One of my worries about pivoting away from politics is that I'll be judged as someone who doesn't care about the world and its problems. I worry that people will think I'm irresponsible. That I'm shirking the duties of citizenship. That I'm ignoring the reality of how society functions so that I can focus on selfish pursuits.
Hell, one of the reasons I didn't shut down Citizen Within sooner, even though I dreaded the work, is that I was making those same arguments against myself. But as I sit with these judgements now, even after having made the pivot, they strike me as untrue. Which is leading me to realize there are at least two different flavors of the apolitical life.
There's one way in which I could become apolitical, where I essentially become a nihilist. I could decide that I have no power to change anything, that none of this political shit matters anyway, and that the only logical way to spend one's life is pleasure-seeking. That path indeed strikes me as a selfish shirking of responsibility. I would judge the shit out of myself for thinking and acting that way.
But there's another way to be apolitical, wherein I opt out of political discourse not because I've given up, but because I care, and because I know that I can be of more service, and create larger ripples in the world, outside of that narrow context. That's where I find myself now. I haven't succumbed to nihilism. It's the exact opposite. I care more about the future than I ever have, and I'm expending far more energy to bring about that future than I did in my most ardently political days. Almost everything I'm now doing in my professional life now is centered around building a more beautiful world.
In the end, I still believe we need more good people in the political system, and within traditional institutions, fighting to make the system better. But outside of those realms, there are so many regenerative roles to play that can lead to a better future. And it feels like I finally have permission, most of all from myself, to go explore that frontier joyfully and without judgement.