You see it all the time in the movies (inspirational and romantic comedies) and read it over and over in James Joyce’s The Dubliners….Awakenings. That grand epiphany that magically falls on a fictional or based-on-a-true-story (which is clearly dramatized) character and so enlightens them that their lives are never ever the same again. While this is sweet and all, it’s generally fabrication of the human mind in fantasyland.
By the way…Ladies, you will not change him. Plan on no “now I get it” moment when he stops being a dick and realizes that you are meant to be together forever and undickifies himself. I’m no expert, or a man for that matter, but have enough experience between myself and my girlfriends to know that if there is any sort of “now I know” moment that you have absolutely no control over it. Nor will changing yourself help that out in any way. Not only do men not think like that, but they (generally) just don’t think about that stuff. It’s just us, sisters.
Anywhoodelydoo, upon hearing the word awakening, I kind of want to gag (and sometimes do if I’m choking on a chicken bone or something). A lot of people like to tell you about the awakenings that they’ve had. How they’ve seen the light or the error of their ways. Some friends have told me about grand awakenings that they’ve had. However, calling it an awakening (other than some of my friends who are sober & their stories are really like literal awakenings…literally) kind of bugs. And from strangers? Please, please keep that to yourself.
Apparently, I haven’t had an awakening. Maybe if I do I’ll run around telling everyone about it. And if that ever happens, I give you full rights to punch me in the face and tell me to shut up. Little waves of “aha!” moments? Have them all the time. So do you, I bet. You know, when you finally “get it”. It’s like when you realize that the job just isn’t worth such pain and unhappiness. Or when, although you love your partner, you are a better person without them and have to break it off. Or you begin attending some sort of religious or spiritual ceremonies regularly and want to change to better yourself due to its influence. Or as simple as accidentally buying crunchy peanut butter and realizing that it really is far superior to smooth and why had you been stuck on smooth for so long?
Self-realizations? Yes. Awakenings? Not in this ginger midget’s opinion.
So what do I think real awakenings are? Actions that change society and make us realize that the way that we’ve been doing things isn’t so great. Now that, in my opinion, is an awakening. When an action in someone or some group changes views towards what is indisputably right. When people witness something and collectively react positively in order to rectify a situation. When someone stands up and says “this is wrong, we need to change it.”
And they’re right.
And change occurs.
It’s Rosa Parks. It’s my brave friends who not only have bettered their lives immensely but now devote their energies to helping others rather than constantly hurting. It’s Mahatma Gandhi.
When a person or group of people realize just how wrong they were or how much they’ve fucked up and will do what it takes to make it right.
That, my friends, is an awakening.
Oh, such good writing here. And two thumbs up for your spot-on definition of what a true awakening is or should be.
Also, "undickifies" now added to my vocab. So hope I get to use it.
Nice piece, emmyem! I agree… aha! moments ≠ awakenings. Let's talk about losing one's career, home, limb or family, not "I went lesbian in college, but I'm back on men now."
And for the record, anyone who doesn't prefer crunchy peanut butter to smooth is a damn fool. I'm just sayin.
nicely argued, emmyem. but i have to disagree, based on the literal definition of the word alone. awakenings happen to people, so those people get to call it an awakening if that's what it felt like. yes, movements can start from one person's awakening (e.g. rosa parks) but i don't think an individual change is any less significant if no one else knows about it.
Thanks guys!! Feedback, good & bad is much appreciated.
I will never "undickify"! Otherwise, great post.
I couldn't agree with you more. Most so-called Awakenings are nothing more than a quick trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Practically forgotten as soon as we go back to sleep. There are very few that bring about actual change and progress.