If I am to continue this blog, what is my motivation? To be honest, there are about 20 or 30 of you regulars. Evident in that number is that this is not a profit motivated venture! Also, creating this blog weekly is (usually) not done haphazardly. A simple, update-style post = 3-4 hours: the deep, heartfelt, passionate, liberal, or complicated posts maybe 4-5 hours to write, and still many revisions, preparations, photograph edits, and layout adjustments. I do not say this to complain.
Blogging has been humbling to my ego. Something in my fragile psyche constantly seeks external verifications of my actions. In contrast, I try to grow by pushing against that need, looking inside myself for validation, believing I can decide what is best for me while knowing I cannot predict outcome or control interpretation. This is a wobble along the continuum of insulating egocentricity and isolating insecurity.
I look to myself to choose a path moving forward, and that makes me accountable to myself for success and failure. Scary. But necessary.
Blogging has provided more value in my life than expected. I knew it would serve as a permanent record of my time here; supplementing my foggy and oft misinterpreted memory.
The greatest value has come from forced reflection and processing thoughts to communicable ideas. My journaling has long served to privately extricate thoughts or feelings from my brain. In contrast, processing ideas, emotions, and vulnerability in a public space has propelled me forward. Where I used to default to escape mechanisms in avoidance of life, I now seek knowledge to edify my intellect and build confidence to confide my truth in this blog. I compile thoughts on an idea and can then compose them into a post or conversation.
One reason I consider discontinuing my blog is market saturation. In truth, the world has long had enough privileged, white men out there spouting their thoughts and opinions about every topic. In the grand scheme of things, my viewpoints are not unique. I do not believe that I am sharing an especially new knowledge, one not already said and recorded somewhere else. As a demographic, I am passé.
The intrinsic value of working to organize my thoughts to be shared publicly is enough to keep me blogging. My current goal is to try to continue it weekly. I am sure to accumulate stories from the medical and activism worlds that I will want to remember. Also, I am happy to share my thoughts for those of you who find my point of view interesting or enjoy limited doses of my frustrating thoughts.
It is an honor that 20 or 30 people care to share in my experience of life and the world. I appreciate those who visit infrequently or spontansously as well. We never know what small thought or idea may permeate and spread. Though my superficial-side longs for recognition and validation, the introvert in me loves the quiet and invisible. I would need to grasp a concrete reason for greater good to sacrifice more of my privacy.
For those of you who do not know, our final day volunteering is the rapidly approaching 31st of January. Once we depart, Susan and I will travel parts of Indonesia and Australia. We intend our Chicago arrival to be March 17.
Susan hopes to find employment in the non-profit sector helping to further human rights or humanitarian efforts in some capacity. If you have ideas or contacts - please reach out!
I will be returning to nursing, but am yet to decide in what capacity. I was leaning toward palliative/hospice care, but those careers seem to require a reliable automobile (which I prefer to avoid). Hopefully our travel will provide time to reflect further, but I hope to work in a setting that:
- encourages teamwork
- provides direct patient care
- stimulates my critical thinking for problem solving
- values my thoughts on care decisions.
I aspire to remain involved in social justice efforts upon our return to Chicago. I have cultivated a desire for fighting racism, inequity, and inequality wherever it exists. I hope to join organizations like SURJ (Standing Up for Racial Justice), but also yearn for the courage to speak against these issues in personal and professional life. (For instance, I now see the significant structural racism and structural violence in emergency room settings, but that is for another time.
I hope that my journey in America is as compelling as it has been here in Thailand, I have more fun when I think my life is compelling! It feels like the timing is right (or a few hundred years too late) to come home and do the work.
"The erasure of history is subtle and incremental and depends upon the erasure of links across time and space. We know, too, that forgetting is also a natural - indeed, biological - process. Time heals all wounds, including those which, never properly drained, are waiting to burst open again, to the 'surprise' of those who have forgotten" (Paul Farmer, Partner to the Poor, p.357).