Let your work change you

This semester, I’ve been working on a project all about body positivity. Going into this subject, I thought I had fully-formed my opinions and that my beliefs were unwavering. However, as I’ve examined the movement through different lenses, and specifically through the perspectives of others in the community, I’ve found my ideas being challenged and even altered. This was a bit of an uncomfortable process, since I had no expectation of shifting beliefs, but listening to other people and their experiences has shown me so much more than objective outward and inward thinking have alone. I think it has to do with understanding people as a whole and how they are influenced by personal experiences and larger systems, and researching both of these aspects separately really only showed me how important they are together. I’ve enjoyed interviewing other people and not limiting our conversation to political or personal, rather letting the conversation cover whatever feels natural. In meeting with other people and hearing their beliefs and critiques of lager systems, my beliefs have been changing too. I think when writing, and in life in general, we need to let our preconceived notions go and open ourselves up to changing opinions and work that reflects such shifts. So much of this class has been grounded in exploration, and it would be a shame to limit this exploration to simply medium or mode when it can (and should) include explorations of our own perspectives and beliefs supporting our work. This has been a surprising and slightly uncomfortable experience for me, but I feel better because of it. Hopefully, I can implement this sense of exploration and growth into all of my future writing. 

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