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Here we go….

September 15, 2010

As a person who has kept a journal since age 11 and has written everyday for over two years, I figured it was finally time to start blogging!  I am more a pen and paper person – I find creativity flows easier that way – but I am trying to push through the writer blocks I find typing straight onto the computer causes.

I have spent a large amount of time thinking about life, especially over the past two years.  It has caused me to take a very individualist (for lack of a better phrase) stance on life.  I do not mean that in a selfish or out-for-oneself way.  I simply mean I now have a better grasp on the divide between the collective and the individual.  I have my own perspective.  I have my own take on life and how it should be lived.  But so does everyone else.  What is ‘right’ for me does not necessarily follow that it is ‘right’ for all.  I cannot tell another how they should live their life or what will make them happy.  I can only figure that out for myself.  That is actually very difficult.  Especially when dealing with those we love.  There are certain beliefs I have come to that I feel are more collective (the whole money doesn’t buy happiness/don’t spend your time building up that which is transient etc etc)but I also understand that I cannot push my view on another.  To each their own.

I strive e to live my life and allow others to live theirs.  That is something I am constantly working on.  I can feel my blood pressure rise when interacting with those who hold very different views than mine.  I guess the difficulty there is, those whose views I tend to disagree with I don’t feel have spent massive quantities of time coming into their beliefs on their own.  I feel they are more societal brainwash.  But that is my view.  My own bias and, perhaps, pretentiousness.

I just started a MSW program.  Going into it I knew my way of thinking and perceiving would be forever changed, but over the past two weeks I am starting to truly understand what that means.  I am already starting to feel it.  My field placement is at Pathways to Housing working with individuals suffering from homelessness who are also diagnosed with mental illnesses and usually are also suffering from substance dependency.  As I want to work on a macro level, creating and implementing policy, I was not thrilled about my placement.  I just finished my third day (I am there two days a week) and it really is a remarkable experience and I am already grateful for it.  It is definitely going to be a long, difficult year – but I am going to get an inside look at a situation and population that most don’t get to see, experience, and comprehend on such an intimate level.

I am sure much of my growth and developing awareness – both of self, others, and the interconnectedness between the two – will be shared in this blog.  But I also aspire to make this blog more than just my personal journey.  We are all in this together, and I think that is a fact we often lose.  The Human Genome Project scientifically proved that human beings are 99.9% genetically identical.  Yet we choose to focus on the “otherness”.  We separate and divide.  We rank.  We hate.  Yes I can only speak for my own life and my own emotions, but a part of the way I would like to spend my life is getting to know others’ lives, others’ emotions.  Establishing relationships based on that which is the same: our shared human experience.  And, as to gain awareness, especially on that which I am ignorant of (because of my particular life experiences up to present), about the differences that divide us.  Here I separate the idea of human experience from life experience.  I hope this blog will grow into an exploration of what it means to be human and the very many life experiences we are all having.  At the very least, I hope you enjoy my ponderings.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Laurit permalink
    September 16, 2010 12:23 am

    love it.

    …and sooo happy to hear that you’re loving to learn this really new and difficult experience….i can relate (as in spending time with baby adrian) in that when you get thrown into a new life, it can be hard to adjust….but then, if you’re lucky- which we both are- you start to see just how much you can learn from it. and only then can you see it’s beauty.

    • Whitney Joy permalink*
      September 16, 2010 3:19 am

      Yes. I think we’ve both had enough transitions in life that have aided our open-mindedness and ability to roll with the punches. On top of this we both strive for the chance to increase our awareness as a result of the possibilities of the experience. I originally typed something along the lines of learning the lesson….but I don’t quite like the word learning there. I think awareness better fits because….maybe I feel it’s already in there and the experience brings it to the surface. Not that I am the biggest Eriksonian but, in a certain respect, the whole concept of the collective unconscious.

      I hope you’re finding your rhythm in Philly. Rachel and I were talking about a possible road trip to see you and get you out and about!

  2. Christine Crowley permalink
    September 16, 2010 12:21 pm

    Hey Whit. This is amazing. Thank you for giving us a window into your experiences and how your perspective is evolving with your work. I am so excited for you. Your placement is going to give you such an enormous advantage over so many who attempt to do good, but live in a policy bubble, totally disconnected from those for which they are advocating.

    Good luck with apartment hunting and settling into your new pattern. Please please please, my door is always open if you want a little get away over fall break. Football season is fun here:) Love you.

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