Truth To Power Café – Question Everything
It was a pleasure and an honour to be a part of the Truth To Power Café at Norwich Arts Centre on January 24th 2020, sharing the stage with some awesome human beings, each with their own stories around the question:
“Who has power over you and what do you want to say to them?”
This is mine.
Recently, I came across another one of these posts on Facebook:
“If you could give your younger self some advice, what two words would you say to them?”
There were lots of great answers.
Like “keep going”.
Or “you’re awesome!”.
Or, for the odd rebel breaking the two-word rule,
“You’ve got this!!”
But as great as the intention behind those is, none of those never really hit the spot – for me.
And then, I realised I had the answer.
The ultimate answer.
Words I use all the time; in my head, mostly.
The two perfect words.
Not just the “far out” stuff, like… What’s the meaning of life, or the answer to the universe? (Which we all know is 42.)
But also, questioning what’s normal.
No – ESPECIALLY what’s normal.
Question the obvious.
Question the unquestionable.
- Like, will I really go to hell if I don’t worship this god in this particular way and live my life according to these rules?
- And, as a woman, why should my body look a certain way, be a certain shape, NOT TAKE UP TOO MUCH SPACE, and get covered in toxic chemicals on a daily basis, for it to be acceptable?
- And, why do people strive to get a steady job, and to find one person to settle down with, and get a mortgage, and buy stuff, and make small humans, and teach them to do the same thing – when so many of them seem unhappy?
- And, when filling in forms, why is there only one gender option for men, and several for women depending on their marital status? What business is my marital status of anyone’s when I’m buying a pair of socks?? Not to mention the other gender identities???
Once I started questioning everything, I knew I had opened quite the can of worms.
Questioning everything makes me angry.
It makes me sad.
Sometimes it makes me despair.
And it can make me fucking furious.
It also made me realise
that life is incredible.
That time is precious.
That security is a myth.
That gender is a construct.
That society is absurd.
Which reminds me of another meme:
Society: Be yourself.
Society: No, not like that.
So, who (or rather, what) has power over me?
So, hello, Conditioning.
I know you’re a fact of life.
I know that denying you is pointless.
I know that resistance is futile…
Or is it?
I turn around and look Conditioning straight in the eyes
and I say,
“Hey there. You’re standing on my cape.”
As I become aware of that, the heavy weight starts to lift
and I know I’m ready to make more use of my superpowers.
Now, as well as asking,
I ask myself,
“Am I doing this by default, or by choice?”
Because I do get to choose.
So, who has power over me? The answer is:
What do I want to say to them?
“You’ve got this!!”