Ramblings Of An Empty Mad Girl

As I’ve Aged, I’ve Found That Motivational Sayings And Encouragements Are Just Empty Words

Getting things off my chest.

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It's strange to me that this writing has been on my mind for so long, and yet I don't know what I actually want to write about.

I have been feeling all sorts of emotions lately. I don't have the skill to put into words everything I feel. However, the only word that comes close is empty. I feel empty.

It's unusual for me to feel upset this time of the year. While some are feeling the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder, I'm just keeping busy with the extra demands I put on myself and making plans for my birthday.

This year though, I don't know what I feel. This isn't even a milestone birthday coming up, I'm just turning 38, so I don't think my birthday is what is bothering me.

As I age though, sayings and encouragements that may once have helped me through something don't help anymore. "You're valid even if you're XYZ," " You matter," "It gets better," and "It's never too late." The thing is, I don't feel valid. I never have felt valid. I don't matter. It really DOESN'T get better. And there IS such thing as too late for things.

I get so tired of only being able to show one part of myself everywhere I go. I feel trapped in my own life instead of free to live it. I know why some things hold me back, but people trample those things instead of helping me find ways to still live my life even with my self imposed limitations.

Perfect example, my spirituality. Oh, the arguments against ANY kind of spiritual thought are overrun in this society. "I don't believe in an invisible man in the sky," or "I don't base my life off of something that doesn't exist," or "I don't let religion run my life," and so on. I will never understand the casual acceptance of bashing a core part of others' upbringing, but I digress. I can put my demisexuality or my leanings towards monogamy or my leanings towards polyfidelity in place of my spirituality and those society built roadblocks won't change.

The first thing said to this is, "Don't listen to them. Follow the path that feels right to you." This is another thing that could've helped once upon a time. It doesn't work for me anymore. I can't just NOT listen to other people. The world doesn't revolve around me. Its all frustratingly empty words against walking in the world and experiencing these feelings first hand.

I swear one day I'll be old and gray and wondering how life passed me by so fast. I feel so selfish. Every day, those around me are gifted incredible opportunities and fortunes. The bits of contentment I've been hoping for and working towards my whole life CONSTANTLY evade me. When will it finally be my turn? And will it never be my turn because I'm chasing what isn't really meant for me?

Those I remember just being born are now grown and on paths I never dreamed for myself, but yet it just falls in their laps. Everything I use to love and remember is gone. Being torn down, then rebooted into a horrible version of itself disguised as reboots. I feel like a mime in one of those invisible boxes they pantomime themselves in during one of their acts. Watching the world but held back by some invisible access barrier that I can't find the knob to.

I wish I knew where I was going with this piece. I wish I could figure out exactly what I'm going through. I wish I could stop going through it. In understanding my limitations, perhaps I could finally be able to move forward.

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Kids Are Growing Up Too Quickly, And It's A Serious Problem

Jojo Siwa and Bhad Bhabie are the SAME AGE. Enough said.

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Today's children are finding themselves having midlife-crisis at the mere age of 12. With pressures from social media and an ever-present culture that asks children to put their most attractive foot forward, childhood is a diminished time period that is replaced with shaky adolescence. With the innocence and delicacy of youth slipping away from the fingertips of today's kids, we find that childhood itself is near extinction.

You see, children are being encouraged into independence much younger than necessary. They are expected to provide for themselves and form their own opinions and emotions much earlier than what is healthy for them in the long run. This rush all stems, however, from parental pressure, the media's influence, and the shame the modern world puts on dependency. Beginning with parental pressures, parents pack maturity into kids' heads by signing us up for technique-intense soccer camps, hiring reading tutors for kindergartners, and composing preschool applications as soon as they find out they are pregnant.

Parents strip away the sense of security and youth these children should have by constantly providing them a view of the future.

Beyond this, the emergence of social media as a common form of validation forces children to believe that the only way for them to receive any form of validation is to act in the manner of their role models and other celebrities. These celebrities, generally much older than the children who idolize them, become the framework for what children wish to become. It stands as an open gateway for girls and boys to venture into adulthood, without the necessary barrier of childhood.

Aside from parental pressure and the media, the modern world places shame on dependency for young kids. In our modern world, we see a toxic combination of marketing, media, and peer pressure pushing for independence. Whether it be a show, where a young boy goes out on his own and travels the world, or a friend, who is advising you that footie pajamas are too babyish. This deadly mixture places humiliation on young kids, constructing an even more secure barrier against dependency, an important component for development.

The effects of this push are outstandingly tragic and numerous. On a large scale, depression and other related factors have been found to be an effect to "hurried-child syndrome". In smaller, but just as serious terms, identity crises of our youth have been deemed an effect of this issue.

In the essence of dark matter, propelling the youth into their adolescence before they are ready has given leeway to drug and alcohol abuse, sexual fears, stress-related illnesses, burnout, and increasingly, suicide. Childhood is an age of innocence, to learn about the world with a lighthearted filter, and to experience life with naivety. It's important to our development, and without it, the misplaced life experience can be converted into poor life decisions and even worse views.

Amongst depression and it's related and devastating relations, we see identity crises uncovering themselves in the youngsters that shouldn't have a care in the world. The kids feel neglected and unparented. They mourn the loss of childhood and experience what looks like a midlife crisis in their mere teens. They feel empty in their adolescence.

The solutions themselves, however, are much simpler than one would expect. In order to allow kids to not feel succumbed to "hurried-child syndrome" society must simply pronounce dependence and disintegrate the stigma of growth. So allow me to tuck you in with a bedtime story, of soluble hope.

Begin by pronouncing dependence: Dependency is not something to be ashamed of. Instead, it should be protected. It is normal to need help every now and then because that is how we as humans learn and adapt to the world around us. Encourage inquisition and safeguard curiosity, because these acts of dependence are what allow us to grow into strong individuals in the future.

Amongst this, we can disintegrate the stigma of growth. Rather than deciding that children should be focusing on their future career path when they are a simple child, live in the moment. Childhood is quick, and if we continue to shorten it, a time that should be savored, won't be evident enough to leave a mark. We can stop stripping away youth by informing ourselves on children's developmental needs, recognizing what constitutes "quality childcare," and understanding that there is a danger to the consumerist screen-based lifestyle we live.

Perhaps I'm bitter that most children know how to dress better than I do, or maybe I'm just angry that not every kid had a "Justice" phase. Beyond my bitterness, the idea of a rushed childhood is something that should be considered and something that should be changed. Whether it be with your little sister, your baby cousin, or the kids you babysit, every single person can play a role in changing the modern culture of childhood into one that benefits and secures the innocence of childhood for what it should be. Because after all, kids should be kids.

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