Dear Raiah

You’ll remember that I was debating whether or not to put a post about harassment on my blog. I gave it some thought, took your advice into account, and asked Josh what he thought, and ultimately published it. Some people on the facebook commented about me being “brave”, but I didn’t feel that way. I just felt icky, but also kinda good? Like it was good to share, but I didn’t want to? It’s all confusing.

In class this week we talked about residential schools and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and how revisiting and sharing stories about past trauma helps to heal trauma (true in personal cases and cases of national trauma)(guess what, there’s lots of German scholarship on this). It made me think of your confession session, and how confession takes power away from sin. Storytelling and information sharing takes power away from trauma. Exposing things like the everyday occurrences of harassment takes power away from them, or at least makes them more visible so that the problem can be addressed. It’s like the book you were telling me about (and that I definitely need to read) about vulnerability counteracting shame etc. I still don’t feel 100% great about that post, but I’m glad I published it.

I’ve been thinking about other things that I don’t do because a) they are scary, b) I’m not willing to make myself vulnerable, or c) I don’t think I will be “good enough”. For example, I love movies and like writing and I love reading writing about movies and I often say to myself, “I should start writing essays about movies.” Because I have thoughts, and I think they’re (at least sometimes) interesting/original. But I also don’t think I’d be very good at film criticism. What if I’m not interesting or insightful enough? What if the things I take away from movies are trite? What if I like dumb movies? And let’s not even TALK about submitting stuff to film magazines and the like. TOO DAUNTING. But I still want to write about movies, but I still don’t write. I don’t know if you’ve seen it already or not, but there’s an essay about Noah that I absolutely love. I wish I could write like that, and then feel confident enough to submit my writing.

This is kind of the same way I feel about us making a podcast. I think we’d have fun and it’d be good but at the same time I’m like “what if I’m not interesting enough? And what would we talk about?” Basically what I’m saying is that I need to be braver.

Josh is in Edmonton now, and we have been to IKEA three times since he moved here. The third time was yesterday before going to see Arrival, and I am definitely full up on IKEA. Here is a selfie I took of me looking imperious after the second trip:

   Please go see Arrival. I think you would like it. It was quite Vonnegut-ian. I’ve decided that I need more non-horror aliens and sci-fi in my life asap.

I’ve started using the story feature on Instagram. My mom sent me a text after a day where I posted a flurry of things to my story saying how much she liked it, and I’ve decided it’s a good way to keep my family in the loop while I’m in Edmonton. Plus, I think I’m good at it. I was feeling a bit weird about it, and then I discovered that you can make your story invisible to people if you want and I was like “HEYO, I’m totes on board now” and blocked around 30 people from being able to see it. Now I am happily story-ing away.

I wish I had something as beautiful as those videos to add to the end of this letter. Alas, I do not.

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