Tag Archives: sjp

A tribute to my SJP days

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A tribute to my SJP days

Had another article published on The Tempest a couple days ago about some of the most common questions I heard while arguing with Zionists in college. It was one of the most fun parts of being in Students for Justice in Palestine, to be honest. The arguments were almost too easy, but it’s fascinating to watch people completely brush aside stone cold fact.

I shared it in a few Facebook groups and got some good feedback. One person shared their own blog post about their experience as a Palestinian taking a Hebrew class. It’s actually really thoughtful, and I totally recommend reading it. The best narratives are always of those directly affected by an issue.

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New Year’s note for friends and family– old, new, and lost

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I can’t really explain 2012– it was confusing, both amazing and horrible at different times and in really intense ways. But I can say that this year absolutely solidified for me who is and who isn’t true to me, true to others, true to themselves. And rather than discovering, I clarified for myself just who I am and what I’m here to do.

I finally came to terms with the demons that have taken me under for the past four years, with the things that haunted me for far longer.  I realized that pursuing a career in medicine was a waste of my time and that my delusions of grandeur and being someone that I’ve had since childhood are perhaps not simply delusions. I realized that I have a talent for a reason, and that I want to live every day of my life being in love with it.

As usual, however, this year I lost some friends. There have been those that had already drifted who fell off the radar completely and some who went from ‘friend’ to following suit. Quite honestly, it bothered me not on my own behalf but on theirs. The irony here, the sad part, you see, is that many did so because they believe me to be judgmental and/or untrustworthy… when the truth is that the people they spend time with now are the ones with a history of spreading gossip, and my mouth has been shut to the point where they themselves aren’t even aware how much I know of all their dirty little secrets. (Of course, perhaps they now have an inkling as I’ve recently dropped a few hints to some of their in-the-loop friends.) I earned the Lois Lane title for no reason other than my knack for always finding out without much effort. Yet people think I’m an unaware gossip, ostracizing me or– in some cases– using me even though I know and don’t judge a thing. The people you care about so often don’t seem to realize how genuine you are… And how disingenuous are the ones they’re surrounded by. It seems that being fake is what gets people to think that you’re a true friend, and that’s one of the harshest realities I’ve realized this past year.

2012 made me realize that public opinion, popular demand, the majority mindset is often mistaken, misled and that working to change it rather than conform is worth doing. For once, I actually tried the whole being overly nice and holding back from saying what’s on my mind thing, but I was miserable. It made me realize being brutally honest is how I work best, popular opinion be damned.

Freshman year of college had me feeling so alone and like an outsider, something I haven’t felt for years. I’ve begun my sophomore year with an effort to make new friends, and through classes and a certain new organization I joined as a board member this semester, I’ve found people willing to talk about more than gossip, drugs, alcohol, partying, trashy and ridiculous shows, the opposite sex, and other mindless, mind-numbing topics. I’ve met guys who have no problem with a girl holding her own in an argument or hitting them with a sharp verbal jibe. I’ve met girls who don’t need my constant gushing upon every reunion or to compete with me for approval, popularity, boys. Have I made any extremely close friends, relationships that will definitely last a lifetime? Not yet, but I’m hoping all of these are headed in a direction where they will become so. I really do.

Do not mistake this post for an “ahh, here’s the end to The Great Story of 2012”; those are written far too often. Every year is just a date. They all run together, flowing in a linear fashion and in many ways, the story’s just beginning. Every new year I have a feeling as to what the next 12 months will bring, and 2013 is going to be a big one for me. I say this out of prior knowledge and anticipation of certain things, and just gut instinct about all the rest. We always think that our future is so far off and then one day, all of a sudden, you’re right at its door.

2012 was insane. I got into the biggest fights of my life with my mother. I had new kinds of conversations with my father. One of my best friends was off at sea or busy at military school, and it made me terribly lonely and forgotten until he finally visited with a buddy who confirmed my fears were for naught. I got back in touch with an old best friend who’s steadily coming back into my life, although it honestly feels as if she never left. I spent the year working through issues from the past with my closest friend of these three, getting further than I ever thought we would, and our friendship is stronger for it. I’ve come to accept the fact that there are some family issues that will never be resolved, that some people will never realize that there is another side to one story or a different perspective to another. I’ve realized just who my crew was in high school from the way we’ve kept in touch and missed each other in our odd, subtle ways. And I never stopped reading Harry Potter.

My resolutions are never new for the year. They are what I’ve already been working and improving on: writing more blogs posts, articles, poems, and fiction; getting back to my normal weight;  getting my shit together with MakeWaves; getting more politically and socially active; bringing the grades up; improving on all my relationships; making SJP bigger on campus than anyone could have thought; and reading a hell of a lot more. I will calmly but surely show those who do not see how much they’ve been mistaken that I’ll always have their back and that I’ve never faltered from being true to them… that I care more than they know. I will prove that my journalistic ambitions are far from small and ordinary.

I’m pulling myself out of a four year rut for good. And I’m going to make waves and take everything and everyone by storm… just the way I like it.

Just watch me.

Ab imo pectore,

Syjil