Sunday, January 6, 2008

whining about boxes

Apparently this blog is becoming my diary. Whatever.

What I am not:
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." -Philippeans 4:12

I had a dear friend of mine over for the weekend. She and I met when I was getting clean (a slow process) about ten years ago and we hardly ever connect since she moved to Cali. I crazy love her in all of her hippie glory. As usual, we stayed up (almost) all night talking and debating the lame things that we see around us. And then, something went drastically wrong.
My heart was pounding up against my chest so freakin' hard that all I could hear was the whooshing sound of it pushing and accepting blood. That slamming against my rib cage always tells me that I have officially entered into a purely emotional state. The last statement rang in my ears over and over, "You're just an upper middle class Christian white person who wouldn't understand the adversity that these people face." I wanted to RAGE and cry and scream at her blankity attitude and about all of the blankity stuff that has been going in my life lately. I wanted to blast her with the news that I am feeling crushed under the weight of the problems around me. Instead I said,

"Maybe I make all of this look easier than it really is..." and I breathed in one of those pathetic kid-trying-not-to-cry-kinda-chokes. Upon realizing that I wasn't going to be able to live up to the cardinal rule of debate (that would be: don't take it personally), I hurriedly excused myself from the room.

Sitting outside in the windy rain, I reminded myself that the God within me is bigger than I am. Like a mantra I repeated it over and over. I headed back in, promising myself that I wouldn't cry. I did anyway.

I cried because I am so blankin' tired of feeling misunderstood. I am so tired of feeling on the outside of EVERYTHING and not fitting into ANYWHERE. I'm tired of it and it's lonely and I wish so desperately that I would fit into some pre-approved by culture box that everyone keeps trying to shove me into. I told her that I was sorry for taking it personally, sorry that my emotions were nonsensical, sorry that they seemed disproportionate to the conversation. So we hugged and she apologized too and said, "It's just that you own this house and can afford to stay home. You are the majority, Raquel, whether you acknowledge it or not."

I looked at my hands that lied open on my lap and thought about how I'm in the middle of watching divorce #5 happen, about a major court case go down with a dear friend of mine that looks darker and darker every day (where, against all odds, I have lost absolute faith in the American justice system), about trying to uplift addicts/repeat offenders who just aren't blankity helping themselves, about being three weeks shy of going to Liberia, about intentionally living in this stupid neighborhood where people break our cars and smoke crack and prostitute themselves, about how I'm not sure if we're going to be able to make our mortgage payment without putting some of it on our credit card, and all of this with a husband and five kids asleep down the hall in our 960 sq ft home. I thought about how I feel ostracized in every Christian and non-Christian circle because of how I roll. I felt like the Hulk was about to burst forth outta my skin and brake some more cardinal rules of propriety and political correctness.

I wasn't feeling very content, to say the least.

And she's right. I am white. I am a white girl, born that color and still that color. I am someone who tries super hard to put Jesus first - so she's right about that one. Upper middle class? Not so much. She then says, reacting to my silence, "I think that we can both agree that they need to be advocated for."
And then I say, "Who's advocating for me? I mean, what in the blankity makes them so freakin' different from me? Why aren't we all just people who hurt and who struggle? Why do they need more attention than everyone else?" I waved my arm towards the house and continued, "Is it because I chose Jesus? Because I chose rise above the blankity hand that was dealt to me?"

She smirked a bit and nodded, "Yeah, I guess it is."

And now I think (I'm all worked up again from retelling the story) that I just will never win. I'm not impoverished enough, or gay enough, or brown enough, or black enough, or African enough, or liberal enough, or conservative enough, or educated enough, or handicapped enough, or impoverished enough, or rich enough, or old enough, or young enough to EVER win. I don't want to play this blankity game anymore.

And since this post is already a freakin' monster, I'll leave you with "I Get Out" by Lauryn Hill:

I'll get out
I'll get out of all your boxes
I'll get out, you can't hold me in these chains
I'll get out
Father free me from this bondage
Knowing my condition is the reason I must change
Your stinking resolution is no type of solution
Preventing me from freedom
Maintaining your pollution
I won't support your lie no more
I won't even try no more
If I have to die oh lord that's how I choose to live
I won't be compromised no more
I can't be victimized no more
I just don't sympathize no more
Cause now I understand you just want to use me
You say love, then abuse me
You never thought you'd lose me
But how quickly we forget
That nothing is for certain
You thought I'd stay here hurtin'
Your guilt trips just not working
Repressing me to death
Cause now I'm choosing life yo
I'll take the sacrifice yo
If everything must go then go
That's how I chose to live

No more comprises
I see past your disguises
Blinding me through mind control
Stealing my eternal soul
Appealing through material
To keep me as your slave
But I get out, oh I get out of all of your boxes I get out
Oh you can't hold me in these chains, I'll get out
Oh I want out of social bondage
Knowing my condition is the reason I must change
See what you see is what you get
And oh, you ain't seen nothing yet
Oh, I don't care if you're upset
I could care less if you're upset
see it don't change the truth
And your hurt feelings no excuse
To keep me in this box
Psychological locks
Repressing true expression
Cementing this repression
Promoting mass deception
So that no one can be healed
I don't respect your system
I won't protect your system
When you talk I don't listen
Oh let my Fathers will be done
And just get out,
Oh just get out of all this bondage
Just get out, oh you can't hold me in these chains
Just get out
All these traditions killing freedom
Knowing my condition is the reason I must change
I just accepted what you said
Keeping me among the dead
The only way to know
Is to walk, then learn, then grow
But faith is not your speed
Oh you'd have everyone believe
That you're the sole authority
Just follow the majority
Afraid to face reality
This system is a joke
You'd be smart to save your soul
And escape this mind control
You spend your life in sacrifice
To a system for the dead
Where's the passion in this living
Are you sure it's God you're serving
Obligated to a system
Getting less than you're deserving
Who made up these rules I say
Who made up these schools I say
Animal conditioning just to keep us as a slave
Oh just get out of this social purgatory
Just get out
These traditions are a lie- just get out
Superstition killing freedom,
knowing my condition is the reason I must die
Just get out, just get out, just get out, let's get out, let's get out,
Knowing my condition is the reason I must die.
Just get out.


Adrienne said...

I don't even know you and I think you rock. I wish I had just a pinch of your fire and determination! God Bless you and your family. I will pray that our trip goes well.

Euphoria said...

Raquel- I'm sorry you are feeling the way you are... I'm not too sure I understand this post, but I do know that you are you because God wanted you this way. You are in your home that God gave you, married to the man God chose for you, blessed with kids from the Lord... all you need is Him... not status, power, to be young or older, etc... this is God's plan for your life... run with it girl!


Chantel said...

you are amazing. amazing mom. amazing wife. i've known you since zu was tiny tiny and you've only grown to a more amazing person. i miss you and am so proud to be your long distant friend.

Jeromy said...

Thanks for sharing your heart and blankity rage. You're right, we are all just hurting people...trying to love and be loved.

Angie said...

I am so with you...people struggles should be seen as just that. Not the struggles of the "black man, yellow man, purple man" whatever.
You are doing some wonderful things with your life, and if people can't empathize with the kind of strain that kind that it can put on you..the mental strain, emotional strain, and definitely financial strain, then they need to come down off their high horse and stop judging you for what you have. Unfortunately, people get judged for what the do have, don't have whatever.
Grr..I'm getting all worked up. Your friend should have been apologizing too.
You know the good you are doing in this world, the lives you are touching...screw those who try to bring you down

Dancer said...

I know EXACTLY what you are saying. And I agree, you are amazing. Maybe this seems out of place, maybe it doesn't but I think God used her to push a button (newsflash, right). A button to bring up things that He wants to bring forth out of you to bless, teach and sharpen others. And a button to bring up out of you things he wants to refine.

You are really a fireball. Your passion is inspiring. I agree with what you said, I understand how you feel. I am there, I've been there.

Aly Cat 121 said...

well dayum girl, what's wrong with being you? . . . .it's funny you called your friend a "hippie" cuz that's how I see you. *chuckle* (even tho I don't know you) From your blog I get the envio friendly, each one teach one, make love not war, peace and love feel. See, so you ain't in a box.

hcfischer1 said...

I so relate. I came across your blog and I really, really like it.