Lately, I’ve been having a quarter life crisis. Believe me, as dumb as that sounds, it is completely and totally real. I feel like I’ve lost myself in the belief that I’m not perfect enough and that everything in society is wrong and everyone around me is an enemy because we all perpetuate these societal ideals that wind up oppressing people around us at various levels, etc. Then today, I had a realization. What if my fight isn’t a violent one?
I think that coming to consciousness is a strange process. If we look at societal trends, as well as astronomy, we are currently in the Age of Aquarius. In the 60’s when this began and hippie attitudes were rampant, everyone thought “We’ll all going crazy!” and then things settled back down and suburbia reigned once more. Until, there came in the 2000’s an alternative wave that continues to expand today. Futurism, Afrofuturism, Alternative ways of living and presenting, etc. came flying to the forefront. Well, that’s kind of how Aquarians function. I know, I am one. We have times of what seems to be “crazy” and “revolutionary” followed by seasons of what seems “Calm”. The Age of Aquarius filters, new belief systems, a coming to consciousness, a chaos, a revolution, an educated stance, an interest in the paranormal, old souls, etc. As I look around me, I realize that violence is so rampant, not just in out and out killing although that is there, but there’s an oppression that is almost nice in its approach, yet there is a violence about it. There’s a violence in not allowing a person the time to choose and explore their voice. There’s a violence present in even the most minute of misogyny, sexism, racism, ableism, etc. In many ways, I feel that I’ve retreated to the depths of solitude. My friend group is small, I isolate myself on purpose. But is that a necessary step? Where is the peace amid the violence?
If there’s anything I’ve learned in the last few weeks, it’s that we make our lives in the very real social constructs. Angela Davis, a woman I have always admired is in fact an academic, a fellow Aquarian, who although radical, chose very specifically how she would engage in the movement. She was just radical enough to maintain her academic life. Assata Shakur, another woman that I have always admired took another route in the movement for freedom. A different kind of violent stance and is now living in Cuba, a life that seems not exactly what she chose but was worth it in the attempt to dismantle the world that is violently oppressing. controlling and killing black and brown bodies. Both radical, knowledgable, strong, and yet eerily like myself and my friends. We could choose the paths they chose. Will we? We learn about these people in history classes in college, freshman year, eyes wide and hearts open and yet the ways that we learn about them insinuate that we can never be them. Is that society attempting to keep us heads down and an active part in the established societal oppression? Both Angela and Assata probably had the same realization moments that I had and am having. So who do I want to be with the knowledge of my ancestors and who I come from? Who do you want to be?
I’m slowly beginning to realize just how vast life can be. In one life, there is no guide book of this is how life will be. There are steps and we choose them and we fail or fly or just remain. I don’t ever want to live in materialism or mediocre. I want to remain real. The most interesting thing to me is the humanness of a human being. I know that sounds crazy but I’ve met human beings who are anything but human. They are what society makes them, authority figures, talking heads, oppressive structures in human form, materialistic barbie dolls, etc. How does one live outside of that while still being able to eat, live, work and exist?! That is the question. I keep waiting for the answer as though at 24 years old, it’s going to land in my lap and well, things just don’t work out like that. I wish they did.
But, in taking a closer dive to the positive. What if my life isn’t immediate change in revolutionary action? What if I use my art as my voice and live the change while still searching for happiness and acceptance?
To love, hard work, and self-love