I take words and chew them slowly;
While they shift around the cave of my mouth, my tongue searches for some hint of familiarity
Yes I am trying out identities, labels, and theories the same way you eat expensive restaurant food
If I deny my evangelical background, have I really “found” myself?
I have alienated friends on both sides of the aisle with my inability to talk about faith
To question is to begin knowing, but I am not in a space to even wonder
But if I admit this, what would they say?
The blood that flows through my veins is the blood of colonized people,
The memories of comfort women and cold winters have not been yet forgotten
But if I tell the truth to people— that I am also the daughter of the US Army,
that, in fact, after I come home from an anti-war rally, the food I eat comes from my father’s military contract, what would they think of me?
I am a bag of unallowable, dangerous contradictions,
A person filling leadership positions without ever knowing the way
A proud feminist sometimes very scared of her body
A disability activist embarrassed to ask for the accommodations she needs
And to constantly lament who or what you are seems like a plight of the privileged
Something that takes time and energy to question, something I’m not sure my grandmother and mother ever had
If I was not spending my days in this academic ivory tower, maybe I wouldn’t even care,
Maybe I would just know and be okay with that
But one day maybe I will be okay with who I am and accept that I am in a state of constantly redefining what it means to me, politically and personally
And until then I will continue studying the intricacies of my experience,