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The Sunken Place

March 26, 2018

 

Lately, I've been obsessed with the movie "Get Out."  Like, so much so that I have been neglecting my work and social life so that I can keep reading about it and analyzing every little detail. And though this obsession has been going on for a couple weeks, I seem to continuously discover something new about the movie. At first, I was feeling guilty that I was wasting so much time in trying to analyze a movie - ingenious as it is, I should be focusing on my life and my goals. Then it occurred to me one reason the movie is resonating more and more, the more I explore it. I am learning about my life through the movie, which is the most important work I can do right now. 

 

I am finding my own sunken place. The place where, as a woman, it's so easy to defer to men and let them set the context - for everything. For how a business should be run.  For how vocal I should be. For how I should live my life.   The place where, as an Indian-American, it's so easy to become conscious of the fact that I am seen differently, and thus, doubt myself. Doubt that I can fit in. Doubt that I will be taken seriously as a leader and given as much importance as my white male contemporaries.

 

As much as I pride myself on being this badass woman of color activist-artist, I would be lying if I said I'm not plagued with self-doubt every step of the way.  If I said that it doesn't feel very vulnerable trying to lead an organization, a movement that is huge in scope and controversial to some - I discovered early on that nobody wants to see the demons lurking in themselves, and least of all be shown them by a young-looking Indian girl. There is always the fear that I won't be taken seriously, maybe because of my age, my gender, or my color. Now some may say I am thinking too much. That I am creating these theories, hallucinations in my mind. Sort of how Rose gaslighted(gaslit?) Chris that he is overreacting to the strange, overfriendly behavior of all the white people. I won't be told that. After watching this movie, I am 100% certain that what I feel is very real; the sunken place opened my eyes, and my voice, to something that was hard to put into words before.

 

The "other-ness" of me is in almost everything. I don't fit in. I am too sardonic, cynical, and vocal for a girl(not as pleasing as people would want).  I am too much into my Indian culture, music, and dance at the expense of knowing much about American pop culture. I am too adventurous, impulsive, and free-thinking, especially for an Indian-American girl. I am too community and family oriented for the average American. And there are all these different ways that I hide these aspects of myself strategically, allowing them to sink in the background so that I will seem to fit in. But I never do. And so finding 'Unity in Diversity' is not really about culture. It's a much bigger issue to me. It's about being loved and accepted for being different. It's my journey to find love and recognition, despite the fact that I am different in practically every way from you. And how can I personally cross that bridge and be understood by you, as well as understand you? And how can I teach others to do the same?  TBD.  

 

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