So 6 months ago, I set myself up with a series that I was going to write, and then I promptly stopped writing. Chronic illness, major diet changes, and a heavier teaching load than I was expecting all contributed to my lack of writing.
But life has relaxed (slightly), so I’m back. Before life intervened, I was discussing how my worldview has changed for the better these past five years, starting to understand racism and white privilege in a way I never had before. However, my literal view, the people I tend to surround myself with has only gotten whiter.
Five years ago (really six), I worked at a community college where most of my colleagues, friends, and students were people of color. Now that I’m a stay-at-home mom, working only online, I have found that my friend groups have gotten whiter and whiter. To me, this unveils my white privilege even more starkly because I can easily surround myself with whiteness, only occasionally and tangentially interacting with a person of color.
But I want to make a more conscious choice of who I surround myself with. I need to go out of my comfort zone. I need to put myself in colorful, non-white spaces. One of those spaces is being more active in my local elementary school where most of the students are Latinx. I’ve gotten involved in the PTA, partly to do my part, but a lot so that I can get to know a lot of the other parents in the school. I have met some people, but I haven’t been able to spend enough time with anyone to actually become friends.
So, I think I’m going to have to find other spaces where I am the minority, but honestly, I have found this hard to do. I have good intentions, but like so many people, I lack follow-through. I also lack the time. If I really want to find a group of people different from me, I am going to have to give up something else. Do I give up the women’s group I meet with biweekly, made up of mostly white women, but that I also find life-giving? Do I just make my introvert self talk to more moms on the playground? I’m seriously asking for suggestions here. I don’t know the answer. I have whitewashed my life, and I don’t like it. I want to live in color, but I don’t know how.