Hi! My name’s Jessie. I’m from Detroit, but I’m living in DC at the moment. (That doesn’t make me from DC. It’s Detroit, after all, that shaped so much about me.) I’m an elder member of the Millennial generation. (That means I’m in my mid-30s now. Commentators seem to think that “Millennials” still means “twenty-somethings,” but they’ve been using the term for a while now, and we’ve continued aging.)
I’m what’s been called a divergent thinker, and this often manifests in being a social critic, even though I try to be friendly about it. But I admit it: I always feel compelled to point out when the emperor doesn’t appear to be wearing any clothes. I cancelled my New York Times subscription after what seemed like too many efforts to willfully ignore this. (I’m all for paying for journalism, though, so I distribute that money elsewhere.)
I’m a democratic socialist. I started using this label back in 2011 or 2012 as part of what was then seen as a notable wave of people who became curious about it after the 2008 financial crisis. I remember about that time discovering that there was even a US senator who identified as a democratic socialist. Whenever I told people I was “basically a socialist,” I’d follow up with, “Did you know there’s even a socialist in the US senate? His name is Bernie Sanders! Look him up!” But this was all just personal pondering until 2013, when I started attending meetings of the Democratic Socialists of America in an effort to learn more and try to do something with those two years of pondering. This 2011 New York Times article gives a good picture of where we were back when I wandered in; though the wave of people joining already seemed striking back then, it was dwarfed by people joining after the Bernie Sanders campaign, and that was dwarfed once again by those who joined after Trump’s election. So it’s kind of neat to see how dated this article is, particularly with respect to our membership numbers, which surpassed 20,000 in 2017.
At some point, I’ll write up a proper post about what I actually mean when I say “socialist.” (It’s in my pile of drafts!)
I don’t, however, automatically think less of a person if s/he disagrees with me. There are people out there whom I respect who hold very different views than I do, and I enjoy conversing with them and trying to understand why they think what they do. I am always trying to learn and improve my understanding, and I get worried when I find myself in political echo chambers. I dip into DSA circles to discuss Left ideas, and then I try to come back out and float them outside those circles to see how they hold up. (Personally, I think they do pretty well, and I’m encouraged. But make me prove that to you! Just make everyone else prove their stance to you, too.)
- If that paragraph caught your attention, you might enjoy this post:
For Those Holding Other Views, an Invitation to Parrhesia
On General Quirkiness
I possess copious overexcitablity. If you follow that link, you’ll see some memoir clips that explain what that means, though my hope there is that you’ll actually be more interested in the Theory of Positive Disintegration (TPD) which is something that I’ve found very useful in my life. That’s why I’ve dedicated so much of this blog to sharing TPD and making it easy to understand!
The theory seems to be most well known in the circles labeled with that awkward term gifted, a label which has been applied to me as well, but I use it with considerable reluctance, largely because it’s a term that some kindred spirits might be typing into Google. My self-deprecating synonym for this is “weird-brained.” (And the more people understand the challenges associated with weird-brainedness, the more people start to think it may not be wholly desirable, and the status and perceived elitism lessens. I go on about this more in this post.)
But please ignore that term if it distresses you. Despite what it may sound like, I don’t think I’m “smarter than” other people. Just…weird!
I do like to think I’m a creative person, and I talk about my creative process a lot. I also like books and am sure to make loads of references to what I’m reading at the moment.
I am very close to my family, which consists of my wonderful mom and dad, my little sister Emily, who is a nurse, my brother-in-law Ben, and also this fellow named Max upon whom I stumbled a few years back who is as quirky as me. (We both figured we’d just be perpetually single because of it.) Oh, and my dad actually isn’t alive anymore, but I’m kind of upset about that and my brain doesn’t wholly accept it. I talk about him a lot here. Fairness suggests I should also talk about my mom, who is also well worth talking about, but writing about Dad is the main way I spend time with him now, so there you go. Trust me, it won’t be boring: Dad is a pretty neat character, too. He also liked the word “neat,” which is probably why I’m using it a lot in this paragraph. The Dad schema is active in my brain at the moment, obviously.
I could say more, but I think I’ll go finish some essays now instead.
Thanks for dropping by!