note to self

by ashwinia


To study the social sciences is hard, sometimes even traumatic, because you begin to constantly critically examine everything — not just all that you come across but also all that you’ve known well, including your own self. Learning then is not merely a method to achieve grades or win a job. It is to apply what you learn to your body, thoughts, actions, to unlearn to live the known way, to undefine labels, and to evolve constantly. Sometimes you wonder if the convenient ignorance accorded to you by your previous academic choices was better for your peace of mind. You even wonder if you are too serious, too neurotic, too complicated to be able to wade through the tides of the liberal arts. You no more know how to enjoy a meal, a movie, a stand-up comedy show, a vacation, a relationship, even a friend’s wedding without feeling flustered because you cannot unsee the politics that lies in front of you. You no more know if what you see is what reality is, because others seem to be seeing butterflies and finger chips instead. Your family and friends advise you for  the sake of your own happiness to not be so sentimental, to not make things bigger than they are. You tell them that their placid nonchalance and their ability to laugh off tears has sustained problems by refusing to acknowledge them. Your friends and family label you as argumentative, too sensitive, aggressive, even Marxist. You are aware that your anger sinks any probablity of sustained happiness but it doesn’t matter because you don’t want the selfish happiness born out of silence, complicity and blindness. Your happiness is defined differently now. Your strength and peace comes from your struggle, from your fight. You might, on some days, feel afraid of having to exist a lifetime while smiling through these painful times. Remind yourself, you aren’t alone.

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