5 years on and struggling with my silence

This week marks my 5th work anniversary at GCU.   This isn’t going to be a look what I’ve done the past five years post, it’s more an attempt to write something at a point where I find it hard to write anything.

As you know, dear reader, I’ve been blogging for quite a while now – since 2006 which is quite scary in itself.  Over the years I’ve found the act of writing my blog quite centrally to my professional ‘being’.  I’ve never written for anyone in particular, in fact I’ve probably written more for myself. My blog has become a way for me to think out loud, remember ‘stuff’ , share ideas and every now and again have a bit of a rant.  I don’t have any hard and fast rules about blogging apart from a sort of mantra to try and write something at least once a week.  That doesn’t always happen, and recently I have been finding it increasingly difficult to find things to write about.

5 years ago I doubt any of us could have envisioned the world as it stands today.   I never expected to have experienced 2 referendums; to see the UK being taking to the brink by an interminable internal leadership struggle and existential euro angst.  I never thought Donald Trump would ever stand, let alone be elected President of the United States.  I didn’t think the politics of cruelty would ever rise in ways we have seen and suffered from in my life time.

My blog has been, and is, about my work life and I keep it non political.  My political and Political values obviously permeate, but I try not to be overtly political.  Partly this is down to personal choice, but that choice is indirectly linked to many, many other factors.  I’ve never written to be overtly controversial, to bait or to explicitly self promote  I’ve always thought of my posts more as a way of sharing bits of my internal dialogue(s). I also don’t want to invite “the trolls”.  I am comfortable in my little echo chamber.  That said if I feel strongly about something I know that I am in the fortunate position of being able to share those thoughts on this platform. Or so I thought. . .

What happened last week in America to Christine Blasey-Ford has left me speechless, enraged, reduce to tears and at a loss at what to do or say.  Everything I believe in was tested to the absolute limit. It was in another country, but it could (and does, and will) happen here.  “They” won again. The white, male, middle class, middle aged, right wing pulled it off, yet again.  Poor old Bret, having to suffer, having to be dragged in front of a congressional committee. But,  hey it’s ok he’s got a job for life now.  Yet again President Trump brazened it out, shameless mocked victims of sexual attack and got away with it.  #metoo is more a case of #notmetoo for him.  Boris Johnston is testing the limits of UK tolerance just now,  no doubt gaining encouragement from his new friend Steve Bannon at every swipe at burkas and suicide belts and every (seemingly) ridiculous photo-opportunity.

What to do, what to do?   The older I get the more I know that context is key to everything, and context is inherently political.  So for all my attempts to fool myself that this blog isn’t political, the constraints I have set for myself around it are of course a  direct result of my political context and how I place myself in it.   Self censorship for self preservation is always there. I am fooling myself that into believing I that I am not a coward, that I just don’t have the words.  I just don’t have the nerve, or the energy most of the time.  I stay silent, I am complicit.

I hope that writing this will help me find the words, help me to move on and find my voice again, to be brave, to be more focused political by being more criticality engaged. Here’s to the next 5 years, where ever they may take me and the rest of us.