It’s been a lifetime since the last post that I wrote on here.
But one of my favorite things about this silly blog is that I can always go back and re-read my writings and my story. I can see what has changed and what hasn’t. Paradoxically, I can both read my own words as if I hadn’t written them and at the same time go back to think or feel what I was experiencing at the time when I wrote it, which is a strange way of [re]experiencing things from a simultaneously external and deeply internal perspective. Well, after reading my last post, I can certainly say that a lot of things have changed, so it’s about time that I provide my friends (and my future self) with a new update…
Back in November/December of 2016, I posted 1) an immediate reaction to Trump’s election, 2) follow-up thoughts where I delved deeper into what I thought and felt regarding the issue, and 3) a plan on what I proposed to do next, as well as how others could play a role in it. As the months of 2017 flew by, I kept wanting to write an update so that people would be up to date on what was happening. I remember setting myself a couple of deadlines to write a post, but in case you haven’t noticed the pattern:
I don’t write when there’s a deadline, I write when there’s a story.
And if we are gathered here today, then it means that I have a story to tell.
2017: The Story
I’m honestly not too sure about where to start on this one.
The main issue is that there are two simultaneous and correlated storylines that are important here. One is a story about an idea, and the other is the story about a woman. These stories converge into a single aftermath of “what happened after I went for it” so it’s hard to figure out which story to introduce to you first. By the time you are reading this, I will obviously have decided how “the story” is written, but for record let me just say that it’s not easy to talk about “this” and “that” or “now” and “then” when you’re sitting here and now knowing that these essentially are two sides of the same coin…
I met her at the end of August 2016. At the time, most of my efforts were single-mindedly focused on finding information about EU Citizenship for a thesis that had sprung out of the idea of World Citizenship. If you want to know exactly how we met, I can honestly tell you that I was looking at a screen and suddenly decided “hey, this one seems different than the others”. Perhaps the best way to describe my subsequent thoughts is by referencing a quote that is written in one of my notebooks: “nec spe, nec metu“. Without hope, without fear. I believe this to be the best way to describe my approach into the whole thing because I was trying not to get my hopes up [in order to avoid disappointment], but I also wasn’t really afraid of going all in regardless of the outcome (i.e. I didn’t care about ‘wasting my time’ if nothing came out of it). I wanted to be objective and not let my feelings guide the way everything turned out, so I thought “let’s enter this 100% and then just go with the flow”. I had no idea what I was truly getting into, or how the whole thing would evolve, I just figured that the best thing I could do was go in without either [negative] prejudices or [positive] expectations.
Throughout the next few months, I kept doing what I often do: asking myself way too many questions, doubting everything, asking myself how invested I truly was, and talking to my closest friends about whether I should stick with this despite the obstacles or pursue something more practical. I wanted to predict all scenarios because, to be honest, I knew I was already pretty far down the rabbit hole. And yet despite being so far in, I also knew that things were at a crossing point: everything could either fall apart in a matter of days or it could become much more intense in a heartbeat. Every little decision now would either turn the rabbit hole into a very steep and slippery slope or it would turn this whole thing into “a semi-story that almost happened once”. But it was on January 27, 2017 that we finally took the leap into the deep end.
People and Ideas
This would probably be a good point to tell you that the entire previous section was referring to both the woman and the idea.
The idea came to me through a computer screen, from an academic article that I read online at the end of August; I didn’t think much of it at first because it was ‘just another article’, but the more I went into it without prejudice or expectations, the more it became the root of a meaningful initiative that I could pursue.
The woman came into my life through a phone screen, something called a Tinder match at the end of August; we didn’t think much of it at first because it was ‘just another fling’ for both of us; but the more we went into it without prejudice or expectations, the more it became the root of a meaningful bond that we could foster.
The issue was: “What would become of it?“
On January 27, 2017 my idea started the process of becoming a European Citizens’ Initiative, and this girl [who I barely knew in person] was the reason why I was able to pursue it, so both my idea and our relationship started the process of becoming something more concrete on that date. With one decision, both the idea and the woman became a conscious long-term investment; regardless of what happened, she and I were in on this together.
Rather than writing out one incredibly long novel about two stories (as I often do), I will write two more posts where I will tell 1) the story about the idea and 2) the story about the girl. I figure that this will be the best way to summarize how I went from living in Europe, single, with a plan and without money, to living in Bolivia, with a girlfriend, without a concrete plan but with slightly more ability to finance myself and the next steps.
I hope the upcoming stories can do justice to the foregone experiences.