Oct. 22nd, 2010

airshipjones: (Default)
We make it better, by our choices, our actions and our words. I have been looking at a number of the wonderful videos and journal entries around the IGB movement, and some things struck me that I wanted to write about.

When I was a kid, I got bullied, attacked, and insulted. It wasn't quite a daily thing, and I know I didn't have it nearly as bad as a lot of others had it. But I felt like an outsider. But I never considered suicide. I didn't like school, or most of the kids in school. But my parents didn't let things get out of hand. In that sense, I consider myself lucky. Even if I was lucky, it wasn't easy.

It is a lot better for me now. But it didn't just magically happen. When I was old enough I left the town I grew up in, I changed a lot of things in my life and made decisions about what and who I wanted in my life and my future. And I worked to make it all happen. And that is why it got better.

In looking back, I realize that I didn't have a lot of choices as a kid. And that is why it sucked. I had to go to school, and the kids at school were sometimes very mean, and on good days they just ignored me. I didn't have a choice about where I lived, who lived around me, what I had to do, or eat or say or learn. So, when I was old enough, I moved out and had to unlearn a lot of stuff, change how I did a lot of stuff, and that was all hard work. I had to open up and challenge a lot of my assumptions, habits and training. But I had the choice to do that. And when days got too tough, I could take a break, because I had that choice. I could go at my own pace. And that made things better too.

When I realized that I could not only choose, but then implement those changes in my life, I think I really was able to let go of a lot of the pain. I moved on, met new people, did the fun things I wanted to do, and that wasn't just better, it was *good*. Not perfect, but good. And there have been tough times with the good times. The recent anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake reminded me of the suffering and wonder that I experienced then, the friends I made and the way that changed me forever. Ask me about Robin sometime. There are a lot of stories to be told, and they shouldn't be forgotten.

Now, I work for a living, support my family of choice, and try to be a good example. It isn't always easy, and when it gets too hard, I take a break. And when I have to deal with people that are difficult, I don't let them get to me. I recognize that the work, the issue, that isn't *me*. And it isn't really about me. They don't know me, how could they really? And so I let it go or just deal with the problem as best I can, or in some cases, just try to extricate myself from bad situations. And that is my choice, that that really help to make things better for me.

I hope that what others get out of this is my take on IGB. For me, it didn't just get better. That is passive voice with no actors. It got better because I could make changes in my life, and I did. I am the writer and actor in the story of my life and I want it to be a story worth telling. For it to get better, I have to make it better. It doesn't just happen on its own, I get to make it happen. And I get to make it as good as I can. And that means a lot to me. It drives me to keep going, to do things I'm not sure I can do. To keep trying even when it is really hard. And I know that *I* am making my life better. Every day.

And that is how it gets better.


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