Here’s the thing: I am not a brave person.
Oh, sure, I do some difficult things and take risks and so on. So I guess in some ways I am a brave person. But I really, really hate conflict. This, like my worrying, insomnia, and guilty delight in matching tracksuits, is probably partially genetic (my father is also pretty conflict-averse) and partially environmental (being raised female, Catholic, and Canadian). In real life this is somewhat compensated for by my a) opinionated know-it-all nature and b) epic cluelessness. I frequently wind up in arguments with people because I don’t notice that I’ve started them and my overwhelming conviction in my own rightness makes me stick to them.
However, my general dislike of unpleasantness leads me to retreat into self-created enclaves. I seek out media sources that I agree with. I read and watch and listen to things I like already, and I find new things to read and watch and listen to based on things I already know. I write trivial and personal things and I don’t tackle big things that I care about because goddamn it I don’t want to have to deal with the inevitable and awful blowback that I would get.*
And I know, there are horrible and disgusting and immoral things that happen every single day. Things that affect me and people I love directly, indirectly, or just by happening in the same world as me. And I know that me being silent makes me complicit and part of the problem. But I can’t step in, except in minor and meaningless ways.
And this makes me a coward. I know that.
And I’m not going to make a resolution that “from now on, I will be a different person and engage in fights both online and in real life even if it’s exhausting and terrifying”, because I know that I probably won’t. I can’t even get myself to floss every day, so I don’t think I can get myself to change a basic and deeply ingrained personality trait.
But if this blog (and my other writing) remains a pleasant retreat from reality, I can at least read and remark on the important things that other people write. If I can’t always speak up when I want to, I can at least agree when others do. If I can’t be out there getting my head broken in the street I can bandage yours when you do.
So while normally I love being the star and the centre of attention, in this arena I will gladly step aside and be the back-up singer. And I’ll play tambourine if you need me to. And hell, I’ll be your roadie.
Because I really want the show to go on. Even if I can’t make it happen myself.
*The first three links are meant to be helpful ones, BTW, not definitional ones.