I think as humans in today’s society our priorities are ever-changing. We are so easily consumed with the modern world, the latest technology, the gripping but equally shallow and vacuous reality shows that they can often become a priority in our lives whether we realise it or not. By following these ‘celebrities’ on social media sites, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook they become an integral part of the fabric of our self-created day to day network of information. They stream into our lives after one tap on the ‘follow’ bottom and we consume it abominably from then on.
It’s easy though. And nice. I really like the car that Kylie Jenner drives, and the scandal of her engagement with Tyga? Tell me more! Oooh the cast of the only way is Essex are in Vegas, I really want to go there. I wonder how much they earn. Hmm. Flick, tap, scroll… Sigh. Ok we’re all guilty of doing this, and, we’re all guilty of convincing ourselves that we aren’t like the general public and that our infatuation is ironic not obsessive. That deep down we know that there’s a bigger picture and that leaving that knowledge deeply rooted but not letting it surface is somehow acceptable and thus justifies our intrigue in keeping up with the Kardashians.
The day that Kylie Jenner turned 18 was the day that Malala Yousafzia (an 18 year old Pakistani activist for female education) opened a school for Syrian refugee girls. This wasn’t covered by the media, it wasn’t streamed into our social media and so it flew right above our heads without a second glance. Even if it were to be covered and displayed to us it isn’t glitzy enough, not lavish enough to entice a generation of people who are intrigued by context not content.
Our generation is in a state of ludicrous levels of laziness. There is a mind warp pandemic and our brains are morbidly obese with the rubbish we are feeding them. The ‘man’, ‘It’ the ‘Media’ may be to blame for stacking a table full to the brim with unhealthy, fast, easy food but we are ready and waiting with our spoons to scoop up anything new added to the table. We leave the fruit of the media alone to disintegrate and rot, we are the selfish and simple end stage of the conveyer belt of rubbish that is society.
It shouldn’t be normal to partake in this system. It shouldn’t be normal to turn a blind eye to those most in need. It shouldn’t be normal to numb our hearts to the cries of the desperate. But we do. We obnoxiously avoid responsibility. The media has created a vast sphere that stretches across nations, continents, countries it scopes to the richest and to the poorest. But this has not lead to a community that is tightly bonded it has led to dispersion of responsibility to nothing more than a speck per person. Dispersion of responsibility combined with a much easier alternative than dealing with the problem is the deadly dosage we have been prescribed. We’ve got to use our specks of responsibility and make a storm with them.
I don’t think we ever ‘find ourselves’ I think all we do is learn more and more about ourselves. We’re too complex to be found, what there is to learn is infinite, and the best way to make our way through the infinite checklist of self-discovery? Pain. Being hurt. Having our heart strings torn at in all directions, being yanked as they cry and as tears drip down our faces. It’s horrendous, it’s horrible, it’s indescribable but it does one thing. It teaches us something.
When you’re down a pit that has been created by a shitty reality and a self-torturing mind, you evaluate two things, how you got there and eventually, how you will get out. Thinking about how you got there totally depends on the perspective you take but ultimately the best way for you to move on and the best way for you to spin this into a silver lining is by being brutally honest and accepting. Maybe after a heartbreak the energy you have shouldn’t be focused on hating the other involved, maybe it should be spent on nurturing ourselves. Maybe we should forget our pride, forget our silly games, and let go. Feel the weight of tension drop off our shoulders. The reason we don’t is because this tension is all we have left of the person. It’s negative but it’s not nothing. And for a long time you’ll think it’s better than nothing. But when you accept the absence of anger and focus on yourself it’s the first big step of recovery.
Firstly, be proud, so proud that you even got to this stage. It’s the hardest stage and well done. Now I know unlike this analogy that the weight and tension doesn’t just evaporate. I know some hovers around like a bad smell fogging up the back of our minds. But what we need to do is have the sharp, harsh memory to keep us in check. Think of it as a border of standards. We can remember what that level of pain feels like so we can ensure we don’t allow ourselves back there again. There is hope in this and it does get better.
Just remember that there is no external or internal timeline. You shouldn’t feel better by a certain time. You can’t take too long to recover, and you also can’t recover too quickly. There is no shame, no lack of dignity in it taking months or years to move on from this pain. Our souls are soft and often the softest get squashed the hardest. If you are sad accept it, but don’t prioritise it. Prioritise the thought of happiness. The imagining of your future self, happy and free. And soon you will get there, that thought will turn to a feeling and you will be there.
And lastly, please remember that there are so many people in this big world who have been screwed over. Who have had their hearts torn out and trampled on, who have had to claw back themselves and have learnt to exist and eventually to be happy. There are people everywhere who understand your pain. Your pain is not irrational. It is real. And it’s one of the very worst things in life. You are coping with it. And you will recover from it. Have as much faith in yourself as I have in you. Once you learn to have faith in your self-recovery you will see it happen.
Why do I feel a moral obligation, or a moral guilt when I participate in activities that are morally neutral? For instance, last night I went out – I kissed a guy and I feel, wrong, bad, unsettled about it. I’m not in a relationship and the kiss was consensual from both parties, so why do I feel uncomfortable about what I have done?
I guess this could stem from some sort of societal role that I feel I should fulfil. The idea that female promiscuity is ‘slutty’ or ‘degrading’. Or the values my parents hold, that being intimate is private and special and not something to be handed out easily. Or perhaps I feel like the act was simply out of character, so much as to rattle me up a little and question the genuinity of what I’ve done.. Did I really want to?
Either way what the experience has done is close me up. I don’t want to be promiscuous or flirty. I don’t want to be ‘easy’. The only reason I can directly attribute these feelings to is a sense of self-worth. Perhaps I was seeking some sort of intimacy with a guy in order to top up any insecurities I had. I don’t believe that I place my worth as an individual in the way I am viewed by others but of course having a guy find you attractive is a blanket of reassurance. So instead of the act being empowering and strong. It was carried out from a place of weakness and self-doubt – and that’s why I feel unsettled.