Saturday, March 14, 2015

The One Where We All Have Layers #sol15

Every Tuesday, I participate in the Slice of Life challenge at Two Writing Teachers. Every March, the Slice of Life Challenge is a month-long experience where Slicers post every single day for the entire month. I'm joining in on the monthly challenge this year! For more information on what a Slice of Life post is about, you can go here.

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If you've ever seen the movie Shrek, you probably found out ogres have feelings, too. There is one memorable scene where Donkey and Shrek are talking about this and Shrek explains, "For your information, there's a lot more to ogres than people think." Shrek compares ogres to onions. Donkey, the comic relief character that he is, banters back and forth with him until Shrek says in frustration, "Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers... You get it? We both have layers."

Actually, we all have layers. I started this Slice of Life challenge with a disclaimer that I can only tell my own story. This is a similar disclaimer except that I'd like to point out that I have layers and each of those layers factors into my view of the world, my lens, my perspective and ultimately, the story I live and then can tell. 

Here are some of the layers I'm trying to peel back or at least discover and explore:

being Hispanic
being white
being Hispanic and white
being a girl
being a daughter, sister, mom
being a teacher
being not rich
being the studious type
being competitive
being born in 1980
growing up in Lake Forest
being a reader
being a writer

being...me

I can keep going...except the more I add to my list, the more discerning I am about how which layers truly belong on the list. Each layer interacts and impacts another. I've been trying to judge how much being mixed truly impacts me and how other factors might play into account. It's so hard to separate it when the layers aren't as distinct as those of an onion.

For example, I know I'm competitive - 
but does that come from...
my mom and her high expectations?
my dad and his belief in continually working to get better?
trying to keep up with others around me?
trying to be just as good as others around me?
feeling like I had to be best to be worthy?

I have no idea where one layer starts and another ends. Are they really even layers?

Another example is, I need to feel worthy - 
but does that come from...
my mom and her high expectations?
my dad and his belief in continually working to get better?
trying to keep up with others around me?
trying to be just as good as others around me?
feeling like I had to be competitive to show my worth?

See how fine these lines are?

I like to function in as close to absolute as possible...but it just doesn't work that way with layers and people. It's really hard to parse out what impacts what. Where one influence starts and another stops.

I can try and push some of these layers aside
but I believe it's impossible to remove all bias. 

Yes we can try, and yes we should try in some instances.
Bias can be a good thing or a bad thing...but I think it's always a thing to some degree.

How do you zone in on one layer? Recognize your bias? Can you? Is it realistic to think you can?

I agree with the layers. We have so many things to take into account...and that's the best we can do: recognize that our past and current experiences shape who we are, the decisions we make, and how we see the world. 

I do think that a layer that expands a large part of your life might have stronger impact.
I also think a layer that rocks you to your core might have a stronger impact.
And I think a layer that you connect with deeply also might have a stronger impact.

For me, one layer I know impacted who I am is where I grew up and I'll share more about that tomorrow.

To read my previous Slice of Life posts, click on any link below:

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