I have been travelling for a few weeks—it feels like a lifetime.
(Photo: Yangon’s “Chinatown” a few days before Chinese New Year, Myanmar)
I have been toying with the idea of starting a blog, a website, or a diary, for a while now. The exhaustion from backpacking, sleeping in hostels and night buses, juggling between the company you have at the moment and the friends you left back at home—all of it brought me to a state of intense exhaustion at which point the world around me swirled in a ringing sound as I proceeded to aimless tasks in a robotic manner. I picked up my laptop and my writing, like many other people, with a sense of urgency—the urgent necessity of putting my sights, experiences, and thoughts down, on paper or otherwise.
People say that starting something is the hardest part—once the routine is in place, it becomes “second nature.” But in this case, the initial push of sitting down in front of a blank page hasn’t been so difficult as what I imagine the next few weeks of attempting to keep up with it may wind up to be. Still, if I can pick this blog up again after what I reckon has been three years, I have hope that perhaps in a cosmic sense, it was meant to be.
Since three years ago, my writing has changed. My world views, my experiences, my academic and professional trajectories have all been unavoidably altered. It wouldn’t matter to you—I doubt my first post had more than five viewers!—but to me, this means a lot. In spite of my usual laziness and tendency to be easily distracted by instantly gratifying activities, such as not writing as opposed to actually writing, I do love the process of going through my thoughts and leaving a trace of them that I can look back on with tears in the corners of my eyes (or perhaps hatred at my once stupid-sounding self). Whilst I believe that when one wants change, the next minute should be the starting point, I do make New Year’s resolutions out of a habitual and romantic liking of anything worth celebrating—and the coming of a new year definitely deserved celebrations, if only for the possibly dark days ahead (I avoid pessimism and melodrama as much as possible, but given Trump’s presidency and his new policies, as well as the avalanche of right-wing populist voices emboldened by it, it is certainly fair to feel concerned, at the very least).
I made a few resolutions this year, and one of them is to write more—another related one is to read more non-academic works. The latter has been quite successful so far, not least because the year began with a two-week long backpacking trip in which I spent countless hours on night buses and airports, with no Wi-Fi hence no distraction from my Kindle. The former is being carried out this instance.
I will likely elaborate on this matter further, but for now I shall say that writing, for me, is a very personal process. As such, I haven’t told anyone around me of this *secret* hobby of mine, which gives me the freedom of expressing (hopefully) anything that I would want to read again at a later date. This also means that the number of views my posts get is not so much of an issue—there are countless newspapers, websites, blogs, and so on out there and I understand the sheer amount of reading required can be daunting, and I wouldn’t necessarily wish to add to that. On the flipside of that is the fact, maybe, that some of my more political or controversial views will not have as much of an impact as I would perhaps wish to—but I know that should a topic fascinate me or make me feel engaged, my current Master’s Degree in International Relations will be an adequate outlet for such sentiments, both in academic writing and in my day-to-day interactions with my fellow students, hence I shouldn’t feel concerned.
With all that in mind, I am formally reviving this overly-dramatic sounding blog in what has officially become the year 2017! Wish everybody the best that life has to offer.