forward is awesome and hard

Hosted a talk with my crew about the misogyny within us 2 months ago. How we unintentionally hold up norms we on-paper don’t support. How we can decide to stop holding up these norms, to be more accountable, to check ourselves, to ask questions like, “Is this cool with you?” Instead of, “Just tell me if you got an issue.” How these two paths are very different.

People got excited. Shared love and gratitude. People got defensive and dismissive. We brought all our stuff into a heaping, not-super-organized, pile and gave it a go. It went aight. It was amazing. It was really hard.

I didn’t come up with the idea, it was brought to me and I went with it. This feels important to note, as I wasn’t noticing what others were. I was intentionally/unintentionally hiding from this truth. When it was brought to my attention I initially got defensive too.

This mirrored a work situation where I recently stood up to some toxic boys club shit. As difficult as it’s been, it’s showing me things get easier over time. In this particular situation, we still need to work together to some extent. And in the case of my crew, we still need each other as friends. We still rely on each other for so much support. We’re still buds. This is just a new place to grow.

Rotating from feeling defeated to properly challenged. Repping for growth.

Sitting in the fire.

At work, I got banned from dude’s building in Phoenix and don’t get polite exclamation point-layered emails back from him and his team when I need stuff from them. Stuff I’m OK losing.

Sitting in the fire.

With crew, wondering where I stand with some of my fav peeps. Trusting in myself to move forward. Stuff I’m scared of losing.

I wrote about how the only problem with the response is expecting a response. I want to believe that and embody it. Be able to rep and walk away. Not be a fixer, but a liver and truth-teller.

I can pretend I’m just here as a conduit spreading this message. “Don’t shoot the messenger.” But I am a representative, the messenger, the problem, and sitting at the table of folks working to make change. I’m repping me. I’m repping how I am as a tall, lanky, privileged white man.

If we’re so down to be who we are with action, how are we acting?

Could replace “we” with “I” any day of the week.

If I’m so down to be who I am with action, how am I acting?

“Talking bout you ain’t scared of nothing, why you so afraid to change?”

—Vursatyl, Double-Up

Trying to get that this is my role as a white man in the crew. I initially wrote that sentence as “I get that this is my role…” And that’s just not true. I want it to be. Sometimes it is. And other times I feel like, “Do I really need to go through this?” LOL, yes.

Why is talking about building inclusivity looked at as less fun?

In Buddhism, we look at stuff as more in the middle, not super hype or super not hype, just stuff. I love laughing with the crew. I also love chatting about our mental health, our roles, how we can improve, what we’re doing to be more us. This part is exciting to me. And I know that you can fully joke during these conversations too. I hear leaders in movement spaces do it all the time. They have a ton of practice so they’re able to add humor. Like when you’ve got your job so dialed you can crack jokes during the busiest rush. They acknowledge we’re not going to fix this tonight, or this week, or probably even in our lifetimes. So we can do some work and we can laugh. We can have some food, share some art, and enjoy our moments.

I hope this means we can recognize it’s OK to work on this stuff, to be openly imperfect, and laugh about it all in the same convo.