Every year for Halloween dress-up day, I put on my traditional Lebanese clothes and went to school as a “gypsy” in what was truly a strange mish-mash misrepresentation of multiple cultures. I played directly into the hands of right wing brown-phobic stereotypes. But my peers loooooved it. They asked me to grant wishes. So I would cross my arms and nod I Dream of Jeannie-style reveling in my annual day of othered popularity. It turns out I can’t grant wishes by nodding no matter how high my ponytail. Who knew? It also turns out there is
I have a friend who lives in a fearful situation. We have had several amazing conversations about how much she does not want to admit that her situation has to change, and that she has to change it. She has taken steps forward and backward, knowing that neither place is where she wants to be. Now she finds herself sapped and exhausted, her creative well dry. Fight or flight, the human fear response, means, when threatened, you defend either by standing up in defiance or running away to stay safe.