I had a conversation with one of my Filipino friends who is also studying here in the Netherlands. She is taking up a masters in financial economics at the Tinbergen Institute (a joint institution of Erasmus University Rotterdam, University of Amsterdam, and VU University Amsterdam), and soon enough, plans to continue her PhD studies here in Europe.
Like myself, she also has a blog (or at least had one in the past). She currently deactivated it for personal reasons. We got into quite a lengthy conversation about our blogs and how it hasn’t exactly been as active as it was in the past (i.e. we were not blogging regularly anymore). We came to a conclusion that there were two primary reasons why we could have stopped blogging:
- Our priorities could have shifted, and
- We may have stopped having opinions we think were relevant
It was easy to say that our priorities have indeed shifted. We were both subjected to new environments recently. We both just moved to the Netherlands to pursue further studies from being in our comfort zones in the Philippines. Therefore, we had to readjust our lives to something new. But I told her:
That reason is too easy — were just thinking of an easy explanation about our laziness to blog.
And we did talk about it more.
A point raised during our conversation is that we think we have stopped having opinions, which we think were relevant — and this reason scared me. It scared me because once we stop having opinions, and start thinking that our opinions are irrelevant, it would lead us to becoming drifters. Being a drifter is not bad in itself, but I refuse to be one.
I’ve shared multiple times with my friends that I have this innate fear of being considered irrelevant. For this reason, I have never really settled for having no opinion on matters. And if I don’t know anything about a certain subject, I will ask them to explain it to me, or at least ask for a period of time for me to learn about it to broaden my knowledge. When the time comes that I actually have enough basis for myself to have an opinion, then I do give it.
This makes me think, indeed, I did not stop having opinions, I just got lazy about sharing them to the public. It could also be that my priority on sharing it in my blog has greatly diminished because now, I am part of an entirely new experience as being part of the board of a student association.
At the end of the day, I do know three things about myself:
- I will always have a strong individuality as a person
- I will always have an opinion
- I will always have the confidence to say that I am relevant
Like what René Descartes (another proud Rene), said
Cogito ergo sum
In English: “I think therefore, I am”. We all still continue to think, therefore, we all still exist.