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  • Writer's pictureCristina Waldner

What In The World Is Going On?

Dear friends,

I am writing you today from a place of uncertainty and disarray. It is very difficult to form words, sentences, and ideas when your mind is blank and your heart is raw. With this blog, I would have loved to be a strong voice for the oppressed, the hurting, the discouraged, the overwhelmed, and the disillusioned.

But I just couldn’t.

I can’t poignantly communicate my thoughts. I feel the weight of the last few weeks of the reckoning of racial injustice, compounded by the weight of the last few months of self-isolation, compounded by the weight of the last few years of academic burnout, compounded by the weight of the last few decades of living with a serious chronic illness.

A lifetime of stress making this time of life particularly stressful.

ID: Cristina with her hand on a mint and marble mug while holding a mint straw. The mug has the words "the struggle is real" on it with gold foil.

Over the coming weeks, I will be trying to put words to my thoughts. I will try, but there might be times when I get it wrong. My attempt to address current issues such as the Coronavirus and social injustice is coming from a place of deep hurt... and anger.

These feelings are so instinctual, so primal that I feel it is a matter of humanity.

Since December, I have taken a semi-serious break from social media and a complete break from blogging. After my UWF term position ended, I knew I needed to take a breather and try to find my footing again. I was doing the personal work to get grounded and prepare for life changes in my future.

Staying silent was my way to regroup, reflect and refocus.

I was making slow but steady progress towards change but when my world (along with millions of others) shifted to chaos in mid-March, I shut down again. Having SMA and only 14% lung capacity, it was hard enough dealing with the daily stresses of surviving the pandemic, never mind even attempting to blog about what it’s like being a person with a disability during this time in history.

So when I first heard the news that a Minneapolis police officer murdered a Black man in broad daylight, I again shut down.

But as details started to emerge of the heinous social injustice, there was no escaping anymore. For me, for white people, and for the world. As it was when the Coronavirus pandemic initially hit Canada just a few months before, not a day goes by that names like George Floyd and Elijah McClain or the cultural epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) isn't on my heart or that I don’t have a conversation about what is going on in the world.

My heart hurts for the world and I know that what happened to George Floyd on May 25th, 2020 was heartbreakingly not out of the ordinary. Racism has such a deep history it is ingrained in the very society in which we live.

I started this blog in part to address the social injustice I experience as a person with a disability, but I know that my blog can’t be everything to everyone. I know that I cannot address every cause or injustice. I can only speak from my own experience and listen with an open mind and learn from others with an open heart.

ID: Navy background with a quote from Brené Brown with the phrase repeating "I am not here to be right. I am here to get it right."

So, today I am recommitting myself to show up for what matters. It won’t be easy. It won’t be pretty. It might offend some people. It might be too much for others. If I get it wrong, I will listen and make corrections. But at least I can try to get it right.

And I hope you will too.

- Cristina


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