Over the past, oh I don’t know, decade maybe, I have become really ranty. Friends, family and those of you who have followed me for some time in my other blogs will know this.
I can’t quite decide if this is cultural, or perhaps an age thing, or perhaps a social media thing. Probably the latter since you can’t log on without being told how awful the world is (anything for a click, right?). I know that when I was living in the UK and South Africa, politics really didn’t seem to get me quite in the same way it does now.
I think it might also be an autistic thing.
It has come to light in my psychology sessions that I have a very rigid set of values and anything that transgresses those values become the enemy to me. It is called black and white thinking and came as quite a shock when it was revealed to me. I truly believed I was a flexible person. Turns out, not so much.
Honestly, I don’t know how I feel about this.
On the one hand, all my values basically boil down to “be kind to your fellow human being”. On the other hand, I get ranty and quite aggressive in my thoughts if I perceive anyone not doing that.
I was reading through my FB and Twitter pages recently and it confirmed what I already know, I rant a lot. I actually felt a bit uncomfortable reading them. The internet is forever, sigh.
I do try not to be ranty. No, truly, I do.
There are days where I am at home (ha ha ha, I am ALWAYS at home these days, but I digress), where I am at home and I am able to sit in relative peace, accepting that I have no control over the decisions that the men in power have over us, especially us women, people of colour, anyone that doesn’t fit the cis gender normative, disabled people, neurodivergent people, well, you get my meaning. There are days when I think to myself “I’m a woman (a BALD woman at that), neurodivergent, chronically ill to the point of disability, and mentally unwell, but that’s okay, I am at peace with that. It doesn’t matter to me that it seems like every force imaginable is converging to make sure my life as difficult as possible. It doesn’t matter because I can’t control it.” Then, I narrow my field of view to my dogs, or my garden with lovely birds in it, or my beautiful house and it does work, I really do feel peace. That buddha did have something didn’t he?
But, I have to admit, those days are few and far between.
You see, it occurs to me that I struggle to accept these unchangeable things in myself because I belong to a world that constantly tells me that to be these things is to be unworthy. It might not be ACTUALLY expressed as such (one quick look at any comments section and you know it is ACTUALLY expressed), but it is damn well implied in just about every.fucking.thing we see and hear.
To dwell on this, science tells me and experience has taught me, is not good for me. I know this.
But how on earth does the autistic me, you know, the one whose brain is LITERALLY wired to notice the atrocities of the world since I live in a world of fear and “everyone and everything is out to reject me,” how does that person (i.e. me) find a place of acceptance.
I really have to take a long, hard look at my own ableism (another post maybe).
Being a woman, it isn’t very becoming to rant, apparently.
So I tend to internalise that narrative.
I see something that feels to me like an injustice (because it IS an injustice), and I take to FB and/or twitter and rant about it. This is followed immediately by what I call, ranter’s remorse. I know that people don’t like people, but women in particular, who rant. So I internalise an image of myself that I think people would “like”. Someone who has hair (ha ha), is physically attractive, 40kgs lighter, intelligent -but not too intelligent (no one likes a know-it-all), and definitely not ranty. You can talk about things that you don’t agree with but please don’t go all ranty on us. That is so unbecoming.
I see women writers who are less ranty and there is no doubt about it, they seem to be more well loved. The women who ARE more ranty, less so.
And, ableist or not, it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the little girl in me who has never felt like she fit in so badly. What about her? She wants to be loved.
As we all do. And it is that need for love/worthiness/acceptance, that drives the state of the world.
But here’s the thing. I can’t do it. Believe me, I have tried. I have spent all of my adult life trying to be THAT person, but I just cannot do it. I can’t be that demure woman. I’ve bloody well tried. Even though I shouldn’t have had to try, I have tried to be quieter, less ranty, more upbeat and positive.
Ah yes, that word ‘positive’. The catchphrase of our times.
Be happy with your lot. Don’t be miserable. You chose to be this way, so you can choose to not be. Things would be so much better if you were just a bit more positive!
We have to be positive, because to not be positive is to, well, give in, or give up and we don’t want that do we? We want to be masters of our own universe.
Heaven forbid we actually echo the state of the world we are actually seeing, or experiencing. No, we have to imagine our lives as an instagram account and veneer the shit out of it.
Well, I just can’t do it. #sorrynotsorry
Truth is, I am that ranty person. It is just who I am. I am that person who is driven to hold a mirror to a world full of cracks, poverty, injustice, cruelty and the like. If people like me don’t do it, then who does? If we all just pretend life isn’t fucking hard for the huge majority of us, then what is the point really?
I’m being ranty about being ranty HA!
But it is who I am and if I am learning anything it is to LEAN right into who I am.
One of the big questions I have been asking myself over and over and over again is who am I? The psych and I have focussed on this a lot.
I have been looking for that one thing that can be distilled down to the essence of who I am. A sound byte.
Because that is what is required of us, right? A veneered instagram worthy snapshot of who we are. A niche that defines us. We need to find a way to define ourselves that doesn’t take longer than an elevator ride to describe. Remember those? The old elevator pitch – a pitch that is so honed you can do it in the time it takes to ride an elevator. Well, we are honing ourselves now.
Those that hone better, do better. Apparently. I was always going to be fucked. I am about as verbose as you are ever going to get.
We are diluting the depth of who we are as humans so we can gain as many likes, shares or whatever to prove our worth. When I contemplate this, when I truly think about how my (and many others’) rants of the injustices of the world are frowned upon, but the likes of the oh so beige Kardashians, Hiltons, etcetera etcetera are held up as beacons, I just want to cry. I truly do.
Is that what we have become? A soul-less species where the only thing that matters is money, and hearts/likes that drive that money?
It would appear so. Thank you Maggie Thatcher, Ronald Regan and the rest of the 80s.
As I sit here typing this for no other reason than to get the feels out of me and into the air so that I can manage my mental health a lot better, I know now more than ever who I am. I am Sarah, human and all that entails – certainly not in an elevator ride dude – autistic, mental health balancer, chronic illness survivor AND the ranty one! I am the one who HAS to give a voice to the injustices of the world. Whether it makes a difference or not is not the point really. I just have to bring the spotlight and shine it where it needs to go. That is my purpose. That is who I am. That is who I ever was.
And it will just have to be enough.
Until next time,
Signed, the ranty humanitarian advocate.