Updated: May 27
I used to have this theory that if were to have a set belief on a religion or spirituality, it meant I were content—that I would no longer be a seeker. I’ve created (and deleted) so many IGTVs on religion, discussing discrepancies of religious texts, only to be attacked by devote followers of said religion.
So, I stopped talking, and most importantly, I stopped pondering about those texts and the intentions behind it. I did, however, quietly look at my bookshelf filled with Richard Dawkins novels and wondered where that girl who was consumed by his words went.
What if I discussed politics? I could discuss the discrepancies of governments all over the world and the psychology of manipulating the masses. I received heavier attacks, even worse: ad hominin fallacies.
Alright, alright, no politics. I did, however, think about the article I wrote called Hate Week, and the conversations I had with my dad about being in love with George Orwell, or how reading his essays and books like 1984 made me feel a little less lonely. But forget it. That girl asked too many questions.
Maybe sex—and the different forms countries teach sex ed, or lack thereof, to its minors which then affects how they view their own sexuality or approve of others. What if I openly supported the girls in the sex industry as a form of teaching the masses that society has dehumanized certain lines of work? Even bringing up the topic invites assumptions on my character, my sexuality, and of course, the invitation for pictures and messages I’ll leave unread.
My thoughts are my own, but my words have slowly been manipulated in favor of you, the masses, and what you like to read, or not read. My words have slowly become thoughtless selfies with a pretty lens. I’ll attach an IGTV here and there now that I have your attention, but there’s something lonely about my thoughts not aligning with my words.
It almost feels like I’ve created my own jail cell. I’m happy, I’m so happy, but I wonder if it’s an ignorant kind of happy.
1984 teaches us about the contradictory messages of doublethink:
War is peace
Freedom is slavery
Ignorance is strength
I had this paranoia after I read a psychology article that if were the average of the five people I hang out with the most, I must find friends with a PhD, and I must be aware of how much of an idiot I am. Those friends I forged ended up letting me know about my potential, and how much freer I would become with a proper education. I read, and I studied, and I followed their rules. I did feel free, but I felt captive. I felt stronger mentally, but ignorant to mental health and societal norms.
My greatest battle has always been obtaining individual freedom within the confines of people’s idealized version of me. And when I break their version, I feel free. I feel aligned.
This last week, I’ve learned that everyone’s version of what they want me to be is different, and that I would ultimately end up disappointing people who don’t matter. I'm still in pain of what I had to let go, although that pain has given me peace. The people who do matter don’t pay attention, or care, because of an understanding that I am on a journey that will never be aligned to theirs, but instead, can coexist with it.