In case you wondered…
I’m not doing this for you. I’m doing this because writing helps me process things, things that I may not at first be sure how I feel about, good and bad, that seem important to me. I’m only as strong as my weakest link. Come along if you like. I’d appreciate the company.
I’m probably going to overshare on these pages. I can guarantee you I will be outrageous from time to time. It’s not lost on me that I most recently had a passion for thinking out loud and publicly at time in my life where I felt a little lost; a time where I felt there was little in my life that I had control over. I’ve grown a lot since then and I suppose the kind of political ranting I did on The Red Hog Diary between 2006 and 2009 can be found on thousands of other sites today. We don’t need more of that.
I’m seeking to find a way forward with a new disconnect I feel. I’m Mexican American and was raised Midwestern in a predominantly white town of mostly wonderful people during the 60’s. I also used to weigh 500 pounds. I tell you this because those distinctions formed my world view in a way that offered a specific insight into otherness. I was blessed to very rarely be the victim of direct hostility but I heard all of the whispers, I noticed all of the second disapproving glances and deciphered the coded stories meant to put me in my place.
I never allowed my experience to make me bitter. Ok that’s a lie. I have to battle bitterness all the time. I can tell you I’m generally an obnoxious big and loud positive attitude extrovert but there are other times that I’m convinced you can’t beat a good wallowing. But let’s not go there until we have to!
I’m seeing a lot of “cheer up” and “Let’s just move along” advice being dispensed to people who feel threatened by the political discourse in the world today. You might be trying to help but I gotta tell you, nothing could be less helpful or more unwelcome than hearing those words by someone feeling vulnerable. Consider rather how healing it could be to just be heard when someone is compelled to share their fears or their pain. You should feel honored that someone would trust you with such. That being said; I’m half white, I’ve lost over 200 pounds and I have a college education, a great job, a lovely wife and amazing children. I tell you that because those distinctions form my world view in a way that offers a specific insight into majority. So… I have to check my privilege every day. Don’t get defensive about that. Accept any privileges you can imagine and be thankful for them.
But you can’t turn off being gay, you can’t hide dark skin and you should not, in this great nation, ever have to hide your religion or lack thereof. I believe there is divinity in all of us. Whether you believe we were created in God’s image or are the result of a beautiful evolution the human spirit is indomitable and precious. You know it when the sun warms your shoulders. You know it when you stand in awe of natures beauty and you know it when you experience that warm little shiver that washes over you in a particularly poignant moment.
We are all just trying to get along. No matter how together we appear to be on the outside it’s my experience that insecurity and hidden pain can be so close to the surface we don’t know where to turn. Not always. But sometimes. And so I think that is what the new Red Hog Diary is going to be about. I’m going to try and make sense of why I fall short with doing the right thing too often, why I sometimes prepare argument when I should listen and I want to focus on how I can best support those who feel vulnerable around us. I know when I feel weak I count on the strength of others. In doing so, maybe I can just drive away some of the demons that keep me awake at times. We need more of all that I think.