The Conception of Ideas

fall semester

While studying these humanistic texts, I started to wonder where revolutionary ideas come from.  King, Plato, Sanger, Wollstonecraft, Rumi, and countless other revolutionaries didn’t just have an epiphany one day did they? Their ideas must have formed and evolved in their minds over a long period of time before they so eloquently crafted them on a page.

I’ve never been a big fan of rap. If you asked me who my favorite rapper is, I would probably say Ed Sheeran. However, many of my friends here at Davidson and back home have told me to listen to Kendrick Lamar. I had only ever hear snippets of his songs and never got the hype. I listened to a few albums and still did not get the hype, but I appreciated his work and story. More interested in the man than his music, I started watching and reading interviews of him. In one interview with Rolling Stone he accredits his “dope” rhymes and lyricism to his writing process. He claims that his ideas have honed overtime through practice and having thick skin.

After reading this interview, I decided that if I wanted to hone my “thinking” skills and be capable of having revolutionary thoughts, I should start writing down the thoughts that bounce in my head all day.  I have ADHD, so there’s always a lot of thoughts in there, but they often pass, and I forget them within the hour. However, having a small composition book where I can record my thoughts, doodles, innermost feelings, and even the occasional to-do list, I have a record of my thoughts–an artifact of my humanity.

The interesting thoughts I write down usually come from something I’m reading for a class. They are usually presented in a question. Here are a few of them (I’m willing to share haha):

I was thinking a lot about how children process tragedies. I thought back to when my parents told me about the holocaust, and how I imagined/conceptualized it in my head.
I was thinking that if time travel ever existed, we would have to set up regulations around it to preserve history the way it happened.
What can I say? I’m a little monster. I was listening to a lot of Lady GaGa when I wrote this note. I was also thinking about Colin Kaepernick, and how his protest is un-American but people who fly Confederate flag’s are American.
This was after the Las Vegas shooting and the hurricanes in Texas and Puerto Rico. (update: I have been completely inspired by the Parkland Survivors Never Again movement. Wow. That’s a revolution.)

Although I’m sure most people already do this, I recommend this for anyone who is trying to improve their thinking abilities. It’s very easy to do (just carry around a small notebook and pen with you everywhere you I look back at them once a month or so, just to reflect on my thoughts. I feel like some of them have potential and others are kind of embarrassing and just don’t make sense. However like studying these humanistic texts, I’ve learned that this is a process that which I will sit down and be humble for.  Thanks, Kendrick.

spring semester

During the spring semester, I started writing less about my thoughts and more about my feelings. Of course I had very off-the-wall, interesting ideas that I plan to develop, but a lot of the pages document my coming out experience. However, I did not explicitly write what happened our how I felt. Instead, you can see my journey through my to-do lists, motivational notes, and random ideas. 

In the spring semester, I also developed, with the inspiration and help of a couple beloved professors of mine, the desire to major in Memory Studies. A few of these pages document my ever-growing fascination with memory as well.

Others are just random thoughts I thought would be fun to share.

Overall, this year has been filled with me thinking and feeling things that I have never thought or felt before. This was a huge part of coming out of both my cave and my closet. I had to challenge my perspective and conceptions I had about the world and myself to truly love others and myself. It is still a process. I still struggle. However, embracing both my ignorance and identity, I am a much happier person, and I feel like I can really make a difference in this world now. 

These were my goals for 2018. I feel like I’ve accomplished (and am continuing to accomplish) a lot of them so far, and that is very fulfilling. I have come very far. 

These were some random ideas I had. I always get in a very movie mood around December-January of every winter because of the Academy Awards. I was especially inspired by the film Call Me By Your Name. This made me think a lot about how I would convey my coming out experience on film.

Here are notes regarding all the bullet points:

  1. I almost came out to my parents in a Chinese Restaurant back home. The restaurant is extremely quiet and tranquil. The environment juxtaposed with the (imagined) reactions of my parents faces was an equally comical and tragic idea.
  2. I was thinking a lot about tragedies and how the news industry must have tragedies to make money. Imagine if society has perfected itself and is no longer plagued by violence and hate? How would the news industry survive? Would they have to produce fake stories to keep sustain their industry and secure their livelihoods.
  3. I love Infinite Jest, and my dream project is to adapt it into a Netflix original show. I also want to make Val gay. That is a top priority for me. 
  4. I thought a lot about families and the intimacy of meals. It would be interesting to make a movie centered around conversations families have at the dinner table. 
  5. I’m obsessed with Judy Garland.  I think she lived and beautiful, tragic life, and my second dream job is to direct a biopic about her life. 
  6. I thought a lot about the relationship these two men had in this picture, and I want to write a play based off their supposed relationship.

I came out that Monday (or it might have actually been that Tuesday) to my mom. Wow what a day. I was terrified. The weeks that followed were some of the hardest of my life. However, I am in such a better place now, and I have really reconciled who I was before I came out with who I am now. Also, my family is slowly coming around to accept and understand me. I ask that they just listen, and they have started to do a better job at that.