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  • Alisa Stamps

I Am So (fill in the blank)!

I am mad. No. Not strong enough. I am enraged. I am disgusted, disheartened, and beyond frustrated. I am losing/have lost faith. I am feeling hopelessness and despair for this world that we currently live in.

I am also tired. At times, I am not motivated. At times, I am ridiculously productive. I want to do everything and nothing all at once. I am making a difference. I don’t know how to make a difference.

I do self-care. I ride my bike. I start my day with something kind, like yoga or meditation. I also lay on the couch aimlessly scrolling. Or sometimes, I just watch TV.

How does this all get better? I am lost in that answer. I am divisive in that answer. I am split between anger and empathy. I am split between pointing fingers tingling with judgment and trying to understand those who raise their voices strongly against things that I don’t believe.

Here’s what I do believe. I believe in science. I believe that it is a sign of respect toward others for me to wear a mask. I believe that there is nothing more beautiful than diversity and authentic Self. I believe that very few in power positions are protecting us during this frightening, uncertain time. I believe that others don’t care if others live or die—that their “freedom” is deemed more important than anything else. Does believing all of this make things better?

I also believe that the systems have failed these people miserably and that they aren’t even Aware of that. For that I feel empathy. I also feel privilege. I acknowledge my white privilege. I acknowledge the position that I am in. That I can sit here writing to all of you, as if I know I have something to say that you might want to read. I acknowledge that the systems have not “failed” me. Well, maybe a little, because of being a woman. But not as much as if I were Black. Not as much as if I were a Black woman. Does knowing all of this make things better?

It is my ethical duty to think about all of this. To ponder it. To ask myself and others these difficult, uncomfortable questions. To acknowledge when I haven’t done the “right” thing. When I’ve taken things for granted or haven’t used my voice enough. I am obligated to leave this world a better, more just place. I am obligated to call out those that spew hate. And lies. And danger.

And even though I am tired. Even though sometimes I’m not sure what to say—I will keep trying. Even when I am feeling hopelessness and despair for this world that we currently live in. Even then.

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