupremacy)

I mentioned in a previous post that I am working on the #meandwhitesupremacy workbook. I’m starting Day 3 today. I just wrote all the questions into my notebook and I will begin the journal entry later when I have more time. First I wanted to write this small reflection on how I’m doing so far.

I recognize that I, along with everyone else, am socialized into white supremacist thinking. I know I’m not exempt from any of the prompts that come up. However, I feel suspicious of myself when I feel like a question doesn’t apply to me. I know my experiences are unique and that this is a possibility to me, but I wonder if I am not being super honest with myself. Or, if I just the type of person who see other people as people.

About a week ago I was sharing some very old school work with my oldest daughter and I came across some class photos. I grew up in Southern California, and the schools I attended had a diverse student population. I befriended everyone, regardless of sex or race. I never thought “I’m not going to play with that person because they’re (race) (or their skin color).” That just never occurred to me. At the same time, there were people I didn’t like, but their race/culture had nothing to do with it. People are just people.

20181209_114657909807766.jpgMy third grade class.

I did have color-blind racism inside me as I grew older. I knew people of different races had their own cultural practices, but I also have had the thoughts like “I don’t see color” (which is totally ridiculous btw because it erases the experiences of minoritzed populations).

I think this workbook is more geared towards anti-racist beginners. All these topics I have read about before, by black women, whether in articles or on Twitter. I have that knowledge under me and I think it skews my perspective on how I could be answering these questions.

Day 3 is about Tone Policing. Never in my life have I ever said to anyone “I don’t like the way you’re talking about racism” (as far as tone/rhetoric goes) and walked away. Never.(*see below) Part of that reason is because as I got older (I moved from CA when I was 9), my parents moved to predominately white communities. As I got old enough to have these conversations, they didn’t happen because I didn’t have people of other races around me. And if I did, we weren’t talking about racist issues. That is part of my white privilege: I got to avoid these conversations in my young adult life.

However, I have witnessed these things online since joining Twitter and following Black people. It is crazy the way people will talk to Black people because they dare bring up race. I try to collect my people when I can, and I definitely try to engage in those people who just don’t have enough knowledge to see how they’re upholding racist values while claiming to be non-racist. It’s hard work. People hang on real tight to their white supremacist way of thinking. It’s so deeply embedded in all of us. It’s the reason ANTI-RACISM isn’t more prevalent.

At any rate, I will have things to write about for this journal entry, but I did write “never” next to a couple of questions such as “How often have you walked away from race conversations because you didn’t approve of the tone being used?” *Never. 1. I haven’t experienced it in person, and 2. I would never think to tell someone who is talking about their terrible experience that they aren’t using the right kind of ‘civil’ talking. You think people should be civil and respectable after they get shit on? That is so ridiculous. Fucking ridiculous.

———

*Upon further reflection, this statement is incorrect. I do remember a distinct time where I did walk away because I didn’t like the way someone was talking about it. This occurred when Donald Trump got elected and I first started following a Black woman anti-racism activist. The details of this will go into the journal entry, but I needed to clear the air that my “never” statement is wrong.

I think it’s important to not delete this entry and keep it on record that white supremacy is embedded even in the most good-intentioned people. I knew I was right to question myself, and I’m glad I did. I’m glad to have it on record that even when I think I’m not wrong, I am. White supremacy is a hell of a thing.

Bubble-livin

I’m very tired so this will be short.

Today I had a little internet interaction that although isn’t a big deal in scope, it was a useful reminder to me of what kind of knowledge I have that other people do not. It also was a good reminder that when people get push back on their assholery, there is resistance and deflection, and I am the one to blame.

I live in a bubble. I’m home all the time, and my interactions with strangers is limited to a nod and a smile or a huff of annoyance while strolling past each other in store aisles. I don’t have a job to go to. I don’t have to interact with other people in a long term, or even short term, way. I have seconds of interaction before I return to my home and read Twitter where everyone I follow is smarter than me and already have knowledge of intersectional oppression under them.

When I wander away from my Twitter timeline or go into other social media places, I see very easily how people unwittingly uphold oppressive values. The pedantic grammar nazi is very prevalent in all comment sections, and as an anti-racist linguist with some knowledge under me, I can name the ways that these views uphold white supremacist ideals. I forget that people are quick to dismiss, deflect, victim-blame, gaslight. I need better skills to navigate such situations. When do I keep pushing, when should I stop? I stopped fairly quickly on today’s incident because I knew that anything I had to say would be quickly dismissed. Or I would get myself banned. Meh.

This is just the very beginning. I need to work on my approach. White people are fragile, and I know this, because I am not free of this fragility. I just have more information under my belt and a willingness to understand and be called out. Most people don’t have that, don’t want it, and don’t like it when it happens. Understandable, especially with an unapologetic approach. I need to think of who my audience is and what my ultimate goal is. That would be a good thing to ponder about for a while.

Been Blogging since 1999

When I was in middle school and high school, I kept an online journal. Several, really. I couldn’t decide on which site to use. First it was MyDearDiary, then DeadJournal, Xanga, GreatestJournal, LiveJournal. I had my website, which had several journals where I used wordpress and other open access blogging software. Despite not being able to settle on a location, I was fairly consistent about detailing my life. I was a teenager after all, and these were the days before social media existed and so sites like these weren’t widely read. People preferred anonymity in those days.

So I could write, in detail, the on-goings of my life. Mostly I bitched about homework, working, or whatever social drama that was happening. Nothing too deep. The occasional survey. Ok, I did lots of surveys. I liked talking about myself. But as I said, no one read it.

I forget sometimes that that sort of anonymity doesn’t really exist anymore. It does, to a certain extent, in certain corners of the internet. At any rate, this blog has some of my details on it, linked to some social media that gives a few more details about me. Yet I still sometimes write as if I am anonymous.

As such, I will undoubtedly say things that may appear performative. Or like bragging? You know, I just love to brag about my personal issues like my mental illness. WooOoOoOo. What I can tell you is that the purpose of my writing here is to write about my life. And my internet life since 1999 involves writing my diary online.

Now, I don’t get into super personal details, but I think I go a little bit further than I should. Maybe. I’m open about some things that most people think is better suited for friends or family. Well, I have few friends and I’m sorry but I’m not going to tell my husband everything. He gets most everything. He’ll probably read this and get this part of me too. I burden him with my thoughts sometimes, so I will put them here instead. You can choose to read it or not. Performing is not the purpose of this journal.

It just so happens that at this moment in my life, I’m at that awkward stage of trying to begin taking action towards anti-racism work. I think I made some good connections tonight, but time will tell on that. But part of the anti-racism work that my goal aims toward is dissemination of information. And nearly all the information I will distribute comes from Black women. It will undoubtedly be a regurgitation of information that can be googled until I can find my voice and put my own framing on these issues. This is how I learn, and this is how my writing process goes.

I don’t know why I’m taking a defensive stance on this. Probably white fragility. I’ve been accused of performing before. I was in the wrong, the way I’ve said some things, but it wasn’t in the spirit of performing. The intention was solidarity. As a white woman, I’m still trying to navigate when my solidarity needs to be in the form of silence, boosting, or new framing. I recognize that I don’t get to talk about some things because it’ll be construed as if my pale ass knows the realities of racism. I know I don’t know what that experience is like nor will I ever know. But I am still trying to figure out what is or isn’t acceptable for me to comment on. Mistakes will happen, and I will try my best to be graceful when they do.