When I was a kid, and even as I grew up, I always had a hard time standing up for myself. And I don’t mean physically, I mean having an opinion and sticking to it. Whether it’s because I had very convincing friends, because I was too anxious to lose them or whether I was just afraid of any form of verbal conflict, I’m not quite sure, but it was probably one of them. I was also probably misleading when I started with “as a kid” as it was the case up until about two years ago, and I still struggle with it to this day.
I remember, in secondary school, once buying a Playstation game I had absolutely no interest in playing just because my friends were playing it. And it wasn’t the typical case of “well, if your friends wanted to jump off a cliff, would you do it?” it was more “well, my friends are jumping off cliffs without me, and they keep telling me I’d love jumping off cliffs.” Even though I knew it was almost a certainty that I would bloody hate that cliff, something in me made me feel bad for not walking to Game and buying it after school.
I still have that game somewhere.
And it wasn’t just this one time, it was all the time; opinions on films? Changed. Ideas about what to do that day? Forgotten. Answers to questions I knew were right? Wrong answers given. I wasn’t a shy kid, Jesus, that couldn’t be further than the truth, but when confronted I would normally just capitulate & fold, nine times out of ten. At some point I realised this and… I wish it was more poetic, but I just said “fuck that” at one point. I know what I know, I am what I am, I believe what I believe; I may not be objectively right every time, but damn it, I will fight my corner as long as I feel I should.
If you take anything away from this week’s editorial it would be to stand your ground & stand up for what you believe in, no matter how small a thing it is. And I suppose, in some way, you may say I have a privilege in having this platform, and I should be grateful to be able to express (wahey) myself freely to the good students & staff of UCC…but no, it’s not a privilege; I worked hard for years, withstood mental & physical health issues, wrote obituaries for colleagues and talked people down from the metaphorical window ledge to get this job. In an ideal world this paper would be 100 million pages long, with a column for everyone with every opinion and we all wouldn’t have to fight to stand-up for our beliefs; but as we all know, it’s not an ideal world, and this paper is only 40 pages long.
Song of the Week: 1979, by the Smashing Pumpkins (don’t buy TNA, Billy, it’s not worth it)