“Consider the possibility that we can change the aspects of our lives that we most take for granted.” –– Dr. Angela Davis
I figured I’d take a moment to jot down some of the thoughts that have been jostling around in my head for the last few days. It’s become glaringly apparent to me how small my life use to be and how I very well could have died without achieving much or really even enjoying something as simple as a vacation with my family. It wasn’t until I was an adult that my family and I even went anywhere together outside of the south to visit other family. (I do not count the one horrific trip to Wildwood, NJ I vaguely remember that began and I feel ended with me toileting on the side of the road.)
The point is, it just wasn’t something we thought to do as a unit or if it did come up the obstacles to actually executing it seemed so insurmountable that the effort to make it happen seemed futile. This mentality infused my thoughts about college: I didn’t even apply when I was in high school because it never occurred to me to apply (and not an adult in my life either apparently). My career choice: Despite always being a strong writer in school, and even being told by my 11th grade English teacher that I should be a writer. The idea that I could make a living with my words seemed far beyond me. That was for other people. Sadly, I come from a culture of folks that continue to think and believe in the same way, and no, I don’t mean black folks. I mean people who were just not made to feel that happiness, abundance, achievement, spiritual and emotional fulfillment could exist on this earthly plane, and if so … not for us.
I’m so grateful that I was “found” and made to believe that in this life I could go after whatever it is I desire. The even greater realization was that the satisfaction dwells in the pursuit, and not the goal. All these themes came up last evening when I attended Dr. Angela Davis’s lecture at Davidson College. She was amazing, unabashed, and everything that I want to be when I grow into my big-girl self. She spoke of the freedom fight of Black America and how it is a galvanizing force in the fight for human rights globally, something I have believed for a very long time. There was so much said that filled my spirit I felt sure my heart would burst.
The above quote is what tied all of Dr. Davis’s beautifully simple yet profound words together for me. Although the “wrong” in the world and in our lives seems unconquerable, the hope is found in latent potential for good/better/the best that lives in us all. The possibilities can be unleashed with just the slightest bit of action on our part, like finishing that degree, like making our beds, like spending that extra hour with our family, like spending that extra hour with self. Seems like a load of jive to you? Test the theory, the results may shock you ;).