I took a course called Themes in American Literature during my sophomore year of college. The chosen theme was not revealed to students until they ordered textbooks for the class weeks after registering. It wound up being E Pluribus Unum. It is the motto on the Seal of the United States translated to “Out of Many, One.” so the theme was writing from the melting pot of America. As it turned out, most of what we read could best be identified as grievance narratives. The term sounds insulting, but the reality about grievance narratives is they sometimes how little literary merit beyond the race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation of the author.
Grievance narratives are just that--an author complaining about hardship while offering no explanations of how or even if the author overcame the obstacles or even hints of solutions for others facing the same issues. They appear to largely be an exercise in self-pity and guilt trip inflicting on whoever may be causing one of these obstacles by whatever means. Yes, they were about the worst form of political correctness I have ever encountered. I have avoided them as desperately as paperback novels with Fabio on the cover.
All that said, I have been mindful of not falling into the trap of turning my personal blogging into a grievance narrative itself. It may seem as thought I am wallowing in self-pity by the posts I have been making throughout June thus far, but the reality is that I am trying to get my issues all out there so taking about my spiritual and emotional growth will make sense without rehashing months worth of events in order for it to make sense. I was suffering an existential crisis. Resolving those requires many intangibles that teeter on the edge of becoming naval gazing. Who in the world wants to read that? Cogito Ergo Doleo is already a shameful exercise in ego I am surprised anyone cares to read.
So in order to throw a redemptive bone in at a good time, it was six months ago today that I planned to exit this mortal coil, but backed off after a chance encounter. Anyone who has been reading the blog already knows this and I will still add more details as I lay out the story the rest of the month--other than the identity of Jane Doe, that is--but it should be noted said encounter was the first positive step in what was likely years to make me reconsider whether life’s struggle is worth it.
Granted, that was not the corner turning event. Truth be told, I do not know what was or--bare with me--there even was an identifiable one. The search for it is a large part of what this blog is all about. But at least I am exploring now for solutions rather than planning the end. With that, I have avoided--and this is the least I have avoided, of course--turning my life into a grievance narrative. Take that for what it is worth while I continue to bring out the turmoil for a little while longer.