Friday, February 11, 2011

High School

It is a very busy time for me because I am studying to take the GED which I am nervous about I don’t want to have to retake it. Why you ask am I bothering? I want to complete my high school and it makes me proud to know I have no shame for needing to take the test since I never went to high school. I dropped out 2 months into it (9th grade) I went to the beach or something crazy and never went back. It was a hot L.A. day and the class had over 50 people in it and I had my hand up to get the homework assignment. Yet I couldn’t hear what it was and I remember thinking my arm was hurting for being up so long and the teacher whom I don’t remember whether it was a man or woman was overwhelmed at the front of the room. That was it I gathered my stuff left my school books and quit. So now I am a half century old and off to school again only this time I like learning. I am so excited by math in a way I never thought possible and wonders of wonder I understand that it is a language that connects us in ways words cannot. This is news to me and I welcome it and understand it and that is comforting and powerful. So it isn’t an excuse really just a story of why I am not here more often. What if we discovered that what makes us most afraid whether it is discovering our body (new sport, using it), learning math (my biggest fear) and or surrendering to love allowing intimacy, what if we discovered that making that leapt of faith into the unknown uncomfortable territory was the very best thing we could do physically, emotionally, intellectually as well as spiritually? It seems to be true in my experience that this is the act that takes us out of depression and into living a fuller happier existence. Pushing our boundaries, learning new concepts, getting off our butts and moving into new territories, it is feeling pretty minty fresh and although I may fail (one never knows) I can always try again and is it really failure when we try something new once? Not really it is 100% failure when we don’t. It always comes back to mental health. Listening to NPR yesterday a father described modern health care as being 100 years behind in understanding mental health as opposed to our current understanding of how the body works. It is sad and true we are in the dark regarding illness when it is mental. I think because it touches the hem of spirituality, if not because it is enmeshed with it in a way that is fuzzy, grey and dangerously close to religion.
This is the reason it isn’t as popular to crack open understand and evolve in the medical community as research and worthy of discovery. I guess those of us who are near it, touched by it ought to do something. Imagine what our society would be like if we respected the mental health community and funded it like we do say “Defense”? Imagine if we as a culture balanced our priorities in general so that each citizen was cared for and valued? I suppose we wouldn’t recognize this utopia. Meanwhile we are in a gigantic shift, climate change is here and it is kicking butt. Things have to change because that is the only constant, change.


Diane said...

Rae Dawn, I think that is fantastic working on getting your GED. I think its common with child or teen celebrates to not complete school because its so much fun entertaining fans. A great free website for math is She gives step-by-step video and printouts to help with the process. I found these website a few years ago, because I struggle in math. I found it amazing how your class had 50 students; how can a teacher stay focus on all the students. I will be your cheer leader... you can do it

Dwane T. said...

You continue to be amazing!!! I hope you're not offended if I say I'm proud of you. I don't really know that reason the feeling is "proud", but I know its the feeling you get when someone does something special for themselves. How this is special to me might not be how it is special to you, so I'll just say this is special, you are special, I am happy for you, and I am proud of you.

Rae Dawn Chong said...

Ahhhhhh I love it! Seriously I am proud to be shameless about needing to take the test and it's been enlightening and fascinating to learn new things like Math.

Thank you very much for the encouragement it makes me so pleased and it motivates.

... I love you for being my witness.

mario said...

i too dropped out in yr 9 wow wat a coicidence...well more like kicked out for jigging school...went bac and completed in tafe yr 12 20 yrs ago now loved i thought u had like 10 phd's. seriously the way u write, so true alot of the time so timely so intelligent...lov ure work