I Choose You

The 20s are all about being the center of your own universe. There's nothing wrong with it, of course you are the center of your own life. The thing is everyone else thinks the world revolves around them as well. What happens when two worlds collide or just people interact? Who's world becomes more important, who's world has more people, and what has society told us to make us think this way. Time to debunk some of societies affirmations. Prepare yourself, I choose you. 

The most important lesson I've learned from college (outside of all the super-pertinent knowledge I've received from my professors) is that our experience is nothing but our own. That is when people (look I'm doing it right now) speak about almost anything it's in general times. They make grotesque end-all-be-all matter of fact, holier than thou statements when in reality you should not and cannot speak for a group. Bring whatever you're talking about down to Earth. Make it personal. Let it come from you and what you've been through, who you are, and what represents you. Nothing more is asked of you. Get real. Instead of speaking in double-talk, every statement laced with undertones or hidden agendas, say what you mean. Use I statements. It makes you check your damn self, and take responsibility for your speech. No more making their outrageous point blank statements that you get to distance yourself from because you said "people" when you really meant "me." Get your life and get it real good. If you take anything away from this blog post is that you are your own person. You make your own decisions, and you are expected to accept the reprecussions. Why do we live in an unfair society where the majority (here I go making a double-edge statement) of people can remain nowhere near privy to what's going on? We need to stop coddling people. Stop hiding the truth from them, and by that I mean stop feeding them lies. Cut the crap and tell it how it is. Tell your story. Share your personal truths, and let people figure it out for themselves. That's all you can ever do. I choose you - I choose you to be the catalyst, make the change, and get real.

Last week was insanely busy but somehow I made it through. Yeah I was excessively bogged down with things to do, but that's not what gets me down, frustrates me or ticks me off. It's the ignorance of people and their inability to check themselves. Here's the deal, if you're not going to choose to be knowledgeable, I'm going to educate you. You cannot go around running your mouth spewing absolute nonsense, knock people over, and invalidate someone's life experience. Here ye, here ye - all white males; your parents and society have done you a great disservice. You have been flat out lied to. You have been made into a farce. You have been unenlightened. The best quote to describe what I'm trying to say is, "You have been told your entire life that everything you do is right." What's it like to never be told you're wrong. To never be challenged, questioned, invalidated, oppressed, overlooked? To enter any space and assert dominance, to be catered to, to expect things, to feel entitled and never silenced. To have yourself represented anywhere and everywhere, to be in power and to be the ones to tell the rest of society, this country, and more broadly this world - how's it's supposed to be - in your own image? All rhetorical and none require a response but it's time to think. To step down, to redistribute the power, to create equity not equality. This is not the blame game, but it is time to take responsibility for how you've benefitted from a system of oppression and work to change that atmosphere where people are seen as than whole, unworthy, undesirable, or alien if they do not fit certain standards. Standards I may so blatantly point out have been made up, people have just chosen to adhere to them. There's no right way to be any identity. This past week I got so damn fed up with my own fraternity brothers because it can be a hypermasculine, bro-this, guys-that nonstop sausage fest. Check your privilege. Check it. Check it, for goodness sake's check it. Difference does not equal wrong. Because someone is different than you does not make you better, or them worse - just different. We should not accepting or tolerating difference - you don't have to "endure" or "acknowledge" me, you need to celebrate it. Everyone has a different story to tell, no matter how much we try to minimize differences, we brush over the important fact that WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT. No two people are the same. Some people's differences are more visible than others. You don't choose to be different, you just are. This world has been tailored for one kind of person that is straight white able-bodied males; anything else is seen as weird, a variation or a straying from that standard. It's may appear to the be norm - but there's no such thing as a norm; we are human beings not collector's items.

Here's my example from last week (and well my life living in a white man's world). I identify as male, but contrary to popular belief there's not one singular way to be male. Your background and your culture help determine how you express yourself. I don't care about cars, I barely like driving them. I'm not handle, and don't put things together if I don't have to. I don't like the outdoors. Hiking, fishing, hunting etc. seem pointless to me. I can't stand my own facial hair. I don't skate/long-board. I don't know how to change a tire or my oil. I don't watch sports religiously. I don't chug beer, actually I don't drink alcohol at all. I don't spend endless hours talking about women comparing them, rating them, chasing after them and my ultimate goal with them is not to sleep to with them. I do however love movies, music, TV, pop culture. I love clothing and shopping. I enjoy taking pictures, writing, painting, cooking, and even dancing.  I play obscene amounts of video games, and enjoy a non-competitive game of tennis. I used to fight with my three older brothers. I read books and make videos. I cry, talk and listen. I'm in the market for a girlfriend. I am a man. I am a man the same as you. I am a man different from you. It does not matter, I am still a man. I don't care how you live your life, but you do NOT get to tell me how to live mine. No one has that right, and it's time you stop placing judgment on difference. Think of the opposite, I could just as easily question your manhood (because that's like a thing) for you all valuing all those things (as stereotypical as they may be) and I would not have the right to do so. Let guys be guys. We're not effeminate, we're not prissy bitches, we're not dolls, we're not girls (there would be nothing with that if we were). But anything that's not seen as male-centric is attributed to women and subsequently being bad or undesirable. This all applies for woman with "traditional" (screw tradition) male-like attributes. You don't know me. You don't know anything about me. You will not and never can never know all there is to know about me. I don't have to justify myself to you, and you also are not obligated to berate, antagonize or question anyone's masculinity.  I choose you to be a more thoughtful individual, to choose to be aware, and to be inclusive.

The 20s are all about checking society. The excuse of unawareness is no longer valid. Own up to the privileges you've been oblivious. Challenge the beliefs you've had. Acknowledge societies daily affirmations of your status in this country (both good and bad) and then do something about them. Ignorance may be blissful but it also keeps you blind to what else is going on. Open your eyes and ears. There's not one (aka a right way to be any identity). You choose you, not I choose you. 

My blog post question for the day is ... what is something about yourself you've never thought about? I think my most overlooked privilege other than being male is being temporarily able-bodied (temporarily because at any moment you could become disabled). 


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