Questions from Melony Hill’s Writing for My Sanity Therapeutic Writing Workshop held online.What do you think others are learning from you?
What do you think others are learning from you?
I’ve noticed that there are definitely people who have brought me into their lives so that they can learn from me. It’s an interesting feeling, because while I’ve been an educator in the past, I’ve it’s fascinating to watch people bring me into their circles because they value my input on different things. For many, I’m the white guy who is a source of information on protesting or feminism or revolution… and all that is odd for me because there are so many others I look up to for those kinds of things.
I enjoy being valued by other people in that way, and looked up to. It makes me more diligent on keeping myself on point. But I also want people to grow on their own as well, independent of me. I’m happy with the bonds I’ve been making with people.
When it comes to relationships, whether it is professional, family, intimate, or romantic, what is a dealbreaker for you? Where did that dealbreaker come from?
For me, I had to build up dealbreakers across all relationships. I used to think it was a strength to not have dealbreakers, and to be able to take any and all kinds of challenges.
What I did not take into effect was that sometimes the challenges in relationships can actually be abuse from others. As I grew more in my confidence, I began to be less tolerant of people who would take advantage of me, and would leave bosses, partners, or friends that were not healthy for me.
In what areas of your life is your power enabled? Does it help you? Does it help others?
I really feel like when it comes to deep relationships and getting beyond the superficial, that’s where I truly shine. When we can all be around each other and chill. Late nights around campfires. Talking politics and relationships, telling stories, and sharing experiences.
Imagine I have lost all memory. How would you explain love to me?
Love is a magnetism, an urge. It is a visceral attraction to someone, that makes you want to give your whole being to them. It makes you want to be in their presence, to invest time and energy into them. It dilates your pupils, flushes your skin, makes your hair stand on end. It sends tingles down your extremities, and warmth up your spine. It makes you see the world in a deep golden glow. Makes every music sound sweeter. Every good feeling heightened, every sense opened. Stress melts from you. Touch ignites you. You feel powerful and sensitive at the same time, vulnerable and empowered. It grows you in such beautiful ways. Love is the strongest and beautiful of all feelings.
What is something you’d like to remember forever?
I have a really horrible time remembering things. Because of that, I have to create all kinds of mechanisms, footholds and handholds, to remind myself of what reality actually is. I can sometimes slide off the deep end if I don’t keep active journals or take photos of where I’ve been to help trigger my memory into working again. Because otherwise, I’ll start to question everything.
To that point, one of the things I did after my very first relationship ended was to remove and erase all those handholds. I went up on the roof, put all the letters she had written to me into a metal bucket, and burned them. I gave away gifts she’d given me. I deleted photos from my computer. And slowly, like a scene from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, she began getting erased. By the time everything was done, which took me weeks to do, I had trouble remembering what she looked like.
Now that I know I have that ability, I hold onto those handholds and footholds a little more tightly. Writing down when people have affirmed me. Recording notes of when people have told me they’ve loved me. Keeping a special box of things that let me know that people actually care about me.
Because otherwise, I might forget.