Writing is my Thing (read: the thing I want to do with my life because it nurtures and challenges me while giving me pleasure all at the same time).
What I’m not sure of is what I want to write about. You know, if I got to choose 100% of the time. I have eclectic interests and love to learn, so I am happy to write about myriad topics. Yet, of course, I have my favorites.
My two biggest passions in life are women’s and non-human animal rights (why “non-human”? Because we are animals too – but we like to pretend that we aren’t, that we’re better than non-humans, because that perspective enables us to feel okay about exploiting them. Yeah, don’t get me started.).
I am fascinated by topics like environmental issues; pornography’s effect on viewers and its consequent impact on gender relations; animal rights and speciesism in general; feminism(s); the increasing threat of genetically modified foods (GMOs) and how Monsanto is attempting to take over the world through its manipulation and ownership of food across the globe (you can watch a very informative and frightening documentary on the topic here); and so on.
But ultimately, I would like to be the next Slavoj Žižek, continental philosopher and critical theorist (not that I support all of his views); or the next Judith Butler, poststructuralist and gender and queer theory philosopher extraordinaire whose mere genius makes her sexy. Of course, I may need to go on to get a Ph.D. or two for that. And although I’m not in the mood for it [yet], I’ve got time.
So how do you find your Thing?
Ahh, one of the quintessential existentialist questions. And one for which I don’t have a definitive answer.
Victoria Shmoria says it’s a process, not a destination, to find your Thing. And that you don’t get a spontaneous confetti party when you think you’ve found it! (I was not happy to read that, Victoria. Just so you know.)
But I know this: I am now 27, and I’ve had depression since I was about 13. At 15, I fell into a major depression that arguably culminated a year later in a suicide attempt (interestingly, just 9 days after I began taking the antidepressant Zoloft, which has been accused of spurring suicidal tendencies in users). So I wasn’t just blue. I necessitated copious amounts of antidepressants and therapy, which unfortunately didn’t even help much. I am fortunately stable now, although still on medication.
However, there was one single year during which I was able to do just fine – spectacularly, actually – without any pills despite tremendous stress. It was the year I wrote my thesis in college. I was in pure love with that thesis; with my carrel at the college library where I kept most of the books I was using in my research; with the courses I designed for myself during my last semester (French feminist theory, which I took with a friend and involved writing essays and meeting weekly with a professor in her office; and the philosophy of animal rights, for which I met alone with another professor in his office). I am a hardcore nerd and I love it. I reach academic journal articles for fun even today, philosophy books, critical theory, and so on.
And if that year I was able to get past all the crap in my head, all the misery, dismal self-esteem, co-dependency that led me to date emotionally selfish men for five years in a row, the emotional instability, and the crazy in general – I have to wonder whether the cure was doing something I was deeply in love with. And, thus, I wonder whether I would be happiest as an academic, spending my time reading, writing, and discussing intricate ideas, expanding the horizons of my mind at 100 mph (as much as you can expand them through academic learning). Is that, now that my depression is no longer severe, my ultimate cure?
But I want to affect concrete change in the world. I want to make it a better place for women and for non-human animals in particular because they are the most oppressed groups on Earth. And I’m not sure whether writing would be sufficient to accomplish this on my terms.
And, no, I don’t yet know how to get there, or how to reconcile my desire to write with my desire to help change the world.
Meanwhile, I continue to write.
Also, my website is too pink. I intend to fix this.
- by Natalia4 comments »