Updates, Plus Some Thoughts on Who We Are to Each Other
summer is almost over and I am thinking about the people I love
First, some updates.
I created a website for the nonprofit Anything Helps. Their work supports unhoused people in the Seattle area access support and housing, working from the ground up to fill the gaps left by slow-moving bureaucratic solutions. Go support them if you can.
I’ve had some stuff published: Summer Depression Takes Another Throat into her Mouth & I Fistfight My Body in the Dark.
I was awarded a grant by We Need Diverse Books.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the different roles we play in each other’s lives. There are, I think, roughly two groups most of the people I love fall into: those who unconditionally and unquestioningly cheerlead me, and those who keep me honest. I don’t value either group more than the other; perhaps others do, perhaps to some, one thing is more important than the other. I don’t think I could manage without either one. I need people who will lift me up and insist what I’m doing is great and matters even when I’m not sure, even when I don’t feel it myself. I am too often too full of self-doubt not to rely on that kind of thing. I also need people who won’t let me get away with shit, who will look at me in my shifty little eyes and say, “You can do better,” when they know I can. My parents both fall into the latter category, and perhaps if they didn’t, I wouldn’t value the former as much as I do. This is not to say I am anything but grateful for my parents; I have always felt unconditionally loved and supported by them. It is just to say that being raised by two people who don’t let you get away with shit when you can do better tends to train the louder voices in your head to instinctively self-examine and self-critique, to always wonder if what you are doing is an actual effort or just an attempt to get away with something.
I do not know who I am to other people. I don’t know if we ever really can know that kind of thing. I suspect I am more honest than I am unquestioningly kind, though I do my best to wrap honesty in kindness whenever I can, the way Sour Patch Kids are studded with sugar. Either way, I’m not sure it matters. What I want is not to deliver a particular kind of service to the people I love; what I want is to offer them something, something they can hold onto, something that lets them square their shoulders and lift their chin as they keep moving. Perhaps this is an unrealistic desire. Nevertheless, it’s what I want, to be of use to the people I care about. I think there are probably worse things to want.
Until next time,