a small fight of conscience

just got back from beautiful, sunny barcelona and tough, gray-weathered madrid yesterday. the conference itself was neither extremely informative nor inspiring, but the sight of new and familiar faces felt extremely good. we were a good-sized delegation from Sciences Po Le Havre, 5 of us having being accepted to the ASEFUAN Dialogue 2009, but i still managed to break away from the group somewhat to catch up a little with some old friends from the AU15 summer programme in South Korea and also with the handful of ASEFUAN members whom we met for the most part of Model ASEM 2009.  on hindsight, i think i might have known at least half of the 70-some participants. many of the other people i didn’t know seemed interesting and i would have liked to have gotten to know them better, but between the hectic 5-day conference schedule and a lack of common hangouts, it wasn’t very easy to achieve. that said, i’ve never socialized with big groups of people very well anyway.

for the faithful handful of you who keep expecting and requesting: i’m sorry for not taking or posting more photographs, but my internet connection in room 701 is still not properly set up and so i’m still making do with a distant connection to SFR Neuf Wifi. every 2 hours, i get disconnected and i have to re-enter my username and password on SFR’s website. the connection is so patchy that i don’t always manage to connect and even when i do, not many of my usual online services function at all. so we’ll all have to bear with my imagelessness in the long run, on Facebook and off. with any luck (and a surplus of initiative), i’ll have things running again in the coming week.

at any rate, i did not take many photographs in spain – lovely as it was. i regret not being more disciplined about documenting my travels, for there is a lot to say and show, but i haven’t been in form for a lot of writing. it takes a clear head and conscience to be able to write about things unrelated to yourself and still feel honest about yourself, and it hasn’t been the case for me for the longest time now. at this point in my life, there are simply too many thoughts i am trying to avoid and by avoiding writing, i am avoiding bumping into these pale, unfriendly figures in the alleys of my head.

of the many, i am increasingly displeased with everybody’s assumption that i want to be a journalist. and as this is something that more and more people are beginning to ask me, i feel that i should at least address it here: yes, it is what i have declared as my personal project at Sciences Po. yes, it is a career path that does interest me. at the same time: no, it is not my life goal. no, i do not want to “study” journalism. no, at this point of my life i don’t know what else i would rather do.

it isn’t exactly true that i do not know what i would like to do. i do know, for starters, a whole lot about what i do not ever want to do. at the same, there are actually too many things i would be really happy doing. unfortunately these things do not take very specific forms and i am beginning to realise that i will probably never find what i want within the simple confines of a career, no matter how lucrative or rewarding. lately, i am easily insulted over the innocent assumption of many that i want to be a journalist. i don’t exactly know why it aggravates me so much,  but it has quite a lot to do with the fact that it is really not how i define myself and what i want for my future. i am even more impatient with those who believe that i really want to “study” journalism. it is in no way of real academic interest to me and any steps i would take towards an academic programme in journalism would be more out of pragmatism than passion.

i know my decisions do not seem particularly coherent. it bothers me that i have no clearer explanation to give to those who cannot understand what i do and am doing, but i suspect this is going to be one of those muddled times when i need to give it a break from thought before anything becomes clearer. i hate not being able to feel surer about myself,  but this is a particularly difficult time anyway and i think i warrant some time-off from being able to explain anything.

ah, if only Sciences Po’s deadlines worked on my time-table.

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