I used to do these “What I’ve Learned” lists every year. I’m going to do them more.
- Resistance is not a reason not to do things. It may be an invitation to explore further. It’s also not a reason to shut down and “power through” without feeling.
- Having a structure to my day is one of the only ways I can stave off feeling like a useless burden on society. Writing just three things that I’d like to accomplish the night before and being able to cross them off is helpful (a framework I learned from Gina Trapani). When I don’t do this, it starts a spiral of self-judgment and shame around concepts like “wasting my life” and “not living up to my potential” that actually get me further mired, rather than leading to action.
- My voice is not essential in conversations about politics, and the best way to use my privilege is to amplify the voices of those being primarily affected by oppression.
- I am sad a lot. I have a habit of self-medicating/numbing out to avoid sadness. I’m trying to sit with it more. If I can sit with my emotional state for 30 seconds longer than I did yesterday and then numb out if I want to, then that is an accomplishment that I can feel proud of.
- I have real challenges with internally-generated motivation. Motivating myself and feeling ‘positive’ (i.e. motivating) emotions like excitement and anger get quickly redirected into shame (as well-documented in The Change Triangle). This motivation -> shame cycle is often misdiagnosed as depression (though I have also historically struggled with depression, I’ve thankfully . I am addressing this. This shall be addressed.