“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
George Orwell, 1984


i have been doublethinking since long before i knew what the term meant.  i read 1984 for the first time when i was 17; i did not understand it.  i read it again when i was 21; again, i did not understand it.  i read brave new world before i read 1984 again and i think when i returned to orwell the third time i finally felt i had a handle on the ideas.  i have read it a fourth time and i know each time i pick it up in the future i will get something new.  the fourth time is definitely not the last time i will read it.

doublethinking is adoring someone you know logically is bad for you.  it is simultaneously believing you are competent and not good enough.  it is wanting to both fit in and stand out.  it is wanting to follow your dreams and find a secure job.

i think anyone that questions their thoughts regularly can fall into a doublethink from time to time.  the beauty of the doublethink is that it exists in your own mind and allows you to remain confused while exploring different options.  the doublespeak, however, is a completely different type of confusion and happens in most work places i have experienced… a thought for a future post.

the trouble i get into is the thinking too much.  confusion sets in and then it is difficult to make decisions or difficult to live with the decisions you have made.

i suspect there are plenty of doublethinkers out there.  some might be like i was, experiencing it without having the words to describe how they are feeling and what they are thinking.

when i was 27 i had the word tattooed to my left forearm for a number of reasons including that it is my favourite idea from my favourite author.

a year or so after i got the tattoo, i was sitting in the robert burns’ experience centre in alloway, having lunch with my mum and gran.  my mum had not seen it before and it was if i returned to my teenage years.  i think i recall her saying she was disappointed and that she would never imagine her perfect baby, that was the hope for all parents – a perfect baby with 10 fingers and 10 toes and that, would damage her skin by getting a tattoo.  as with hindsight and big fish stories, her reaction could be being exaggerated by my subconscious.

either way, i have not once regretted being branded with this idea.  it is there as a reminder for all of the crazy ideas that swirl through my head.  most especially the conflicting ones.


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