There’s a lot on my mind this Saturday afternoon. Usually, I know exactly what I wanna say or what I wanna talk about, but today it’s sort of a mush of random thoughts and sentiments. I’m thinking about John Lewis and CT Vivian passing. I’m thinking about Miracle Boyd getting violently attacked by police in Chicago yesterday at a protest to take down the Christopher Columbus monument. Yet, the more I think and the more I’ve tried to figure out what today’s post would become, I’m thinking a lot about this sentiment that I have been reminded of and have told people that I fail to do: to take a step back and evaluate what is going on, to take more time to just recoup and plan.
I’ve spent the past seven weeks or so just consuming so much knowledge and information that I feel first bummed I didn’t know more, but more importantly, I feel a little overwhelmed. It’s a lot to have to question everything you ever were taught or everything you see in the world in another light. I’ve gone through over a dozen webinars, several books, tens of articles, many conversations in less than two months. Seeing the same sort of awakening amongst other people is also really humbling and gratifying to see. I am so grateful that my friends are reading along with me, learning alongside me, and most of all, never settling in what they know.
But back to that point of overwhelming. I’ve never read more on my own, done more writing on my own, both here and elsewhere, than I have the past seven weeks. I’m doing the necessary groundwork to frame whatever I can do to contribute towards this abolitionist vision I believe in. I don’t believe I’m an abolitionist yet but someone who’s learning and working for abolition in my writing. What I’m slowly realizing is that the more and more that I get involved in understanding is that this work, in any capacity, is the work of a lifetime. Going full gas every single day, even for six weeks of just learning is a lot. To be organizing and marching every single week is exponentially more. I need to re-evaluate how I want to approach everything in a way that I can contribute the most I can in the most effective way possible.
So what am I starting to implement more in my life? I’m spending more time just calling and talking to friends regularly about life. Whether that’s tied to everything going on in the world politically or about music releases. The more time I spend trying to just be in conversation with the people that I wish I could be in the same room with gives me that sort of reassurance that we can figure this out somehow. I’ve been going on more drives and walks of just listening to music, missing Pop Smoke, and listening to podcasts. I go responsibly support my local coffee shops (donate here to support my favorite shop Red Rock from closing!!!) and read outside in the sun. I make my own coffee, experimenting with different beans and methods at home. These are the habits I’m slowly continuing to build more regularly than just mindlessly going through my Twitter feed and cutting down the amount of time I feel angry or upset about people that have no control over how I feel.
I am excited about how much I am learning and how much we are all learning right now. That’s important. But if we can’t also make sure to be ready to continue to keep our well-being and ability to get at it another day, the vision for the world we all want to see won’t be possible. Take these moments to build and work with your friends, learn together, remember we’re all doing this. It doesn’t have to be an individual project. It always should be a central tenant to everything: do this together. Argue, go back and forth, reconvene, and grow. That’s the plan for the rest of our lives.
Being Noah Tesfaye #140: Learn, Talk, Strategize, Mobilize: A Group Project
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