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Toni Morrison on What Comes After You’ve Reached Your Goals

“I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else,’”

— Toni Morrison

The end of my formal education is upon me.

Less than a year from now, for the first time in 22 years, I will be done with school with no current plans to continue.

I’ll officially be a completely self-sufficient adult.

On the eve of the beginning of my final year of grad school, I’m finding myself both scared for the future and excited to see what the me who is not plagued with hours of homework and classes looks like.

A year ago I would have had no clue at all what she would look like. I probably had no clue even six months ago. My answer to what I wanted to be after college changed weekly at worst, monthly at best. Slowly I’m finding myself worrying less about what I’m going to be and more about where I’m going to be.

I know I’ll be happy and healthy. I know I’ll be striving to be a more intentional and thoughtful person. I know I’ll be loving whatever path I’m on. It’s much easier to make a plan for the future when you think about where instead of what you’ll be doing.

Finish Reading (1)

From the faraway, nearby.

Georgia O’Keeffe used to sign her letters with “from the faraway nearby.”

Rebecca Solnit talks about this in her book The Faraway Nearby, titled after this phrase from many of Georgia O’Keeffe’s letters. This was a recent read for me but it has easily been added to my list of favorites.

“We’re close, we say, to mean that we’re emotionally connected, that we are not separate; or, we’ve become distant, to describe the opposite. After years in New York City, Georgia O’Keeffe moved to rural New Mexico, from which she would sign her letters to the people she loved, “from the faraway nearby.” It was a way to measure physical and psychic geography together.”
— Rebecca Solnit ‘The Faraway Nearby’

Like most of what O’Keeffe has said, I resonate with this.

Read more.

The power to seek new ways of being…

“Only within that interdependency of difference strengths, acknowledged and equal, can the power to seek new ways of being in the world generate, as well as the courage and sustenance to act where there are no charters.” — Audre Lorde

I recently read The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House, a short essay by feminist and activist Audre Lorde.

Audre Lorde was a poet, and in reading this gorgeously written and timely essay, it’s easy to see that her passion became her platform on which to advocate for change.

What struck me most about this essay is a very important discussion of the necessity of difference. Read more.

Every theory class I’ve ever taken starts out the same way.

A study of Hegel, and then on to Karl Marx, the never-ending masculinity of the Frankfurt school, through Jacques Derrida, and usually ending somewhere around Michel Foucault before reaching any sort of female philosopher.

Every class, this is the syllabus.

I don’t discredit the importance of learning the history of philosophy as a way to understand our world today.

These philosophers each paved a way for the theorists that would come after them. Karl Marx was heavily influenced by Hegel, the Frankfurt school by Marx, and the three together most definitely played some sort of role in Derrida and Foucault’s (known enemies) research.

In fact, the work of Hegel and Marx is especially prominent in the world of philosophy and critical theory to this day.

Regardless of how prominent their work is, they were far from perfect. Read more.

Plans are worthless.

“Plans are worthless. Planning is essential.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

I don’t know a lot about former President Eisenhower.

I found this article to help me understand a little bit more about him.

However, I don’t need some article to know that he definitely could not have become President of the United States by relying on a singular plan.

I’ve always been very good at coming up with plans.

At any given time, I have a list of at least a few plans or ideas I’ve come up with that I’d like to work on one day.

The problem is, I see these plans the same way I see dreams. Read more.

We are unique. Chimpanzees are unique. Dogs are unique.

“We are unique. Chimpanzees are unique. Dogs are unique. But we humans are just not as different as we used to think.” — Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall is truly the modern day patron saint of animals, and possibly of confident women.

As a child, Jane was gifted a stuffed chimpanzee named Jubilee, who still holds a special place in her home. Jubilee would foster her life long love of animals, and her interest in Chimpanzees, specifically.

Jubilee holds no real significance to this post, I just enjoyed learning of his (her?) influence on Jane Goodall.

Baby Jane Goodall with her toy chimpanzee Jubilee.
Baby Jane and her Jubilee.

The start of Jane Goodall’s career is what fascinates me, and I’m sure the rest of the world, the most. Read more.

Women and typewriters are not inseparable.

“Women and typewriters are not inseparable.”

Today I watched She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, a documentary about the birth and growth of the 1960s women’s liberation movement. It was super interesting, and free for all you Netflix subscribers.

Towards the beginning of the documentary, a woman is shown holding a sign saying “Women and typewriters are not inseparable.”

It’s a small slogan, used at the time to fight for equality in the workforce.

And, it’s clearly been upwards of 60 years since this photo was taken and this sign was used, you’d hope that there’d be no use for it now. But, for some reason, this phrase really stuck with me. Read more.

You make progress by implementing ideas.

“You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.”
— Shirley Chisholm

Earlier today I was on the hunt for a good quote about rants. Something to describe those few opinions everyone has, often times unpopular opinions, that you just can’t ignore when they’re brought up.

I thought ranting was the word for this, but I don’t think it is.

And now I don’t think I’m a fan of the act of ranting at all.

A look at how the 2017 Wonder Woman movie isn’t feminist, and how we should be recognizing real women, like Shirley Chisholm.

Read more.

The most powerful industrial model of the 21st century…

“I looked up affirmative action once in Wikipedia, and it said, ‘A measure by which white men are discriminated against,’ and I got so mad.”
— Gloria Steinem (2010)

On this date in history, Wikipedia was born.

Incase you’ve been living under a rock, wikipedia is a free encyclopedia open and editable to all.

There’s a Wikipedia for everything.

Grilled Cheese. Shit Happens. Death by Coconut. The list can go on.

And it does, here in this very helpful list of weird Wikipedia pages.

There’s even a Wikipedia page for Wikipedia. I looked it up in order to write this article. It had some pretty interesting facts about the history of Wikipedia. Read more.

I am the sea and nobody owns me.

“I am the sea and nobody owns me.”
— Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking

Pippi Longstocking was written by Astrid Lindgren on request from her daughter.

Astrid herself was not one to be tied down.

She had her children, and eventually a husband, but none of that stopped her from living a full life and doing what she loved most. Read more.