I poured out my soul on Facebook and decided, just maybe, it’d be a good idea to have it here. I don’t talk a lot about the things of great magnitude. I simply deal. Last year I found a way of dealing that was rather better than my previous methods. I’d still rather my life weren’t so full of things outside my control that insist on going wrong, but, since it is… here are my thoughts for 2019.
Happy New Year everyone An especially happy 2019 to those who had a rough 2018 – 2018 was not an easy year for far too many of my friends.
2018 was the year I had to choose between despairing at the ordure life always throws me or turning the muck into compost and growing flowers. Some flowers bloomed as a result of my decision and, to my great surprise, these flowers sparkle. I’m glad I made the choice to transform bad things rather than wallow in them. My resolution for 2019 is to continue transforming muck into flowers and to rejoice if and when those flowers sparkle.
I’ve noticed that a lot of friends don’t see the garbage thrown at me: not the bigotry, not the closing of doors, not the everyday problems that disability brings forth, not the loneliness.
I am still frustrated when they try to correct me for what they do not see. The most recent example was someone telling me I didn’t have an academic job because I wasn’t good enough at academic things. The sparkling flower that same week was a whole chapter of analysis of a major author in a new book. That analysis rested on my work. Friends give me the muddy end of the experiences at least once a week and strangers more often.
Since this side of ick in my life is not going to go away and me getting angry with the world about what it’s done to my life has not enabled me to lead a good life, my resolution is to turn random neglect or misspeak by friends and strangers into more fertiliser for my garden.
I’m not going to drop otherwise fine souls from my life if they’re idiots. I will help them learn if they’re willing to learn and I will respect them for that. I will, however, give up on people when they are cruel.
I will also refuse to accept the exceedingly low standards of human understanding that fuel Australia. This means I shall remain publicly political (for those who don’t know my past, this is a big decision) and I shall finish and send to a publisher that research that has been my way of addressing problems.
The research is technically about how we embed culture into fiction. In reality, it’s how we carry a lot of invisible culture. I can teach this already (I do teach this already) and writers are already making more aware choices about what they do with their fiction. This is one of my sparkling flowers. What hurts me can help others write better.
Where this comes from is important. I’m still often silenced for life is not entirely safe. I give myself permission to live and thus not to react publicly to every foul thing. I transformed this last year by not accepting the silencing (even the most unintentional) from people, nor the cruelty. I look to see where they come from. I look to see why good people can be cruel and what this means for us as a society. My research is part of this.
There is a certain stupidity that belongs to many well-meant majority culture and/or otherwise culturally privileged people. My resolution for the rest of my life is to understand it and to take responsibility for helping people understand it and to not be casually transgressive towards others. I’m not accepting the labels and judgements I face, you see. I’m saying that no-one should have to face them. This is how my flowers sparkle.