Friday, September 4, 2009
A Masters in Anxiety
Working to earn degrees in topics regarding struggles like Women and Gender studies, Queer Studies, African American Studies, perhaps even History (if it’s not just about rich white men) and other areas of study such as those never prepare you for emotional instability, which is what will happen once the ignorance blind is removed. It almost seems like a conspiracy now that I think about it; get smart, sensitive people to learn about all the oppressions, pain, suffering madness of the world and they will be immobilized by the greatness and vastness of the horrors. They will become so overwhelmed it will be hard for them to pick a spot to start improving on. I mean really, where does one begin? Everything is tied together in a string of disgusting orgy isms—it’s like when all my techno cords get wrapped around each other and it takes me hours just to free my i-pod from my cell phone charger.
And none of us want to give up, we know that is the opposite of a solution, but sometimes walking away from the tangle is all we can do.
Gloria Anzaldua writes, “Every increment of consciousness, every step forward is a travesia, a crossing. I am again an alien in new territory. And again, and again. But if I escape conscious awareness, escape “knowing,” I won’t be moving. Knowledge makes me more aware, makes me more conscious. “Knowing” is painful because after “it” happens I can’t stay in the same place and be comfortable. I am no longer the same person I was before,” (Borderlands/La Frontera 48).
Every time we learn something, no matter what it is, we change. Perhaps that is why some of us drink so much, so as to forgot and attempt not to change; it’s scary not being where we were before--going into new territory.
Sometimes my heart feels so heavy like it wants to flutter out of my body and fly away. It makes me want to cry. It makes me question if I would have been better off not knowing. If by staying still and avoiding conscious awareness I could be happier. There is a chance I would enjoy reality t.v. and eating hamburgers and watching really bad romantic comedies. But I don’t. Because my “knowing” has led me from feeling comfortable in those environments. I consciously can not be anywhere without some form of feminist analysis taking place. This is what I went to school for? To learn how to deconstruct and see through everything?
Maybe I don’t always WANT to see through everything. Maybe sometimes I just want to be. I want to be comfortable. I want my heart to stay in my body and quit fluttering around. I find it problematic that we learn about all these oppressions without any type of preparation for what it may do to us mentally; with the knowledge how can we stop the anxiety, the depression, the guilt? Is it something that we need to stop or is it something we are given, almost like a gift, to learn to work through ourselves and become stronger from it?
I think it’s somewhat funny how many of us go into these areas of study with the intention of learning how to save the world and when it’s over what we really need to learn is how to save ourselves.