Half to Whole: 001 - The Introduction

Hello and welcome to our new space here at the Wolf Den!  

When I committed to utilizing the blog component of my website at the start of this month to help move Napping Wolf and Co. forward as an actively Anti-Racist business I wasn’t too sure what that was going to look like. I still don’t know what that’s going to look like to be honest. I wanted this extension of my platform to be something more than a performative action. If I am going to put my energy into something as open as this I wanted it to mean something. I wanted a tangible way to keep myself accountable as a business owner making decisions for my company and my community. I wanted a way to express my own story without taking the narrative completely away from Black and Indigenous voices and hopefully add to their strength and progress in this work. 

Imperfect action is better than no action so here we are. And I know I’m going to mess up at times but I’m going to keep trying and keep learning because this is too important to go back to life as normal. Normal wasn’t working. 

I am not an expert on Anti-Racism. I am not an educator. I am not even well versed on this issue as I am SO LATE to the fight and have so much to unlearn and re-learn myself. If you’re reading this, you’re probably late too. But that’s ok. It’s time to get to work.

My hopes is that I can share some of my own personal experiences and learnings along the way with some of the Anti-Racism resources I’ve found helpful in a permanent space. This will not be a comprehensive page for resources nor will it ever try to be. I am really just starting to do the work myself and I know I’ll never stop learning so maybe this blog will help keep me accountable along the way. Maybe it will help keep you accountable too. When I was a teen my swimming coach taught us that when you are a part of a team, or employed by a business, or in my case, you are the business - you have a certain obligation to your community to act in a responsible and ethical way that does no further harm to others and hopefully inspires or leads others to do better themselves. If you have a platform of any kind people are watching you. In some cases they might look up to you for what steps to take next. For me as a humxn, a mother and a business owner, I want to make sure I’m putting my best foot forward in doing what I personally can when it comes to breaking down systemic racism, raising up BIPOC voices, and addressing anti-Blackness and White Supremacy in our communities. I am in no means at all suggesting every person who has a business or Instagram account start up a blog or anything like that. We all have our own ways to contribute to this effort and this is one of the ways I feel I can contribute.  

An interesting byproduct of starting this blog has been realizing over the past few weeks that I have a great deal of healing to do myself and that I need to process my own internalized oppression as a mixed-race POC living in Canada. If you have been following me on Instagram (@napping.wolf) you might know that I am Filipinx-Canadian and reside on Vancouver Island. At first my thought process revolved around ‘what actions can I take as a mixed-White person to help?’ to knowing that I need to do that as a top priority and simultaneously work on my own healing. For me personally, and possibly for other POC right now, these go hand in hand. Educating myself on Anti-Racism, standing up for social justice and actively doing what I can to break down the various avenues that support systemic racism is very much an active part of my own healing. Like therapy in action if you will.

I did not realize until very recently just how much of an impact these racial experiences growing up and in my adult life have had on my mental health. As someone who has been affected by various mental health issues for a long time, addressing it from another angle is very exciting to me. Out of all the counsellors I’ve spoken with over the years not a single one has ever considered race to be an issue for ones mental health status. So now that I’m learning I’m asking myself this and it’s bringing up some very interesting insights for me. Having one foot in the White-passing world and one foot in the POC world I feel particularly called to the front lines in standing in solidarity with our Black and Indigenous communities and actively do what I can to help bring other non-BIPOC to take tangible actions too.  

I am learning to take pride in my heritage and am accepting the responsibility that it’s up to me to educate myself on own family, our history and our stories so I can pass them down to our child. It’s going to take practice. How can I teach her to be proud of her Filipinx heritage if I don’t even really participate in it myself? As a parent this has been a huge eye opener for me and reinforces my need to heal and connect with my Filipinx side. For my daughter, my dad, and for my ancestors it is important to me that their memories don’t fade away from our family. After 30+ years of always putting my White side first it’s due time I pay some respect to my Filipinx side. This does not mean I am rejecting the half-White side of me, but more like I’m welcoming myself to be a whole person instead of two halves separated. So as much as I originally intended for this blog to be a mini-round up of Anti-Racism resources I can’t ignore the healing I’m currently going through and since for me these go hand in hand this blog is going to reflect that. Be flexible with me, learn with me, and take action with me. 

Thank you for reading! ~ Tehani  

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