Real talk: sometimes it can be hard to choose the things that make you happy if they’re not what society tells us to do or be.
Interwoven systems of privilege and prejudice in the US want so many things from us. They want us to dress and act in a way that puts us comfortably within the bounds of the gender assigned to us at birth, be straight, be monogamous, be Christian (or at least believe in God), be a certain weight, talk a certain way (code-switching, anyone?), have a certain amount of sex, and on and on. It’s confining if you succeed and can be painful and dangerous if you fail. It’s suffocating.
The damage of narrow social expectations is twofold: external, and internal.
When we fail to meet these expectations we face shaming, discrimination, and even violence from those who want to “correct” us.
But even our own brains are working against us- we’ve been marinating in these systems of privilege and prejudice for our whole lives, for so long that we’ve absorbed them. So even when we know it’s bullshit, we still feel that reflexive shame, or loss, or fear, about claiming the things we want and the things we are that lie outside society’s box for us.
That friggin’ sucks.
It’s a good start to be able to see what’s happening clearly and know that it sucks and it’s bullshit, but sometimes that’s not enough. Sometimes you just need a little extra inspiration to be brave and be yourself. Sometimes you need…
Or better yet: a playlist. Here are five songs to inspire you to do what makes you happy. Please share your own in the comments! Continue reading