My term of the month
For the first time, I took a step back from Instagram. I posted a couple stories here and there, but I detached from checking into my favorite accounts and I didn’t post. AND IF FELT SO GOOD. I listened to what my body/mind needed. This is what I learned.
I am so obsessed with proving things to myself and others - that internalized capitalism holds me captive so many of the times. Society bombards us with that message from the moment we are born: that we need to PROVE we have worth and a purpose. And in order to PROVE it, we need BUY into the idea that status, money, productivity will give us that worth. Oh and we need to literally BUY the things that will get us there or prove that we are worth something. This sounds so extreme, but its in the air we breathe just as white supremacy is in the air we breathe.
I’m so tired of having to prove myself to feel good. That’s not liberation! With this break, I have a new found energy to be intentional not to be ruled my addiction to prove that I’m worthy. Because I’m worthy already. We all are. What better way to use my energy than to that! Dismantling oppressive systems starts in me believing that I’m whole and invaluable.
July 4th was heavy for a lot of us. So my friends (Brit and Alex) and I went to the MCA to this exhibit, and then I spent the rest of the day/night in bed.
End Detention/Welcome Immigrants Protest:
It was powerful to come together with so many people in Chicago to march against camps and I.C.E. The fight continues. Continue to donate to RAICES. Get plugged into your local community organizers who are doing proactive things in protection of immigrants. If you’re in Rogers Park, Chicago, connect with PROTECTRP. Keep on staying active and engaged with what is happening - it is easy to look away especially if you have the privilege to do so, but don’t give in. Keep on calling your representatives and talking to your friends about it, because what is happening is atrocious and it must STOP. Our country has done it systematically to Black, Indigenous, and People of Coordinations since the beginning, and we all need to do our part - in urgency.
By Jean Kwok
After I read “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng, I was craving something similar, and I found! This book is similar in themes of mystery and a body of water. It also addresses themes of Asian identities, racism, and family dynamics, which always resonates with me. It was enjoyable! But I will have to say “Everything I Never Told You” is better by far.
By Shay-Akil McLean / @hood_biologist
As I’m learning about the multiplicity of gender, this article was so helpful in developing a decolonized framework.
by Shay-Akil McLean / @hood_biologist
A more recent piece by Shay-Akil - addressing intersectionality!!
Swarm art residency:
I attended my first art residency this month! It was from July 19-22 with SWARM, and it was EXACTLY what I needed. I cried twice because I was having so much fun and was having a lot of soulful connections and conversations. I carpooled to Scattergood Boarding School property in Iowa with a few other artists, and it was such a fun ride. Since I was going into this without knowing one person, it was comforting to already have spent 4 hours with three other artists.
Within the first couple hours we were all gathered for an orientation called “Power, Privilege, and Race” (I think it’s called that.) Basically, the residency facilitators lead an open discussion about power, privilege, race - it emphasized on consent and we all brainstormed about how to care for one another well when it comes to race, gender, and sexual orientation. Mid session, we separated into two groups - white people and BIPOC, and then discussed different scenarios and also shared what we needed in the next couple of days to really thrive. I already was tearing up every 10 minutes, because I’m rarely in places that are so caring and informed.
So the next couple of days were filled with healing workshops, deep conversations, lots of laughter, communal meals, art making, swimming, and more amazing conversations. One of my favorite workshops was about our relationship with time. For me, how time feels really oppressive, because I constantly feel like I need to use the hours to the best of my ability - to prove that I’m productive - like what I wrote above. The workshop leader lead us through a group tarot reading, and that was probably the closest experience I’ve had to how church should be. It was completely uplifting, loving, and full of truth. Everyone spoke into each other’s lives, and it was such a generous and light space. I’ll share part of what I was reminded of little later in this blog post.
My favorite moment was on the second night after two days of extreme heat. A bunch of us skinny dipped late at night in this little pond. The water was warm and the air was really magical. We talked about all sorts of things and there was SO MUCH LAUGHTER. I really felt present and really blissed out. Nothing crazy happened, but it was so deeply enjoyable. I seriously cried about it after, because it made me realize that I don’t get these kinds of experiences often enough!! It was the combination of being outside, being oriented, being around kind friends, being in water, feeling safe, and not having a worry. So simple.
Month of July was an EPIC month for Intersectional Fridays. FIRST WEEK was Dr. Kiona from @hownottotravellikeabasicbitch, SECOND WEEK was @dr.rosalesmeza, Third week I was at the residency, and FOURTH WEEK was Sharyn from @gutsygirlart. If you’re familiar with BIPOC activism world, you know that these three people are POWERHOUSE UNAPOLOGETIC women, who I look up to so much. What an honor to have them invest in Intersectional Fridays.
WOW. I don’t have words to say about how much I have learned from Dr. Rosales. How many messages we have sent each other - mostly Dr. encouraging me and sending me truth reminders about my worth and agency. Her light is so powerful that it has shaped so much of how I’ve grown in the last couple of months. Dr. Rosales’ efforts are focused on BIPOC wellness through dismantling white supremacy/colonialism/capitalism. She champions healing and is well informed on racial trauma and how toxic academia and white wellness are. I’m incredibly thankful to have someone who models a journey of decolonization and health.
I’m turning 30 in august:
So many thoughts that I will share more with you in my August roundup. But for now, if you would like to send me birthday coffee money, feel free to VENMO ME! Cant’t believe I’m turning 30 - feels like I’ve waited my whole life for this. FEELING ALL THE LEO FEELS!!