Friday, 18 November 2016

I am 22 and no longer who I used to be

Since a couple of years ago, it became a ritual for me to reflect on how far I’ve come, every time I turn a year older. It’s a tad bit belated, but here we go.

I think one of the biggest changes since last year (as some of you might have noticed) is that I blog much more infrequently. Honestly, I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time. “Have I lost my (youthful) passion to write?” I ponder with regret. “Has inspiration shut its door on me?” I yearn with an unspeakable longing. “Or am I just too preoccupied with the hustle and bustle of life final year?” Reality finally strikes.

But no; I do not find satisfaction in any of these questions answers. Deep down I know that it is because I no longer have (in a myopic sense) an opinion. When the UK voted to leave the EU, I flipped open my MacBook, ready to draft out an opinion piece (as politics student are expected to). I opened a blank page on Microsoft Word, stared at it for a good 15 minutes and finally shut the MacBook without having written a single word. When Donald Trump was elected president, I, again, felt the need to say something. Anything. But I realised that I had absolutely nothing to say.

At this point of time, you’re probably thinking that I’m an uninspiring politics student who probably can’t figure out my allegiances. Or you might not even give a damn about me (although I don’t understand why you’re still reading this, up to this point). I don’t know. Okay, I just proved, again, that I lack an opinion.

The point is: I am not blogging (as much as before) because I have nothing to say. (I know, it’s ironic that I’m currently blogging about not blogging – that’s beside the point.)

Yes, I don’t have an opinion. But it’s not what you think. It’s not that I’m impassive, apathetic (whatever you wish to call it). I believe think it might be because I’m no longer the person I used to be. I used to be assertive in my convictions, be in politics or in defining love. Without considering every piece of evidence, every individual (loud or soft) voice, every (possibly insignificant) experience, I came to my own conclusions and flaunted them to my world. I’m not saying that it was wrong but I grew out of it.

Maybe I realised that people don’t actually care about what you think. Maybe I realised that having an opinion is a privilege that shouldn’t be abused. Not when there are people who are not allowed or do not have the ability to express their views. Not when there are citizens of the world who have greater concerns such as having to survive each day, day by day. Not when there are boys and girls, my age, who have not received basic education. Maybe I realised that having a view is something that society expects of us – to conform to one side, to prove that you are a critical thinker, to define who you are by your opinions. (And yes, I know, this is an opinion in itself.)

In academia, we are forced to pick a side. “Never sit on the fence” is one of the top tips to writing a good essay. In debate, we are assigned with proposition or opposition; there is no fence-sitter. The same goes for social media. You don’t write a post saying, “I don’t know if Britain should leave the UK.” You’re expected to write either something emotive (“Britons should be in control of their future. Not the Germans!”) or supposedly rational (“It’s the economy, stupid!”).

I wrote nothing. And I, still, have nothing to write. The truth is, I don’t know if the UK should leave the EU. I don’t know whether a Trump or Hillary victory would’ve been a worse outcome. I did some research, I chatted with others and I still don’t know. There will be people who will (probably) look at me with contempt and retort, “What?! Can’t you see the obvious?!” I can’t. And it’s ok. I’ll leave it as that. I think it’s okay to say “I don’t know.” I’m not God, I can’t see into the future and I don’t want to make judgements on things that are not certain. I don’t want my convictions to make the person with a different view feel like an idiot. I don’t want to be a know-it-all when I (in fact) know nothing at all.

Blogging has always been my safe haven. A place where I pour out my convictions (like I’m doing right now), speak my mind freely and, hopefully, influence others in the way that they think. I, still, am speaking my mind freely but I, now, choose to withhold forming opinions when I have yet to quench an issue in its entirety.

I am 22 and no longer who I used to be.

If someone were to ask me about my opinion, I would probably say: I don’t know. Is it the right approach to life? I don’t know.


P.s. I’ve been endeavouring to write an article on Christianity and Feminism (it’s been more than a year). Who knows, I may post it one day when I’ve actually scrutinised every nook and cranny of Christian and Feminist literature. Or I may just carry it to my death bed. I don’t know.

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