Lately I’ve been focusing personally on finding more ways to make choices.
I’ve found that having choices is the biggest way to improve my depression. The inability to generate choice in my life builds my depression exponentially as time passes.
I’m realizing that lack of choice is one of the biggest ways, if not the key way, that oppression slowly destroys us–it gives us life without choices.
There’s a whole movement called “pro-choice”–women and others fight constantly to give people the ability to choose whether or not to be pregnant. A movement centered on the fact that people (greatly cis men whom this doesn’t affect other than through giving them more power) try to take that choice from people and that movement fights that and the ways that the lack of choice wears on us.
There are so many other ways that oppression robs us of choice.
Can’t get that job because you’re not white, not cis and straight, not connected through class privilege.
Can’t buy clothes that make you feel good because nowhere you want to shop, or can shop, carries your size, because you’re too poor, because employees stare daggers into you because they don’t trust people of color in their store.
Can’t get healthcare because ableism infantalizes or criminalizes you, because doctors don’t take the suffering of women or people of color seriously, because everything must come down to fat if you’re fat.
Can’t can’t can’t can’t.
Sometimes we get to the end of the day and wonder what we’re doing in life.
Sometimes we want to make a change and realize we can’t. That our choices have been limited externally.
I’ve just recently realized that what I personally need in my own life is more choice.
But that’s really what I’ve been fighting for with all of my writing–trying to tell people they deserve more choices and more happiness than they currently have access to. Trying to stir up passion to get our choices back. Trying to stir up outrage from those who have more power to help us get our choices back.
Because they have been taken from us. There’s no reason we should live life without choices. There is no way we’re born that means we don’t deserve choices, but society tells us that from day one–don’t play with that toy, that’s for [other gender than you were assigned], don’t be too loud, don’t draw attention, don’t aim to high, don’t expect too much–we’re told over and over to accept our lack of choices.
Let’s not. Let’s not accept it. Let’s fight for it until these structures cave in.
I think that’s why I write what I do. Because I feel deep in my core the pain of lack of choice–and I want that to end. I want everyone to have choices in life. As many choices as possible. Isn’t that what freedom means? Isn’t that what liberation is–a life free of unreasonable external restraint, a life with more choice?
Today I’m thinking that’s what this is ultimately all about. And I think that’s actually pretty exciting. I have hope for more choices, for all of us.