This blog was a risk. This blog felt vulnerable and scary. But, this blog has also been freeing. I’ve gained a space to think and wonder but I still feel nervous almost every time I post something.
I haven’t posted in a few days (almost two weeks) because I’ve been angry and also buried in school work. Instead, I’ve been scribbling my thoughts in a notebook begging for a moment to make sense of everything. At the same time, I’m really craving a chance to just spew some (possibly) utter chaos and just leave it here so that it’s somewhere and I can move beyond it.
Here I go…
I’ve come to one of the biggest realizations of my life these past few days:
“The system is only a system if you buy into it”
[Side Note: I use a lot or metaphors and write in cyclical notions. It’s because metaphors make space. That’s a double meaning. They allow me to explain myself and explore what I’m thinking when either I don’t have the words or I don’t want to confront the words. They provide a necessary element of distance while also providing direct insight into how I’m thinking and feeling. Anyway, these days I’m attempting to make metaphors work because then I don’t have to “own” everything just yet. I can make space and take space through one simple (kinda) conversation.]
What a troubling realization. Basically, life shattering. All this is to say EVERYTHING is socially constructed and things only have meaning if we allow them to have meaning. From grades, to language, to religion, and relationships the meanings we attribute to them and the agreed upon social understanding of these ideas are what perpetuate them. Another day maybe I’ll dabble in a conversation about race, gender, and sexual identity in a similar vein because the same logic applies. BUT, I don’t want to get into that right now.
Regardless, this whole sentiment makes me think a lot!
If I think too much, and allow myself to wander down that windy path, it makes me question if anything matters at all. Not in a hopeless way, but in a curious way. If we can break down each construct and get to the bottom of all this thinking, underneath it all, we’re just people. I DO realize the danger of a statement like that!
But really, if I think this through enough it’s like nothing is actually real until we make it real. And in so many ways, making it real means attributing a label or value to what we’re experiencing. Remember, “The system is only a system if you buy into it”. This meaning making requires us to create and make sense of arbitrary distinctions and agree to attribute value or worth to them in order to reinforce hierarchies or beliefs that in some ways separate us and in other ways bring us closer together or build us up. Although, even when we’re being built up, it’s always in contrast to someone who is necessarily considered “less than” us. Otherwise, how would we reinforce these systems and structures?
So, it begs the question, if the systems only exists because we allow them to, then how can we say that anything is really real? And, if we’re ascribing to this perspective, and can rationalize that nothing is real, then clearly, nothing really matters. Okay, let’s say there for a second. If nothing really matters BUT we can’t escape the classifications and hierarchies (systems and structures) that are literally the foundational aspects of the word we live in, then does anything matter only because we let it matter? Are we simply learning to live as compliant beings and play our part in systems that we cannot change? Are we upholding the systems by performing our expected behaviors and not challenging our roles?
I’ll concede. Yes, there’s logic and order associated with the extent to which we accept and act out our roles and comply with the understanding that the world works in a certain “way”. But really, I can’t help but wonder what it would take to make it all stop for a second so we can catch our breath and realign our expectations and so we can take a good look at our world and consider what REALLY matters?
It makes my head spin!