Contemplating the How

As our blog posts are coming to a close, I wanted to start getting myself into the reflective mindset in preparation for our final reflective essay. Reflection is something that I have touched on already in a few of my previous blog posts, and I have come to truly see how it offered me an incredible tool when it came to brainstorming new content when I felt at a loss for topics of new posts.

Dr. McCoy had asked this a few times, both in class and in response to my blog posts: How?

Now at first, I would get frustrated with this question. I didn’t think there was really an answer to it. How I did something was just how I did it. I wasn’t extremely mindful of the how, whether that meant how I came up with an idea, how I transferred the idea to a blog post, or how I made any sense of the mess of jumbled words and thoughts that were constantly running through my head. But that last part, THAT is what lead me to be able to answer the question of “how?”

That jumble of words and thoughts, was so much more than a jumble, and I had no idea. I constantly felt like I was missing something that everyone else understood, or that I just wasn’t making sense with anything I said. I would be terrified to speak up in class or to publish a blog post, because I was afraid of my jumble of words being just that: nonsensical, ridiculous jumble. That is how I felt my first few blog posts, and in my first chunk of reading at the beginning of the semester. My grades reflected it, and my enthusiasm reflected it. But eventually, that started changing. My blog posts got better, I got more excited about them, and my grades were going up! So for me, this question of how wasn’t revolving around how I wrote the actual blog post itself, but more around how I made a change for myself. I don’t really know how I wrote the actual words on the page, but I know that I made big mental, personal changes in order to get those words out onto a page. So the answer for me to this big question of “how?”: Confidence.

By pushing myself just a little bit, and allowing myself to just be a little bit confident, even if I wasn’t totally confident in my confidence, I was able to make a change. I was able to be more active in figuring out the how. Anyone can tell you to be confident, but until you actually make a change to engage in it, nothing will happen. But I surely didn’t do this on my own. This class, with the help of all you lovely people, and the constant push and reassurance from Dr. McCoy, helped to boost my confidence tremendously. I learned and trusted that my understanding and interpretation of what we talked about was just as relevant as anyone else’s, whether it was right, wrong, crazy or spot on. As much as I loved Jemisin and what I learned from her work, I am forever grateful for the lessons I learned that came from all of you, and from myself. Those lessons are what make up the “how?”, and I hope to learn how I can answer more of these hows throughout the rest of my college career, and the rest of my life.

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