I love this photo. It speaks volumes about how even with COVID-19 restrictions lifted, we (society) cannot find ways to get off our electronics or social media. After my health issues this year, I slowly started realising more and more about myself and how all of my passions that used to define me, eventually slowly started my mental health decline.
My passion and love for politics, my love for my university studies and my desire to change the world rapidly changed over the past few months. After studying The Holocaust for an entire semester, my outlook on life was bleak. I genuinely believe in all my heart now that even if a newer generation of young politicians find themselves in government, radical, systemic change is unlikely to occur.
Political, religious, ethnic, sex or class divides are too deeply entrenched into global societies. There will never be peace in Israel-Palestine or in Myanmar. Religious values encroaching upon governments can, will and have restricted women’s rights to easily access contraceptives or abortions (although this is not true for all countries).
I once defined myself by learning about global issues in an attempt to change them, to create a more unified global community. The realisation that I alone cannot do it hit me like a basketball to the face. Maybe it was my youth and naivete that drove me to such conclusions, either way, I don’t regret it. Although I realise now I’d much rather clean up the mess of politicians then to be one myself, it opened my eyes up to the hardships others experience and how I am lucky in the coin toss of the birth lottery.
I used to yearn to understand the lived experiences of others, others in Third World countries, those living under oppressive regimes or people who have experienced war or famine. I now understand that I will never be able to comprehend others, their heartbreak, loss or grief unless I myself am put into these extreme circumstances. How could I ever understand what it is like to slowly lose my child to famine or cholera? Simply reading about it is inadequate.
I have a deep appreciation for my degree. Although it is not complete yet, it has truly given my life so much more meaning. Knowledge is power. I will never take for granted all that I have learnt.
What I realised however, was that all the media do is post negative stories. Everyday, everywhere, my feeds on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook were full of only the bad events occurring. There were minimal signs or posts of positivity, eventually the thought of waking up made me feel dreadful. I do believe purging myself from social media has helped immensely with this.
Although I do not pretend there aren’t real issues in the world, I do believe taking a step back has helped me to take greater care with my mental health. Breaking out of bad habits which negatively impact my life will help. It already has.
Life is too precious and fragile to keep expecting change without working for it. As cliche as it sounds, my new goal is to live in the moment and embrace each day as it comes by.