A few years ago, I started letting go of many films in my ritual because, as someone pointed out to me, I ostensibly wanted to bring change into my life and perhaps doing the same thing over and over again was not serving that purpose. And, hello, watching He’s Just Not That Into You on Valentine’s Day was perhaps not the most efficacious way to find my semi-permanent dance partner.
The symptoms of suppressed rage and grief are still there, whether we acknowledge them or not. I’ve come to appreciate this as an inexorable truth. As I rankle with my own experience of whiteness, I’ve been paying particular attention to my internalized scripts around conflict. Picture a child holding her fingers in her ears, going, “Lalalalalala, I can’t hear you.” That’s pretty much how I’ve dealt with conflict…
If you’ve not been through this phase, particularly as a female-identified human or person with a uterus, I gotta tell you: rough. It’s been the greatest opportunity for me to dig deep and try to tell a new story try to learn how to give myself love, grace, and time for healing. One thing that’s 1000% helped is getting my groove on.
The first time it happened, it was really unplanned. I was twelve. My best friend had thrown me over for cooler girls. There I sat at home on a Friday night, not at a slumber party with the rest of them. So, I invited Loneliness over to hang out. Always so obliging, so eager, that Loneliness. Unlike me, she never begrudged being the substitute friend when there was no one better or more interesting to fill the social calendar.
Despite all that, my most visceral memory from that year will always be sitting in a car on a cold, rainy, fall afternoon with the mother of one of the shooting victims. We formed a friendship during that season and had gone out to a local school to talk about resilience. When we got back in the car to leave, she checked her voicemail, had gotten a call from her son who was refusing to go to school. Again
There’s an invisible mountain of emotional weight that comes with someone’s itchy trigger finger on the mute button. That seemingly small impediment, the blocked red microphone icon, prevents spontaneous thought from bubbling up, spilling forth, being shared in the moment.