when you assume...
After my last post where I responded to a rather negative comment I received I have been thinking a lot about the assumptions this person made. In general I have been thinking a lot about the act of assuming things. While I got into it a little bit in my last post, I thought this topic deserved its own post.
I try not to ever make snap judgements or assumptions. Trust me, I often fail but it’s something I’m constantly trying to work on. This is extremely important--it will make you a better person in every way when you can wait to form judgements, or just not form them at all.
Another thing I’m constantly thinking about is how I’m perceived. This can be a mix of good and bad, it’s not always healthy to be stressing about this. I’ve worked a lot this year to practice the art of not caring what people think.
I do what I want because I want to do it, rather than relying on other people to define my happiness.
I am aware, even more so after receiving that comment on my last post, how I am perceived to most of the world: a young white American female who is very privileged. And on top of that, of which I can’t help or change, I also operate a blog where I document a lot about my own life. This can come off as narcissistic, or in many cases with the content that I post, typical and predictable for someone in the stereotype of which I am classified.
For example, almost every time I post something fun and not as serious as my Inside My Head post (like anything in my Style section), I get more nervous than when I’m posting something about the most personal facets of my life and mental health struggles. Why? I hate the thought of people making quick judgements about “that basic white girl who blogs about [insert fashion trend]" as if that makes me somehow less intelligent or valued.
Now, I am extremely aware that people make these judgements from a very real place; comparing my struggles to that of minority citizens’ or disabled persons or etc. (the list could go on and on)... It’s easy to just roll your eyes and tell me to shut up. I get that 100%. But that’s not why I write or why I created this blog in the first place.
My motivation is derived directly from my success with Odyssey. I would write about my issues adjusting to college or my trials and tribulations dealing with depression and I would get an overwhelming amount of support. But, that wasn’t what invigorated me and drove me to write even more through my blog--it was the messages from people who were struggling with the same things and found comfort in reading my own journey. That’s what gave me the most happiness and satisfaction. It still is.
I choose to write about a variety of things that interest me, whether that be fashion or personal triumphs and pitfalls. But that doesn’t justify lumping me--or anyone--into a group that is labeled as ignorant, or one that deserves to be degraded to a stereotype. This is so important now more than ever as an attitude towards every individual, group, and community in our country.
So, my point in this post is that assumptions suck--I know that they can be justified in many cases, but a lot of the time they are inaccurate and harmful. And they aren’t just harmful to the recipient of the assumptions, they harm the person making the assumptions as well because it perpetuates close-mindedness.
I can’t change how people think or act, but I will never stop trying to improve open-mindedness both in myself and the people around me.
۞ ally ۞