Since I've been in Istanbul, I've picked up a job working as an English teacher for a local university. In my upper-intermediate class, we had a literature unit, and we took a trip as a class to the university library to choose a book. All the students gravitated towards the book 1984 by George Orwell. This is one of those books that is typically on a U.S high school reading list, but because of my atypical high school experience, I never read it. They highly encouraged me to, so I picked it up and finished it within a day. It was just the type of political conspiracy book I liked.
After I read the book, I began to observe the political atmosphere of the world as it stands today. I've always been a very skeptical person when it came to governments (thanks dad) and many people could call me a conspiracy theorist. I like to call it investigative. The most impactful piece of politics that affects me personally is of course the so-called “War on Terror”. Since 9/11 Arabs and Muslims alike have been demonized and used to fuel the fear propaganda media. After that attack, the U.S was able to march into the Iraq war with the screaming support of the U.S citizens. If you do any research at all, you know now that Iraq in fact had no connection to 9/11, and didn't even have any weapons of mass destruction. What was the actual reason, I wonder? What seems to be the only reason the U.S goes to war? You guessed it, fossil fuels.
From that point, I connected the dots. Who is the biggest provider of fossil fuels? Saudi Arabia. Our entire alliance is founded around the stuff. The Bin Laden family is from Saudi Arabia. On the day of the attack, the entire Bin Laden family was rounded up by the government and sent peacefully back to their country while all other aircraft were grounded. When I try to stress this point in my numerous debates on this topic, I strike this question: Let's say a notorious Mexican drug lord who had relatives living in the U.S committed a horrific attack on U.S soil, and then fled back to Mexico. Could you, in your wildest dreams, imagine the government finding his relatives and sending them back on their merry way to Mexico? No, its unfathomable. They would be held for questioning to find out where he was hiding.
Clearly there was something strange happening. Fast forward to today, and the Islamophobia-fueled fear propaganda machine is alive and healthier than ever. Back in the day we had Al-Qaeda, and now we have it's replacement, ISIS. Where did this group come from? I can tell you without a doubt that had the U.S not gone into Iraq, ISIS would have had a very slim chance of developing. This happened for two reasons:
How does this involve the U.S? As many people know they are the largest exporter of arms in the world. And, Saudi Arabia is their biggest and most loyal customer. So, Saudi Arabia causes systematic religious brainwashing of thousands of young men, those young men buy guns from the United States, and then go on to spread terror across the globe in the name of Islam. And, in the process, the pair continue their profitable fossil fuels alliance. Oh, and of course that's not all the U.S gets out of this partnership. The government now has an abundant source for fear propaganda.
The most powerful thing to own is not money, not oil, not even guns, but an idea or emotion. Fear consumes the mind and can make people paranoid. With paranoia comes hatred of the thing causing it Society becomes split. The government remains in control. The alliance between Saudi Arabia and the United States is nothing more than a business arrangement, and world dominance is the prize.
Learning to be vulnerable is probably one of the hardest personal battles I've ever had to overcome. As a young teen I suffered with severe depression that left me feeling broken and weak. During my recovery, I built an iron-hard casing around myself, my heart, and my thoughts. I was sick of being weak and pitied, and I told myself I would never feel that way again. I've always been a very passionate and emotional person, and for years during my recovery I kept all that emotion bottled up inside with a bubbly exterior.
At first it was fake, but after a while I actually became what I had been pretending to be. I was actually happy, fully and deeply happy. But, that same habit was still there. I knew how to be happy now, and I wanted to keep it up. Show my family and the world that Lena has finally got her shit together. No, she isn't about to fall apart again. What I never realized was that every quote-on-quote functioning person had an emotional break down every once and a while. People cried in front of others. They spoke out loud about their insecurities to their friends and family. They were genuine.
The biggest thing about not letting yourself be vulnerable is that you are in-fact robbing yourself more than anyone else. You are robbing yourself of the opportunity to be a sincere, open, and transparent person, and I can say as someone newly experienceing this feeling- there is nothing quite like it. I had felt for years that my inner self was made up of multiple layers...just like shrek being an onion ha ha...but totally relevent in this situation...and most people only ever met the first couple layers. Very few got deep, and you can bet no one got to my heart. That always had an unbreaking unconscious shield around it, saying “Don't care too much, Lena, cuz then you might get hurt. You remember how much emotions can hurt when they are exposed to the air”
Oddly, I had these delusions of being a mentally and emotionally tough person. I told myself I could handle anything thrown at me because I always had my trusty heart-shield that could bounce it right off. Only now, as I get older, am I realizing that you only get stronger when you face the resistance head-on. Until you let yourself fully feel everything, and externalize those thoughts and feelings, will you truly be strong. There is something incredibly powerful about being fully known as you are. I'm sick of the armor. I no longer romantacize mystery. I'm peeling away the layers year by year. I've never felt more vulnerable, and I've never felt stronger or more alive.
I observe & write about society & culture.