So in my last semester at McGill, in my environmental thought course, I wrote a final essay on the social construction of the environmental field. here I was, a student in environment, very much a believer of environmental problems, and an environmentalist at heart myself, but here I was debating, putting forth the idea, that the environmental field is a social construction itself, even if backed by science, because even science, though it is often times set apart, put on a higher pedestal and considered “fact”, even science is a social construction. it is constructed.
and I’m telling you all this because, I think for awhile I forgot about the social construction of the world, and have recently remembered.
I think I should start and point out at the beginning, that yes, even the idea of social constructions is a social construction in itself. and as usual, you can agree, disagree, with whatever you wish.
but I’ve decided to write this blog not to please myself, or validate myself, but because I believe that perhaps some, hopefully many people could and will benefit from this in some way. that hopefully this blog will help ease your worries, remind you not to take life or yourself so seriously.
i recently went through a period where i was doubting myself a lot. doubting whether I was “really” happy, if I was just fooling myself. doubting what I was doing, who I was, where I was going. doubt and worry, they really suck.
but I finally realized that all of these doubts and worries are learned. they are not necessarily my thoughts, but thoughts I’ve learned to have from society
as children, we are worry free (not necessarily because we have less “responsibilities) but because we have not learned to have so many doubts and worries yet. we are in awe because everything for quite a while is new to us. we don’t worry or think about whether we are “really” happy. we just were. we were existing in a world, and we weren’t wondering “why are we here” “who are we” what is my purpose? does this make me happy? is this my path?
there has been a shift of late. people are realizing that money can’t buy happiness, and there has been a shift to “find happiness” or to “be happy”. happiness is the new goal. perhaps it always was, but the way to get there has changed.
as I said before we were existing. there’s so much emphasis now on “living” your life and not just surviving it. and I do agree with these statements, but then it seems you need to associate a question to this statement (as we are always trying to define things) you also must ask the question well what is “living” and as usual people will give you lots of different answers.
you will always find answers to the questions you ask (it may take years, but normally you will find them). but the questions you ask define the answers that you will find. the questions you ask will shape your reality. if you ask “is there a god” well then you will most likely find some sort of god. if you ask “what is my path” well then you will eventually feel that you have found your path. if you ask ” who am I” one day you will feel as if you have finally figured out who you are.
but why do we need to ask questions. why can’t we just be in awe. from the moment we ask a question, we have a tendency to start dissecting the world around us. trying to “understand” and make sense of it.
and what I have realized,
is that: the minute you ask these questions ” who am I” you are also telling yourself that at that moment, you don’t know who you are. of if you ask ” what is my path” you are telling yourself that you don’t know what your path is.
the power of suggestion. and the power of the mind. we are what we think. if you think you aren’t happy, you won’t be. if you think you are happy you will be.
we have too many thoughts. thoughts tend to be flooded by worries, fears and doubts. when you really are enjoying yourself, or when you are really in the moment, you may still be thinking, but you are not holding on to those thoughts, they come and they go. and so you do not perceive them, when you are in mediation, the goal is to become aware of your thoughts, become aware so that you can let them go, so that you can truly be in the moment.
and i very much believe in all this. but at the same time, I no longer believe that these are things that we need to feel we must have. we are no less of a person, we are no less alive if we do not achieve these moments. you are alive no matter what you are doing! too many of us now feel the “need” to be alive, to be happy, to find enlightenment. we have simply replaced one goal with another. when you set yourself a goal, that automatically translates to, i have not met my goal. and this can leave you feeling like you are missing something, leave you feeling unsatisfied, unfulfilled.
recently I was very much feeling like I was missing something. like there was whole. people, places and things come into our lives all the time. some for short periods, some for long periods, some forever. but if and when these things leave, we compare our present situations to our past and feel that we are now missing something. however, most things in our lives were not there to begin with.
I think it is important to remember that you aren’t missing anything. you do not need anything. you have everything. you always have, and you always will! don’t ask “am I happy”, instead remind yourself that you always have been and you always will be (not literally of course but you know what I mean)
it is only when you try to make sense of the world, when we start taking ourselves too seriously and asking for our purpose or our path that we bring self doubt into our lives. (and really, we are all human, it’s hard not to do this) but I think it is important to remind ourselves not to take ourselves so seriously. no matter our beliefs,
even the idea that we need something to believe in is a social construction (it does not exist in and of itself, it is not absolute truth). if you don’t believe in something, no stress, no worries that is completely okay. if you do have something to believe in that is okay too! there is no right or wrong way to live your life. you do not always need to be happy. happiness is a social construction itself, and so it is not the “ultimate” all encompassing god either. sometimes we are happy, sometimes we aren’t.
I really think the best thing to do is remember not to worry so much. I’m not saying don’t worry at all (wagging my finger at you) because you know what, we all will worry. and when we worry, we shouldn’t feel any less because of it, we shouldn’t feel like we haven’t accomplished something. its okay to worry.
so many people try to lay out a guideline to life, well guess what, there is no f**ing guideline.
(or maybe there is, the idea that there is no guideline is also a social construction)
so stop worrying about it so much, and stop doubting that you don’t know what it is.
we are insignificant. be in awe of the world. don’t try to understand it, define it, construct it. take in more, and think less.
we are our own worst enemy, more specifically our thoughts are our own worst enemy.
dream. be excited. laugh and love. (and dance, that helps too). play outside. be a kid again.
as we grow up we learn so much, but I think you get to a certain age, where you need to look back on everything and decide what is really important to you. and then comes the most difficult part. unlearning the behaviours.
as kids, we are sponges, we pick up everything. we start out carefree and then begin to learn the troubles, doubts, fears and worries of the world. (but all these doubts and fears etc etc, the good and the bad in fact) are social constructions. they do not exist in and of themselves. so let them go! do not hold on to your past, do not hold on to your thoughts
Anywho, i am rambling a lot. And really, everything that I have just said is no more true than anything else you have ever come across in your life. I am no less right or wrong than anyone else. And really I did not write this blog to convince you of anything, to tell you to believe one thing over another. Instead I wrote this blog to remind you to relax! smile! and laugh at yourself. don’t worry be happy (as the song goes). do not doubt yourself,
you right now, all that you are, you are awesome. you have everything you need. you always have and you always will.
So cheers to you!
and cheers to life! whatever that is!