This space online has always been my journey, so I’m going to tell you about another piece of my journey in the last two years. I’m always happy to be honest about the mess of the journey and this will be messy I’m certain, but it’s all my honest journey and it’s always written as that. My world online has never been a “how to” it’s alway been a “how we”, knowing it’s a journey of a learning family, who will for sure have opened up some wrong moves and words to a few thousand people online! But I’m ok with that, I always want the journey to be what’s shared.
Scroll back to the beginning and our online space is just plates of food. No names, no personal stories, there was no blog, no me.
Slowly more of us and life has crept in, and with it the constant debate with myself on how I use this space best, and what my goal and purpose is. I’m no longer just showing a story of food, but I’m also not just posting pictures of my kids for family. I’m here to try and help in some way by giving a window into our lives, it’s a story of a journey in our lives, with some every day life thrown in. It’s not all of life, but everything I share is our real life. I’m in another round of figuring it out.
I’ve shared ways we’ve done things on here that have since changed, or I used to share things/products/ideas I don’t now use or where I’ve learned better ways, and to me that’s part of the journey. I’m happy to share where I’ve later changed my ways cos this space isn’t a ‘how to’ or a perfect picture of what should be, it’s a daily snapshot of what is in the hopes it will help people to see our own journey of, mostly food and lowering our footprint in family life.
I’ve never shared about things we don’t personally use or do in our lives currently, it’s been a strict rule for me, I want to share our true journey only.
But it’s not just nameless plates of food. And social media has changed since it was, both mine and whole platforms. As more of life has been shared, I’ve not known how much of my heart and response to global events to bring to this space outside of showing what we do in our lives. When a natural disaster happens on the other side of the planet, do I recognize it online? I grieve, talk, pray, give in our own real lives, but what should translate to the more niche space of social media?
But what I’ve been pondering and deeply wrestling over is my sharing responses to the constant moments of injustice, pain, wrong doing, current events, death, even when those events move me, grieve me, change me. Specifically, the ones surrounding race.
Over the last few years I’ve not known whether the online space should be the place I process and journey that. Should my life be that place? YES. My conversations with friends? YES. My learning? YES. The way I raise my kids? It’s imperative. But what parts of life should be shown on my social platforms that have so far only told parts of my story… Honestly I don’t know that one and it’s ever changing but I needed to write something because I do share my journey and this IS now, thankfully and admittedly too late, part of it.
Much like I know I can get likes by posting pictures of plates brownies I don’t then eat (and I don’t do that!) I know I could have raised my Instagram voice earlier, but then not gone on a personal journey. I don’t want the ease of clicking “share” in my stories on any topic to make me look or feel like I’m doing something when it’s not reflected in my daily life outside of a loud media moment. I want my posting to be a small window into my life every day, not a poster board for things that aren’t truly there that give a a false picture. But wait, isn’t there power in my voice of just sharing and nothing else? With a platform, shouldn’t I use it for that? Everyone will have an opinion and I’m not saying I’ve done it right but I know from the last 6 years, the things that people click on and respond to and make cages in their own lives from my content are actually not things I just repost from other people or talk about with no personal story attached. The things that actually go somewhere and I hear back on are when I’m using social media as a window to what I’m actually DOING consistently in my life. So I didn’t want to share and move on. But I also know I don’t want to not share and move on. I needed my life and learning to change.
The last two years have been a slow journey of opening my eyes, or feeling things and making myself work though things that have made me feel a whole host of different ways, but I’ve wanted to understand and see and sit in the realization of the privilege we experience from being white. It’s uncomfortable, I’m wanted to send my thoughts all different directions but I have to sit in knowing it’s hugely affected my life in the things I don’t ever have to feel and experience, and the things I do get to feel and experience.
I don’t want to sit and say “look at me here’s my journey of realization and here’s why I’m not a part of the problem.” That’s not the truth. At all. I think what I’m trying to say is that if this is a new journey for you, go on a journey. Come on the journey. Let it be an ongoing one, not only a reaction to a moment. Although it can start there. I don’t think the moments of racism and attacks or murders of people of color are moments to be responded to solely in moments, because they’re not just moments. They’re a constant reality and I want my learning and actions to reflect that by being constant too. The “moments” we see are a window on a fact of life that I haven’t in the past realized exists because I’m on the side of it that doesn’t hurt for it. And honestly, that reality is something I’ve wanted to squirm out of like I feel like I could squirm out of many things …probably because of that same very reality… but instead I know the way forward is to be slow with my thought processes, to quiet the reaction of a desire to exempt myself, to and to sit with the discomfort of being part of what needs to change, but then to start to learn and unlearn, see and listen.
I have so many more questions and thoughts and learning to do and I haven’t addressed the half of it here… like how much of this platform do I have is because of the colour of my skin?
So here I am, it’s messy writing but welcome to my heart and journey. I’m pretending we’re having coffee and I’m just sharing my heart – knowing I haven’t got it right or all figured out, and not being too careful with my words to make sure I get it right but just giving you the current snapshot in the hopes it helps your journey as I hope with everything I post.
If you need ideas of books to read that’s where I started (I do audio books while I run – if you’ve seen an instagram story of me running, chances are I’ve been listening!), people to follow, places to go to learn and I’m so happy to suggest some or chat if you want to message me, I’m not an expert I just have my own journey thus for but I’m happy to share it – I’d start with “Why I’m no longer talking to White People about Race” by Reni Eddo-Lodge and if you want to read what I’m currently reading go to “Why are all the Black Kids Still Sitting Together In The Cafeteria” by Beverly Daniel Tatum PhD. Instead of me putting together a more full roundup, Cassy Joy of Fed + Fit has one HERE that has a lot of the resources I’ve gone to (and other’s I haven’t yet but there’s a great starting point there!), and for those looking for ideas for children The Conscious Kid has a book list and other resources via their Patreon ($1-5 a month).
It’s not a comfortable journey, but as is true in so many areas if I keep it comfortable for me it’s only at the expense of other people, and it is also beautiful – the journey of learning and loving and change is beautiful. I’m here for the learning, the chat, the pain, the conversation, the community of this journey. It’s needed and I’m here for it.