I think I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve started watching documentaries. But, I’m not sure I’ve explained the full addiction that I am now in. It’s…….well, I won’t say it’s bad because I’m learning a crap-ton, but it has definitely taken up a good amount of hours in my life over the past couple of months since I started. I’ve watched roughly 40 different documentaries, not including series (which I still don’t know if they count?) on a wide variety of subjects. I have been blown away about environmental issues, social issues, animal rights (or lack thereof), and learned about amazing individuals both dead and living. To say it’s been an emotional roller-coaster would be a great understatement.
I stopped watching the news some time in High School because I remember distinctly the feelings of doom that would sit in my stomach as we sat around the dinner table with the NBC nightly news portraying all the horrible things going on around us. I remember constantly living in a state of worry and fear. I never felt safe and so when I had a choice to not let that information enter my mind, I took it. And since, the nightly news has not been a part of my life. My biggest news feed comes from social media, so really, I only knew about major stories and anything my friends felt was relevant. But a few months ago, I decided that if I was going to pay for Netflix, that I should be learning something, and/or having my mind challenged instead of watching Gilmore Girls and Parenthood over and over. And thus it began.
Thankfully, I have awesome friends who had been watching documentaries for much longer than I and gave me lots and lots of recommendations for truly magnificent pieces. But I started off with just the things that made me happy: shows about travel and art, but it quickly spiraled into very intense and heavy films portraying the reality of our world. I can’t count the number of times I’ve sat sobbing on my couch, holding on to Ginger, feeling completely broken over the choices that humanity has made.
Naturally, these strong reactions sparked questions inside of me: What can I do? What actions can I take to not contribute to these problems? Where can I volunteer? What issues do I care most about? How does all of this impact my career choices? Am I truly living my values? Do I still hold true to my ethics? My morals? What has changed? What generally drives my decisions? Where should I live? What really matters in this life?
Spoiler alert: I still don’t have answers to many of these questions, but at least having these questions present in my mind is something. I have an inner conversation going all the time which is causing me to slowly begin moving in a more focused and intentional direction and that to me is progress. It’s something. It’s a step.