I think the best thing that my identity and path has taught me (and is still teaching me) is how to (in my own way/view) sift through the bullshit in search of the positive. As an Indigenous person in America, there’s no such thing as successfully avoiding oppression and the offensive, there’s only the development of thick skin and learning how to take whatever you got with a smile. Look at our people. We faced and face so much, and yet if you go to a reservation community right now I guarantee you’ll see people laughing in sometimes some of the most shocking circumstances. Teasing and being teased is in our blood, resiliency is our image.
With this, there’s few things out there that truly ruin my day or experience. It was always hard for me to understand how people could live with having to dig their heads under sand whenever something negative came about. The most beautiful thing to me came to be the understanding of the complexities of character, the appearance of gray matter, and the openness to unknown anything. There are many instances where, had I walked out because of something that bothered me, I wouldn't have received an opportunity to do something better in an opposing but respectful retaliatory and non-retaliatory response.
That’s why during Thanksgiving I still enjoy gathering when possible and eating good food, hearing good words. Fuck the history, I’m enjoying my present. I’m not Christian or Catholic, but I’ll still respect and capitalize their titles if desired. I’ll still enjoy gift-giving/receiving on Christmas when the resources and people are there. Fuck the colonization and horror that followers brought to my ancestors years ago, and fuck the people who try to “save” me and judge me on the street today, I enjoy the similarities of message they share with my view as a Dakota and Lakota. The SuperBowl is enjoyed when it brings me more reasons to gather with friends and family, rooting for whomever, eating well, and laughing together. Fuck the mass ignorance and “get-by” mentality that the media tries to instill in us, I like entertainment.
I love being the being I am, because that entity involves something complicated – and in that the world seems to be simply beautiful.