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I was trawling through some files on an old hard drive when I spotted a document called "Me" from 2003. I figured it was going to be some kind of naval gazing tome of how misunderstood I felt, but I was actually surprised, not just with what I had written, but with how true I still hold those words today:
What we believe is what defines us: What we hold dear, the things we live for, etc. It shapes us, it makes us the person who we are and relates us to the world, or not.

For example, my belief in God, my image of myself as a Catholic woman, shapes me fundamentally. I'm not a Catholic because I believe that life is sacred, or that gay relationships are evil, I am a Catholic because I believe in a certain way of behaving. I believe in giving more to the world than you take, in leaving every situation better than you found it, in treating others as you would be treated yourself. Those are fundamentals of a lot of religion I guess, not just Catholicism but I find that way of celebrating those beliefs the most uplifting and comforting.

Someone once told me that I think too much, and maybe I do. But what else is there if not thought? Work? Drinking? Cars? What makes the modern way of life more “sacred” than the ancient appreciation of thought, of considering the world beyond your own four walls? I love that part of me, I love the fact that I have the capacity, and the inclination to think of things in colour. I see all these people on the way into work, heads bowed, eyes tired, all because they never think, they just do. That, to me is no life at all.

Thinking isn't easy though, and sometimes brings you to a place where there’s no sunlight and a whole heap of pain … but if you don’t look into those places and appreciate them, how can you truly enjoy the happier places?

One of the greatest privileges we have in the western world isn't free speech, or a good economy, or even food in our bellies … it’s what those things give us: The time, and space for free thought. I think to waste that opportunity is the biggest tragedy of all.

Back to my original point; I have to admit that there are times when I am lost in that area; I struggle to work out my beliefs in all areas of my life, and to look into the deepest parts of myself, and come back with the truth of what lies inside me, but the point is that I try. I look into places that threaten to implode my entire view of the world. I look into the past and tear open old wounds that I never knew existed. But that is part of learning who I am, knowing what I believe, and where I want that knowledge to take me.

If I don’t have that, what’s the point of being alive?
Whoa, 25 year old me really knew how to kick back and chill. Incidentally, I still don't have a bloody clue about the answers to those questions; in fact, I feel further away today than I did 12 years ago.

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