Are feelings useful or useless?
February 21, 2011, 9:42 pm
Filed under: Human Potential

I’m trying to post some old drafts that never made it, all in the name of being less judgemental. Opening the gates…

From Feb. 6, 2011

So, this past week (or maybe a bit longer) I’ve been holding onto major irritation with how I’m spending the days of my life, feeling boxed in when it comes to options for my nappy-ass, socially unacceptable hair, and just feeling unsatisfied with living in a culture that seems indifferent to matters of race and individuality.

I guess a lot of times when I feel frustrated I try to make myself feel better, telling myself things like, “change gone come…” But trying a different approach, feeling and allowing my feelings, I think is right for me right now. 

Accepting feelings of hurt instead of trying to chase them away, I think is opposite self-help (and yoga) wisdom, but I’ve always disliked how self-help tells someone to do something right now. In real life people find their own “path” to doing what’s right for them. Without the path, it’s less likely someone will find personal meaning in a life change and more likely they’ll be kind of insincere or fake in following the self-help advice.

To me, this quote (below) is in the same “spirit.” It passes on self-help wisdom that discourages being “negative,” such as the saying that being “negative” draws negative energy. What if being real (even if real is angry or irritated) draws more realness to your life. That’s what I want.

“All I can do is act according to my deepest instinct, and be whatever I must be — crazy or ribald or sad or compassionate or loving or indifferent. That is all anybody can do.” — Katherine Butler Hathaway (Of course, people can also be insincere, and not allow their true feelings.)


Home of the brave
February 21, 2011, 1:10 am
Filed under: Human Potential

This lady gave me a disgusted look (briefly before looking away) today. I was trying to see the cover of some books she had on her table in Starbucks. Looked like some books of photos she had taken, one with a picture of a couple on the front. 

Anyway, it helped confirm a hypothesis I had that I’d prefer a mean mug to an insincere smile. I know you’ve seen it. People do it all the time, even I do it. But when I do it it’s more of a quick, closed-mouthed smile that turns into a mean mug to show I’m unreceptive to unwanted attention, or someone’s forced smile. 

I don’t want anyone to stress herself out to smile at me when she doesn’t feel like it. Smiling when you don’t want (cousin to asking “How are you?” and walking away) must be unsettling, kind of like being forced to eat when you’re not hungry or wake up when you’re really tired. I feel the pain of the “oppressed” parties just thinking of those scenarios. Ugh.

I think the oppression I’m referring to is self-oppression, and it seems to be encouraged a lot in our “free society” in the name of politeness. Is it still self-oppression if it’s encouraged, like at work, or just in general? 

Before the Starbucks incident today, one of my favorite co-workers at the gym where I work part-time, said that in Russia, employees don’t help customers in stores or go out of their way to be nice to them because they don’t work on commission and “everybody’s the same because everybody gets paid the same.”

“Isn’t that weird?” she said. I think she was trying to say she was glad it wasn’t like that here in the U.S., but when she said that I felt like “home” was closer than I thought. Someone else on the planet knew what it meant to be free.

That doesn’t mean there’s no hope in the U.S. We just have to be brave enough to free ourselves. 

To see myself in what’s written – can’t be right
February 19, 2011, 7:40 pm
Filed under: Human Potential

Wow. I feel like my prev posts really suck, and partly don’t even reflect what I really think, at least since I last wrote. People are sometimes kind of reluctant to talk about race, and sometimes treat it like a non-issue. When talking about race has gone well, it’s pleasantly surprised me.

I get a lot of denial that black people are discriminated against; one friend told me all women have issues with not looking like the “ideal” women models represent, even if they are white. But I think what I notice is just a lack of representation of black women in magazines, and also movies, almost like we still have a segregated society where whites are always addressed, as if black people don’t exist or are only a quarter of a person.

Another person whom I think is otherwise super cool told me that people mostly date within their race because it’s what’s comfortable, kind of like how sparrows don’t mate with cardinals. I later found out that the birds are different species.

A guy who initially asked me what I look for in a man, debated with me that interracial dating is something people don’t really care about and that the race divide in this country will be only undone with time, not interracial dating. He said he believed in supporting “black love” and “breaking down barriers” within the black race, using my same words for what I thought interracial dating could do for race relations.

Really the lack of interracial dating and the racial divisions are just a symptom of a bigger problem, which is that people generally don’t like to face tough situations or possible rejection. Thank goodness, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abe Lincoln weren’t like that. These days everyone wants to say that things are so much better, end of story. Not me.

Anyway, here’s to freedom of expression… leaving my two previous posts untouched. Feel like doing so shows myself some love. Still no theme. I guess I’ll create one when I start to feel like I should, which may never happen.


P.S. I know the quarter of a person thing would be from slave days and from a google search, I guess it was three-fifths of a person, but I truly believe that sometimes we’re right even though we seem wrong based on outside facts or ideas. There’s a part of us that just knows stuff.