A few months ago I wrote a post titled “Remembering/Nor Forgetting.” This present post is a continuation of “Remembering/Not Forgetting.” It was written in late May, but never published.
Yesterday I stepped inside the high school I had attended as an adolescent. It was a bittersweet moment. Walking down the halls triggered a series of poignant memories of then uneventful/meaningless/every-day situations. These last few months I had taken an “it is what it is/was” approach to a lot of things that have happened in my neighborhood/community. I had focused on accepting things as they are, and as they were. Now my thoughts are changing. Lately I have glanced away from my community, and have begun focusing on how many of the issues I encountered at home affect large quantities of forgotten/ignored/abandoned people around the world. The pain I’ve felt has intensified. I have felt less hopeful than I felt when I focused on my community and what I viewed as my own. It is easier for me to acknowledge that a lot of unfair situations have, unfortunately, happened in the spaces I call home. For some reason, viewing these issues as a type of systematic oppression affecting communities, like my own, across the city, state, country, and world is strenuous work. A lot of the issues I am focusing on seem, in my perspective, to be too political, too economical, too social; they feel too out of my control. Not being able to perceive at least an illusion of control is difficult for me. I am holding onto the injustices that have happened in my community because I don’t believe it is time to focus on other things. I have pondered on the idea of letting go of the memories of injustices; but, have decided against this. I am not ready to let go of the memories or the feelings accompanying these memories because I believe that letting go is synonymous with accepting things as they are/were. My personal goal is to not allow ‘what is,’ or ‘what was,’ to define ‘what has to be.’ My current focus is to change my ‘it is what it is’ and ‘it is what it was’ into ‘it doesn’t have to be.’ I firmly believe that the moment I cease to feel as I feel about these issues, both within and outside my home community, is the moment I forget, and neglect, the places and people that make my community my home. I will hold on to how I felt and what I remember until I perceive, based on what is happening in the world, that it is time to let go. These feelings create a strong sense of duty within me; they motivate me, and fuel my ability, to continue in this unjust world.