I'm officially one year older and one year in. And as I sit on my porch overlooking the Atlantic, it's hard to put a finger on exactly what I've learned and how far I have come. Most of what has changed within me is slight shifts in values or perceptions of things, probably only noticeable to myself. However, there is one thing I think is very important for Americans to know through my own experience. And, this might be the only thing I know for sure anymore...
Roosters don't just sit on the roof of a red barn on a cute little farm, waiting for the sun to come up so they can crow and wake up their owners. They are not used as organic alarm clocks the way they are depicted in American storybooks and TV shows. No, they actually crow at all times of day, including when I'm trying to get in a nap. They crow at three o'clock in the morning, they crow at three o'clock in the afternoon. They are persistently loud and obnoxious.
I initially sat down to write this blog in a list form. It was going to be a solidified list of everything I had learned in the year I have been here. But when I started writing, the only thing I could think of was the roosters. And just how wrong my initial American perspective of them was. How the storybooks were that off about these insanely annoying animals I'll never know. But when I hit the enter key and typed the number '2', I realized there was nothing else I could write down. I literally knew nothing else. And that's when I knew I had changed.
If there's one thing I've learned this passed year, it's that you (and me..) know absolutely nothing. We are often comforted by our college degrees and worldly experience, but that tends to only give us a false sense of security. There is still so much out there to learn about people, about places. About reasons why people are the way they are. And when you think you've learned all you need to learn, you find something or someone else that surprises you.
I have learned that there is no fact, there is no reality. There are only assumptions and perspectives. After all, it was a fact once that the world was flat, wasn't it? And we all thought Y2K was the reality of the situation, didn't we?
So instead of making a list of everything I want to accomplish this next year and make all these lofty promises, I'm just going to make a vow to not see things at face value. To question and then re question. To remember that as loud as I may talk, I still don't know much. And to never assume I know what someone has gone through. Because, really, you never do.
As much as a boast and brag about making it a year, it is an even bigger accomplishment that my parents have made it through 25. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad.
I have no program for
saving this world or scuttling
the next: I know no political,
sexual, racial cures: I make
analogies, my bucketful of
flowers: I give flowers to people
of all policies, sexes, and races
including the vicious, the
uncertain, and the white.