Having Opinions, Sticking to Them, and Then Letting Them Change

Well, its been a while, but I’ve been dealing with this a lot this year as I move into being more public about my personal and professional opinions about my work. In short, sticking to my opinions when I value things and believe things, and not be offended when people disagree or challenge them because how else is anyone’s mind ever going to be shaped or changed if we cannot have open dialogue about it? Respect, challenge, taking risks, being clever, and taking responsibility for my thoughts.My thoughts, things that I say to others, are all in formation, they are on their way to being…always. They aren’t stable, everything exists together in my brain, everything exists in the world alongside everything else, and I don’t think I’m always right.

But I’m in a line of work where I have to defend my ideas a lot, and so I get better at it, and so I think things that I think might be right. But also acknowledge that they are always changing.

“Why publish/share anything if my mind is always changing?”

Invite others to test you. Invite others to ask those questions, to push past the concrete and move into the why, the how. I’ve had so many brilliant people lately push me–harder, farther, make suggestions, ask, push, prod. It’s exhausting sometimes, I wonder about the sustainability of critical thinking, of conversation, and a while back my cohort and I discoveredd that videos of tiny dinosaurs riding pigs around a field helps, so does dancing in studios to slam poetry, rolling around on the floor laughing or sleeping, running around cities.

Time, balance, living life outside of conflicting ideas, smiling, thanking those and respecting those who take the care and time to think about what you say and think.

It’s beautiful. It’s hard. It’s excruciating. I always have this pang of absolute dread and awful terror when I know someone is reading what I think, they’re typing, they’ve said they disagree. But it pushes me past any idea I could get to on my own. Even when I don’t realize it, the rhizomatic efforts of life sink their teeth into me and I am gripped by being influenced by those around me.

I’ve done too much research on disability movements and supportive learning environments today and the above paragraph comes off a bit fluffy than I’d want. But here is to say thank you to those who hold my thoughts in their arms brains and hearts and throw something better back at me.

I hope to continue to chew on what others think for the rest of my life, and to consider, respectfully, what I can do to push those around me, too.

Xx Jess

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