This is my first blog post, ever. To start things off, I thought I would post what I wrote in my “About” page. It’s like 1,000 words or something silly (I’m already going overboard), but it clearly and rather intensely illustrates why I’ve bothered to do it at all.
I’m not sure where this blog will take me or if it will garner any interest other than my mom’s sense of obligation. Regardless, this is a personal blog that I’m inviting others to look at; right now, it’s for my own sanity.
I should note that I was inspired to finally create a blog shortly after I saw someone else make her own. Like her, I had spent several years debating if I should dedicate a public space for my writings. It would be cathartic. It could be healing. But it was definitely terrifying, a lot of work, and it made me feel uncomfortably vulnerable. Still, I decided to follow through.
Anyway, here it is:
This blog is cultivated by a predictably self-indulgent 23-year old who, coincidentally, is questioning everything. (Do I unfriend the intellectually vapid racists from high school who’ve outed themselves on Facebook, or do I plunge into the abyssal black hole of hatred…the comment section? Would Daisy Ridley, the badass and agile heroine from Star Wars, ever date a guy like me?)
Colin, or C.E., is a white, CIShet, American male striving for consciousness and an existence rife with self-acceptance, adorable children, and loving community. Also, I’m in the market for a romantic partner to share ice cream dates, family functions, and a substantive loathing for capitalism (inquire within). Just sayin’.
I currently reside in New Jersey and I work for the government. I’m sustained by poverty wages, visions of revolution, and a sickening amount of rice and beans. I love biking and hiking, nighttime walks, cooking and baking, playing with small children at the laundromat, and being around badass radicals.
My long-term goal: become a radical youth educator and community activist. Through this blog, that transformation starts today; I’m ready to embrace my narrative. I’m prepared to engage with our society’s primary oppressors who happen to look a lot like me. I’m looking at you, white men. We’ve got to chat.
This open-ended and public journey of self-expression represents a kind of vulnerability that has been difficult for me to sustain. Even though I’m constantly engrossed by the words of those struggling for social and environmental justice, I have been hesitant to add my voice to the mix in fear that I could not achieve the clarity of expression and exactness of analysis that they practice.
But, yeah, fuck you, Anxiety. It’s time to tear shit up, break down barriers (both personal and societal) and actualize the person that I need myself to be. I hope to put my reservations, thoughts, and prejudices on display so that I may continue to learn about myself; to dismantle my internalized oppressions and my role in perpetuating systematically harmful institutions; and, hopefully with as much zeal as my commitment to justice, to foster a fulfilling life. It’s an attempt to recognize that my compassion for others is not more important than love for myself. And for me, that’s a big deal. It’s a recognition that I don’t know everything, nor do I intend to self-righteously preach. I want to learn. I want to love. I want to be a part of something better.
Most importantly, some of the things that I may talk about, especially those concerning various “-isms,” have all been better discussed, analyzed, and deconstructed by those directly affected by them. I want to recognize my privileges and not speak over those with other lived experiences; I will strive to speak with the humble understanding that stems from first listening in validation to the stories of others. I can only offer my perspective in solidarity as a white male, and I find it important to do so. As white, CIShet, men, we need to get a goddamn grip and take responsibility for the disproportionate destruction we incur upon the world. My aim is not to combatively vilify us, but to broach a dialogue that may help us create a more just and equal reality.
But don’t worry, it won’t all be that serious. There will be kitten GIFs, amusing digressions, and probably a healthy sprinkling of “WTF” rants. We’ll see! Thank you for joining me and I hope you enjoy the musings.
Below is a letter I wrote to convince myself to start this blog. It’s my first step in embracing the radical language that I extend to others, but often not my own life. I hope that it resonates with you.
“Never accept that this is it.” – My undying, visceral mantra.
Because I can’t accept that this is it. You see, it’s a matter of survival. It’s the essence of thriving. I must ground myself in the beauty of the present while dedicating myself to a future that protects bodies of color, challenges patriarchy, sculpts the alternative to corporatist capitalism, promotes ecological sustainability, and values everything in between.
Our destructive consumption persists uncontrollably. Global inequity violently silences too many lives. We’ve lost touch with our humanity, with the Earth, and with ourselves. Through this blog, this stream of social consciousness, I’m proclaiming my unconditional refusal.
I refuse to submit and thoroughly acquiesce to the gnawing anxiety that ravenously devours my ambitions, my intentions of compassion, and the foundation of my resilient, buoyant optimism.
I refuse to cohabitate with oppression, that which seeks to turn away my gaze, thoughts, and care from those in chains different than mine.
I refuse to continuously buckle under the emotional baggage that life shackled to me without my consent, even if I errantly cradle its familiarity. It may always be a part of me, but it will not define me.
I refuse to alienate myself from loved ones (both old and those yet unmet), from nature, and from the communities of people that heroically strive to balance solidarity and solace, resistance and respite.
I refuse to passively benefit from my privilege, and instead dedicate myself to its disruption and deconstruction, to its utter annihilation.
I refuse to believe that cultivating a good life is incompatible with a life dedicated to social and environmental justice. They are not mutually exclusive, and I refuse to neglect my self-care.
It’s time for something else – to evolve my humanity beyond intention and towards meaningful impact. This blog is defiance. This letter is commitment. But it’s also a request: stand with me, share with me. In a world of overwhelming injustice, let us forge value that is not defined by money and possession, but by connection, community, and the strength to face a world we wouldn’t have chosen. So much in life is done to us – decided before we were born and possessed the voices to cry out in protest. Nobody asked what we wanted. Nobody got our consent. Even though we couldn’t choose then, we don’t have to accept it now. I utterly and completely refuse to submit, and so should you.
But, still, let’s always make sure to have some laughs along the way, cus’, shit, then we’ll really lose it.
Through these meandering musings, I hope to glean some semblance of meaning from the ethereal transience of a life in motion. Perhaps I’ll write like two hardly coherent posts, give up, and add this to my “Unfinished Projects That Still Bring Me Pangs of Guilt.” Let’s hope not.
Still, it is purposeful.
I’m choosing something better. Oh, and don’t think I won’t inundate this with pictures of kittens playing in boxes. Because I will. And if you don’t like what I write or think it’s weird, well too fucking bad. Let’s just try and enjoy the ride of life and make it work for us. Our lives depend on it.
With Love and Solidarity,