The Purge – Heart
If I know you, I love you
(This goes out to all the people who believe in me, and have helped me in any way to becoming the person I am today.)
I’m in the lab now. I started this (project) at 12:30am, and its 4:30 now, and I’m nowhere near done. This all began because I was inspired to write my roommate a letter telling her that I appreciate her. In the fog of war, I’ve been stupid congested. I feel things, but don’t express them in the moment because I’m usually processing something unrelated in the same moment that is taking my energy. In that way, I guess I am a bit robotic as a few people have alluded. To them I say, let me live – I bring difference to this life and my interactions. I actually do care quite a bit about people, but the messaging gets lost in the fray.
To everyone I care about family, friends, co-workers, and everyone else I know…
I care about you all – when I talk to you, think about you, or even when I don’t think about you, I’m always hoping that positivity is coming your way. The weird thing about my life is I’m always finding connections between what I experience and what I’m reading.
When I was reading Dr. Kunjufu’s Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys, he mentions that men are raised from birth to disconnect from their emotions. And that communication was a skill set that has been historically linked to women. I love Dr. Kunjufu’s work. Oddly enough his publishing house is located close to where I grew up in Chicago. I love that his books bring words to many of the things I’ve witnessed, thought, and experienced in my life. They give me the language in which I am able to communicate and think critically about my life and role as teacher, student, and researcher.
I didn’t initially believe or connect with his words. Dr. Kunjufu writes in a way that is too matter of fact for me. However, like Basquiat, I digest his thoughts and create my own interpretation for the world I touch. (Interpretation is actually a powerful concept I’ve been playing with in my head ever since I began teaching. It’s liberating to be exposed to something, think about that experience, and in return create whatever product my mind deems acceptable to produce. <<– Jargon trash)
In reflection, the book really does speak to my experiences right now. I absolutely know that I don’t communicate how I feel to the people in my life nearly as much as I should! For that I apologize. I really do appreciate you! And want to take this time to thank you for everything that you’ve done for me. Whether it’s cleaning the bathroom, picking up the slack in a class, calling me when I forget to call you first, sending me an interesting article to read, starting a Gay and Straight Alliance at my school, whatever…
“Much debate has taken place over the last decade concerning the significance of biological and sociological factors contributing to male development. Physiologically, males have X and Y-chromosomes, while females have X-chromosomes. Males possess the hormone testosterone while the female hormone is estrogen. The chemical make-up of the male body is 40 percent muscle, 15 percent fat; a woman’s is 23 percent muscle and 25 percent fat. These differences have given some researchers the rationale for explaining why men are more aggressive and excel in math, while women are passive and excel in communication. ” (17)
The whole time I was reading I remember going back and forth between accepting statements in the book and rejecting others. For example, I don’t think the opposite of aggression is passivity. (Well, in reflection I guess the opposite is passivity, but I don’t think in absence of one you must embody the other.) I think there is immense power to those that are able to identify and negotiate the usefulness of the grey areas that lie between everything.
I’m getting lost in the details. But overall, thank you for being you! You being you is helping me be me. I try to say thank you in the moment, but I often leave situations without showing my gratitude for the times when you have gone out of your way to show love, support, and camaraderie. This whole project germinated from the need to sit down, and show you what I was thinking about you. So thank you.