I have not updated much recently, this is obvious. The reason, however, is probably not so apparent. Put simply, I have lost a significant degree of confidence in my ability to articulate and present opinions. I have written a number of entries lately that I have chosen not to post simply because they do not satisfy me and I am not secure in my own knowledge. I find myself increasingly aware of and intimidated by just how much I don't know, and I essentially view my writings as ignorant and insufficiently informed. For example, I have spent the last half hour trying to write an entry about my thoughts on global climate change, but after writing the bulk of what I wished to say, I re-read it and got the distinct impression that not only am I not particularly informed on the issue, but I have a tendency to switch from discussion of climate change to more general thoughts on environmental degradation. Maybe I will try to salvage the entry for a post about environmental degradation, I'm not sure.
Another somewhat different example can be taken from something else I recently wrote and did not post. I felt driven to write some thoughts on Israeli/Palestinian tension and the insurgency in Iraq, but as soon as I wrote it, I found myself vehemently attacking my own opinions, pointing out inconsistencies, and ripping gaping holes in my arguments. Maybe I'm treating myself too harshly? Last semester, I received the highest mark out of anyone in the subject for one essay I frankly thought was total rubbish - I still don't believe I deserved that result, and I can barely stand to look at that essay as I instantly start finding multitudes of faults both in expression and content, but maybe I'm too hard on myself? A couple of people have tried to persuade me of that. I honestly don't believe them.
I very much wish to return to my regular standards of posting. I have greatly enjoyed writing over the last half hour - it is my favourite form of expression and I find it rather fulfilling. I just no longer possess the confidence with which I used to make my posts. I also have reached a point where I abhor tension. I sometimes dread reading comments, for fear of being flamed. It's not that I fear insult itself, and come on, it's the Internet; the point is, I desire ... well, not necessarily agreement or consensus, but at least a sense of harmony and understanding, and tension and conflict leave me feeling uncomfortable. Some may scoff at me, and I realise my actions are not always complementary to my desire, but all of us are human, and I would like to erase any poor impressions. I do not wish to argue; I wish to understand in peace.
I don't know quite how to conclude this post, so I'll just conclude it here. Have a good one, folks. May you never lose confidence in yourself.