Keep Driving.

Yesterday, May 20th 2022, Harry Styles released his third album – Harry’s House. I listened to it for the first time around 1:30 A.M., right after work.

I have been a fan of Harry’s since the end of 2011. The first album release I was there for was Take Me Home, One Direction’s second album. I was freshly 13, and Target happened to be open past midnight; I got the album right as it hit the shelves. So much has changed since then.

Listening to Harry’s new album has put me in a deep retrospective state. I have been watching his interviews, and one thing he said really stuck out to me. He mentioned emotionally coasting for a while, until he tried out therapy, and then he learned of all these rooms inside him. The house he is referring to in the album title is not about a place, but about internal feelings, and his friends.

I really like that sentiment. For the longest time, I have been defining myself as the melancholic, quiet one. I forced myself to believe that that is all there is to me. But this idea of each person having many different rooms inside themselves – I really like that image. In the question of, “who are you?”, it can feel like there should be a quick, easy answer to that. I’ve always wondered how I would answer that if someone were to ask. I would start with my name, and list off my hobbies and interests. However, does that really define who I am? Those are external things. In reality, I don’t think people are one thing. It’s more complicated than that. Knowing who you are can encompass knowing what you will or won’t do, what you believe, and what’s important to you. It isn’t tangible. And it can change at various times.

From the album, I love them all, but my favorites are Little Freak, Keep Driving, & Satellite. The pictures I chose were taken around 5 years ago, and they made me think of Keep Driving. I love the feelings these songs emit. I get to reflecting on my own life, and how I got to be where I am right now. I can’t really put into words what goes through my head while listening. It just resonates somewhere within me very well.

It’s weird being this age. It is so scary getting older, and not knowing what will happen. So much awaits ahead. I’m not where I want to be at the moment. This album brings me so much peace and reassurance that I can find it. I have time still.

I know it is odd to be so keen toward someone that I don’t know, and likely never will know. But I think music is just such a powerful medium, that can provide relief, comfort, and validation. It’s not about personally knowing the artist, or obsessing about their personal lives. I will admit that I got more involved with doing things like that as a teenager. These days, though, I am just grateful for, and soothed by, the music that is shared. When I relate to a song, I am reminded that my feelings are not unique to me. I’m not the only one to think that way. Connection, whether physical or virtual, is good for the soul – at least, I believe that.

I wanted to write my thoughts out a bit. I know I choose gloom and doom too much. For some reason, I used to think I can’t share the fun things that I love on here. I’m not sure what my blog’s genre is. Personal reflection I guess. I just love Harry, and I’m glad he exists. I think he’s so cool. It’s been so much fun being a fan of his for all these years. Some of my favorite memories.

This.

Do words really matter when everything has already been said?

I used to see the endless wonder through written text, how inspiring and grandeur.

And now, it feels tired. Especially when it comes from me.

I read a comment recently, left on someone else’s post. It was a person complaining about how the poster thinks too much. “Aren’t you exhausted?” they said.

I can only speak for me, and from my perspective, but it is overwhelmingly exhausting. That doesn’t make it any easier to quit, though.

Tonight was one of those days where the general programming was kicked up a notch. I held my breath for 4 hours. And then I sat and stared for 2 more.

The one who never speaks, who lives internally; hell yes, it is exhausting.

I frequently wear myself out, and I do sometimes reach a point of no longer caring. It never lasts. As soon as my energy returns, so does this. A cycle that never quits.

It is boring, it is negative. I know no one wants to know, or hear about it.

“Be yourself,” except keep it within the realm of expectations, and norms.

And again, I know I am not the first person to say these things. This is not even the first time I am writing them.

I am beyond exhausted. Is this what my life is for? Forever. The scariest feeling.

It is a constant fear I harbor. I hear the intolerance, the annoyance.

“Why don’t you just get better already?” “Make up your mind, and be positive.”

Ask for help, but don’t talk to me about it. Keep that private. I only want to know the good parts of you.

And on the other side, my experiences are nothing compared to another. “You think you’re special? Quit brooding.”

People speak with good intent, and it often comes from a place of wanting to help. I know I have done damage myself, too much of it.

I am mainly tired of me. No one has said much of these things to me directly. I conjure up my own stories far too often. I let fictional reasons hold me hostage.

I want to do something, but it never feels sincere. There’s an end point, waiting, watching. If I try, it feels forced. No one likes a pretender.

The alternative is sitting here with this instead.

Always damned, no matter what you do. May as well do something, then.

I must apologize for how repetitive I am.

When It Was Just Fun.

In the scheme of my life, I have experienced many segments.

Blocking outs of which feeling defines each era.

The past 2 years have been a lifetime of their own.

But before that, and even a few years before that, I remember a very different existence.

I felt those hard things, I cried often, and I collapsed in on myself,

I also enveloped myself in this world. I felt each corner, the wealth of being fully present.

The warm, yet cool, evening air in July.

I sat out in the grass for hours and hours, and I captured 1,200 moments.

I still have each one saved.

If not for those, my memory would have colluded out every ounce of that by now.

These days, these times, I am steadfast in bland.

I feel those hard things, and I stay put.

The fun things like taking pictures for no reason at all have ebbed out of importance.

“What’s the point in that? I’m too busy.”

I remember what it was like to do things for the sake of doing them.

I stood nothing to gain, yet I thrived off those feelings.

I looked forward to the times when I could forget.

Do we exist to maintain?

To be focused, driven, and functional?

Or are we supposed to enjoy?

Drink deeply from the wells of our passions, from the eternal youth of our souls?

It is a cliche, I realize.

Life is not whimsical, and magic does not exist. I know the laws of physics, the laws of man.

But internally, there must be some part of all of us that recognizes those indescribable moments.

When words do not matter.

What someone said to you yesterday is forgotten.

The mistakes of the past disipate.

All that exists, all that matters, is what’s right in front of you at that second.

For me, it was always those summer evenings, when dusk would not creep in at 5 pm.

The light would stick around for so many hours, there was plenty of time to indulge.

I have not done that in years.

Keep it moving.

I tell myself that I can only relax if it goes well. I have to say the right thing, in the right order, with the right tonality. Each breath perfectly lined up.

I do it. I say it. I walk away, and I relive it. Over and over. Was each aspect right? What did the other person think? Maybe it was okay, maybe not.

Years of this now. I have begun moving to a place where I stop caring. Finally.

Abrasions will happen. Rubs and inconsistencies. Words will stumble, mumble on their way out. Voices quiver, minds run empty. Thoughts come later.

That penetrating sting of guilt that washes from the head to the toes – I forgot to feel that once.

Instances have come and gone. I have no more energy left to spend sifting through every word in existence, to find the right one for the situation. I have started saying what comes to mind, and I keep it moving.

I used to think about how much better I’d be if I were less me. If only I could speak more frequently, engage in conversation more naturally. My current silence obviously makes me broken. No one likes the quiet one.

Each person is allowed to bring what they bring. I see worthwhile attributes in every person I encounter, admiring their individual spirit. I never used to have that same energy toward myself. It might just be an inkling, just a glimpse, but I felt some of it recently.

I know that I have things to work on. I know that I could be better, do better. Times I should’ve spoken up, could’ve forced myself forward. I can realize these things, and still be okay with the person I presently am. I don’t believe shame has ever helped anyone.

There is not only one valuable human characteristic. The talkative, and speechless, all have something to offer.

Lack of word is not lack of thought. I will say what needs to be said, laugh to encourage. My personality remains, and I know not everyone will agree. I am beginning to realize that I do not have to care. I do not have to carry that doubt.

The most freeing thought I had was, “What if who I was, was okay?”. All of this that I keep tormenting myself over, maybe it never mattered. Wow.

I should be angry that I have wasted this much time. Think of the precious moments I will never get back.

I feel relieved. I used to envision the rest of my life, and cringe at the possibility of doing this for all of it. Believing that there’s hope for me yet; I am not angry.

I will carry the mistakes, the embarrassments, the awkwardness. They happened, they will happen. They are not earth shattering, though. I can carry those, and still move. The weight does not have to be crippling, if only my perspective shifts elsewhere. Those moments, while incredibly dissatisfying, never could be important enough to gauge my viability. I can keep it moving.

Overall, What matters.

The point of life.

Why must there be one? Why do we want one? Why do we search for one?

It’s about all of this amounting to something greater. Otherwise, the suffering, struggling, and misery is for nothing. We work hard to reap the fruits of our labor. Lately, I feel that there are no benefits. You can work desperately hard, but as soon as you take a break, those efforts don’t transfer. “Why were you out of work for x months?” Pensions, health & dental insurance, affording a starter home, or even just a private studio apartment on your own… privileges now. I could quit work tomorrow, and I would have nothing built up to live off of.

The point of life is not being an employee. Oh no, people are not having as many kids now, and the number of workers we’ll have will shrink. What ever will we do? I dunno, real head scratcher there. Maybe try moving away from high turnover, and try retention for once? I can’t even afford to take care of myself anymore, how am I supposed to afford a child too? In the conversation about a shrinking population, it is almost exclusively about not having enough workers. It is all about what they can provide, not about the pure wonderment that we exist at all. I would never have a child, so they could grow up, and be a slave to massive corporations. I honestly think the world would be just fine – also better off – without companies like Amazon.

Beyond the scope of money and working, then, what else is there?

‘The point’ doesn’t have to be this elaborate, ground shattering revelation. As the poet Mary Oliver once wrote, “I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done?”. I choose to focus on creating a simple point. I do not want to be confusing, or professional. I just want to be peaceful, and content. And exactly, what else should you expect?

I think most people can agree that going back to nature is a fulfilling, anxiety reducing activity. I believe it is because that is where we came from, and where we belong. Much of the human designed, implemented, and sustained ideals are not what we were made for.

Too often I base my worth on my financial status. I feel better when those values are positive, and like a waste of breath and space when those numbers plummet. I shy away from conversations, in fear that I cannot prove myself entirely off of wealth. I am no longer worthwhile, unless my bank account dictates otherwise. I know that is silly, and I know that I cannot maintain beliefs like that without becoming judgmental. Fundamentally, I think it is wild that any of us exist at all. I look at people, and wonder about their journeys, their perspectives, and thoughts. I value their opinions, and words. A tiny part of me wonders their finances, but I know that is not important. I have to move away from thinking money is everything. Of course, society is money centered, and when you do not have it, your existence does revolve around it. I wish it weren’t that way. I wish we could find more value in knowing someone’s face, and name.

So, ‘the point’? The grand idea, the master plan, the overarching storyline that encompasses everything that’s happened so far?

I think the point is the experiences. I fuel myself off memories. I sometimes look forward to what I’ll get to do next. The pain, fear, and questioning is part of it. I know it often sucks, and is soul devouring. It mounts far above my head at times. I don’t know how to keep going. Somehow, I do though. I look to nature, I look for simple. I reaffirm my place by feeling the air on my skin.

Somehow, I am here. And you are too. Maybe that is the point.

Online Judgments.

I can see everything. Every detail. You foolishly share so vulnerably.

I take note. I observe. I point out the inconsistencies, the obvious offenses. I never forget, I never let go. You are tainted. How dare you move on? I know who you really are. Who are you fooling?

I watch constantly. The good deeds are not worth my time or consideration. Each mistake, each misspoken word. I bring up each chance I get, and then some.

And my own life? The deterioration grows by the day. My windowsills and hallway shelves gather dust that I will never touch. I haven’t taken care of me. I am fixated on you. There’s no time for anything else.

I hope you realize how wrong you are. I am fine. It is you who confidently and bravely shares their life for all to see. My acts of indiscretions remain private, and irrelevant. You offer yourself so openly. I see only what is wrong.

If it doesn’t exist online, it’s like it never happened. I hide in real life.

You will never be good enough. I will never offer myself up for public consumption. I am flawless. I am immaculate. As you talk about the hard things, I cling onto shame. The only weapon I own.

I will complain. I will say how every word you utter is inaccurate, and incorrect. I sit on a hill all alone.

I have made many mistakes as well, but that is not the point. Mine stay hidden in the shadows of secrecy. It’s like they never happened.

I will never forget what you’ve done. What you’ve said. My life will remain empty, the only goal is making you feel unworthy.

If no one knows, then it does not matter. A crime committed without an audience carries no consequences.

My conscience? I distract it by punishing you.

Something to Offer.

I do not have much to give,

It has already been spent

On the shattering whirlwind of thoughts,

That pay no mind to me.

I want to offer something,

For I know I must justify this existence.

Perhaps the very breath from my aching passageways,

As it goes in and out,

What’s one less time?

I want to see you thrive,

I would do that for you.

But I know it is not much,

It is likely even worthless.

I will try to find something else.

I know I must dig deeper,

You’re waiting so desperately now.

I will offer my last second if it meant that much to you.

Of course you’ll use it better than I ever could,

Thank you for the reminder.

My very meek pathetic movements,

Day in, day out,

I don’t do this world justice.

I wish I were more,

Something I could be proud of.

Something you could stamp in approval.

“But look! I have done this and this…”

And? It’s already been done before.

I will dig deeper,

Before you seek elsewhere.

I convince you that I don’t have much to give,

But I know I felt something big once.

If only I could find it again,

That would surely leave you satisfied.

Please, sit tight.

I’ll check in the back, one more time.

I promise,

This one will be worth sticking around for.

Everything is right, and everything is wrong.

I try to consider as many sides of the story as possible when forming an opinion. I envision arguments that could be made in any direction, and I maul over them in my mind.

Realistically, almost anything can be both wrong, right, or a little of both. In my last post, I ended it with, ‘you should never have to prove yourself based on those things,’ in regards to education level. I liked how that sounded as an ending of a post, so I left it at that. Then, I started imagining that someone could say, “Oh, so we should just hire anyone to be doctors then?”. Of course, I did not mean it that way. More so, in general, everyone should be treated fairly, and with respect, without having how educated they are held over their heads. Perhaps I could have phrased that better, though. The post just felt finished with that line, and like it was a closing statement. I always try to end posts with a nice concluding sentence. But I personally know people in real life that would jump at the chance to make me feel dumb for saying something like that. No need to be a smartass, haha, that’s okay.

As I navigate my day-to-day, I tend to be very careful, and purposeful, with what I choose to do. This includes my actions, and every word I speak. In consequence, I come off as a very quiet, reserved person. I don’t join in ‘shooting the breeze’ conversations often. I mind my own, and I do the bare necessities, to get by. I do worry about saying the wrong thing. If I know that I’m going to have to talk to someone soon, I will rehearse what I’m going to say, over and over again, in my head. I determine the absolute best structure to the sentence, and then I try to imagine any response they may give, and what I would say to that. I have started developing a fear that what I say does not make any sense, and rehearsing it helps me make sure I cover all my bases.

Now, it is silly, and a waste of energy a lot of times. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with just talking to talk. And it is okay to say the wrong thing, or be awkward, or not make sense. Oh well? I don’t think twice about it if someone else does any of those things, or all of them. If anything, it helps me relax, realizing that the world does not end, and it’s not even a big deal. We all move on by. The world keeps turning.

But at the same time, being this careful does have some upsides. This way, I am a thoughtful person, and other people can sometimes tell. I will even admit to it sometimes, especially if it’s something that was making me seriously nervous; I’ll say how I had been thinking about the right thing to say for awhile now. And I notice that acknowledging anxiety with other people actually helps diminish its soul-sucking power. It is healing to me when other people agree that they would feel the same as I did, or they don’t blame me for feeling that way. It’s like a thousand pounds of bricks fell from my shoulders, and I move easier.

What was the point I was trying to make? Was there even one? I honestly don’t remember – wait, yeah, wrong and right! Or both? Or neither?

Essentially, words can be taken almost an endless number of ways. I know what I mean when I’m saying something, but other people might not have the same perspective as me. Or they just flat out don’t agree. That can be true of anything. The rehearsals I do are helpful, sure, but I still can’t guarantee what another person’s reactions might be. And is there truly an objective right and wrong? Haha, with that sentence, again, I am envisioning people mocking me for uttering such a line. Okay, some things can be objectively right, I guess. But what does right mean? Is right = the law, which the law is not always ethical nor just, so is it really even right? How would you define right? Many things are left up to interpretation. How would you decide which interpretation is ‘the one’?

Personally, I think that life is more complicated than being able to classify things with one word. Beyond the scope of humanity, think about all the animals we also share this planet with, and what they might think about all of this. And then, beyond even further, to the life outside our earth, across the universe, and to other universes – I mean, I imagine there is so much out there that none of us have even thought of, because we don’t know where to start. Okay, let’s zoom back in now to just humanity, because man, I can’t begin to speak for other planets, and beings. That’s a bit much. Yeah, but like, even within our own species, there is much to question, and learn. ‘Right’ and ‘wrong’ are too limiting to describe us. I think that how people think is ultimately a culmination of their personal experiences, and how much context they were given. I am reminded of that article that was published not that long ago, about the missionaries going to a country, and ended up bringing the virus there, when that nation had been virus-free up until then. People were bringing up colonization, and the problems with Christianity. But that was just the headline, and upon reading the actual article, it was revealed that that was the missionaries home country, and they were just returning after not being allowed back since the pandemic started. They also were careful about traveling, and made efforts to try and not bring anything back with them. It is easy to demonize someone when all you’ve got is a speck of information. There are bad things about everything, and you can surely build up a damning case against anyone if you want to. However, we should all remember, at the end of the day, we are human. We are all subject to making mistakes.

I’ve gone a bit off track here, and the organization of this is wack. In conclusion, I just wanted to acknowledge that I recognize there are holes within what I write here. I know that what I say is not foolproof, nor objectively correct.

As my tagline states, ‘I never said I was qualified,’ so read at your own risk.

Knowledge is Power, Power Corrupts.

The saying that goes like “give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. But teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime,” I had many teachers use that sentiment throughout my public schooling days. I get the premise, but why can’t you do both? I’m sure I’ve seen that idea on social media before, but it’s true. It’s easier to learn when you have a full belly. You can give a man a fish AND teach him how to fish.

How many times have I been told that education is power? “You feel better now that you know more, right?”

Yes, I love learning, depending on the context, of course. I do feel more empowered being informed. I have formulated a more complex perspective for seeing the infinite sides to things. I enjoy sometimes getting technical references in TV shows, and books. I know more, and I try to use that knowledge to do more.

At the same time, power leads to exploitation. Corruption. I hold knowledge, and now I can charge you thousands to access it. I could use paywalls, single use codes, and multi-level marketing to lure you in. For so long now, knowledge holders have used it as a means to make money. They use it to their advantage, often sadistically so.

“I am smarter than you, but you could be smart like me, if you wanted to. Everyone could make it to where I made it, I worked so hard. You can too.” The mantra of the billionaire, in their attempt to justify their so called success. What about the millions of people that suffered, and continue to suffer, for you to be at the top? All you did was harness labor in the worst possible way. And no, that is not obtainable to each person. If we all decided to be our own boss, then bye-bye Amazon.

Reflecting on my own reasons for going to college, I do wonder what it is exactly that I hope to gain. Mainly, I would say a deeper insight into my own existence, and the general existence of humanity. But also, I have to acknowledge that my original reason for going to college was because it was the obvious next step. The norm for after high school is college, or at the very least, some kind of further education. I resisted it at first, but I didn’t know what else to do. College it is then.

I want to make an effort to never use what I learn to belittle other people. Education is expensive, and sure, there are public libraries that anyone can access. However, reading takes time, and in this day where it’s not uncommon for someone to have 3 jobs, having time to read can be a privilege. The only thing I would want to use my education for is to make other people’s lives easier. I would want to help without barriers. I hate that mental health treatment is incredibly expensive, just like I hate that dental, and health care in general, is a privilege afforded to the wealthy. God forbid you have any mental, or physical, struggles because life is already hard enough, but adding those on makes it that much more difficult. “Therapists make a lot of money, that’s a great career path!” I wish it weren’t that way. I mean, as I stated, education is expensive, so it makes sense to then make that money back. But making money off people that are coming to you because they need help to live? I do not agree.

The only thing that education should be used for is to make life better, for everyone. It should never be held over anyone’s heads. It shouldn’t be weaponized. I do not care if you have a PhD, or never finished high school; we are all worthy, and deserving, of the same respect. I’m tired of the pressures we place on each other to make something of ourselves (almost always that refers to finances). We push people to work past the point of exhaustion, and never quit grinding. I do not agree.

You are an important, worth knowing person, regardless of your bank account balance, or education level. You should never have to prove yourself based on those things.

Fear of Age.

I think I watched a video one time that mentioned how ageism is one of the last acceptable forms of discrimination.

I don’t know if I completely agree with that. One example would be classism – there are still many overlooked ways that wealth is measured. We judge based on job title, clothing, and home value/neighborhood. Not to mention how common the mindset of “well, they just don’t work hard enough” or “they are addicts that did it to themselves” is.

But I do agree that ageism is very prevalent, and much of it is normalized. In makeup and skincare, there are products with anti-aging and anti-wrinkle formulas. Music centers around being young and desirable. First lyric to come to mind is the Lana Del Ray song that goes, “Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful?”, implying that beauty diminishes with age. The specific video I mentioned was actually about older people searching for employment, and struggling because no one wanted to hire them. There are supposed to be employee protections that keep employers from discriminating, but what good are those if they can just hide behind the phrase: “We decided to go with someone else”?

I mean, if we’re lucky enough, we will all get older. We will become the people that we are currently casting shame on. And then it’s not so much fun anymore, is it?

I realize that it is not a new problem that has risen. This has been going on for probably as long as humans have existed. It likely stems from a fear of death. Each year that passes is a year that never comes back. One year closer to death, or the unknown. In prior centuries, lifespan expectancies were much lower, and making it to 30 or 40 was getting pretty up there in age. But now? Of course, there are many factors to consider, and expectations are only averages when looking at the whole population. Anything can happen to anyone at anytime. Depending on a number of things; however, a person can likely make it to 80. Why such a big fear about turning 30, then?

Even me, a 22 year old, feels the impending doom of that. I’m terrified. When I turned 22, it was the worst birthday of my life. I fell into a pit of despair, and was disgusted to be this age. What have I done to justify this many years of existence? The drum beat in my head only is getting faster and faster. I know I’m on a ride that only goes forward, not back. And it is not an experience unique to me. I know someone who turned 24, and said, “I want to die” on their birthday.

Like millions of others, I watched Bo Burnham’s ‘Inside’ on Netflix last year. He has a song on there about turning 30, and one of the lyrics goes, “I used to be the young one, got used to meeting people, who weren’t used to meeting someone, born in 1990, no way!”. I can relate with that. I was born in 1999, and yeah, I experienced some of that. But I think it will be especially hard for those born in 2000 when they turn 30. Even though I was born only the year prior, I have even been like “What the heck? You were born in the year 2000, and you’re 18 now?”. People born in 2000 were my classmates, so I don’t know why. I guess I felt a century, and a millennia, apart from them lol. And progressively from there, I remember being stunned when those born in 2005 were starting high school. Time is unforgivably fast.

But like, here I go again with social constructs, but time isn’t real. Why do we do this to ourselves? 22 years is only a measurement. It doesn’t reflect what I’ve done, where I’ve been. It doesn’t encompass my personality, and who I am. When people ask, “how old are you?”, and I tell them, they nod as if that helps them know me better. Okay, well now I have to acknowledge that I absolutely am not saying that “aGe Is JuSt a NuMbEr”. In consideration of consent and dating, age is important. It also can refer back to brain development, as the frontal lobe responsible for decision making isn’t fully developed till about 25. So yeah, I get the justification for age in some cases. But in the instance of feeling like shit because you feel old, and society doesn’t want you anymore? No.

It freaks me out all the time about growing older. Death is a bottomless void of uncertainty. I know what to expect from life, but what the heck comes after? Where the heck was I before this life? Is there a higher meaning; is there a God out there who designed all this? Or is it like Bill Nye says, where we live and then we die, and that’s it? I gotta say, the premise of a higher being running the show does sound pretty fantastical. How cool would that be? That would mean that my existence really does matter, not only in this life, but extending far beyond into an afterlife. And the same for everyone else. Then I shouldn’t worry about growing old here on this earth, as this is barely a blimp on the map of what’s next. But what if there’s nothing?

Yeah, I went from human issues like ageism, to talking about existentialism and eternity. What’s new?

But seriously, I’m tired of shaming based on age. We think it’s all fun and games, because it’s often young people doing it. But you won’t be young forever. You will grow older (again, if you’re lucky enough to). And it’s gonna suck if society is still youth focused, which it probably will be. Let me clarify, though, that I’m not saying you should only be kind and respectful because it will one day personally affect you. There are -isms out there that I will never experience. But there are people right now being harmed and negatively affected by discrimination and personal biases. We can all do better about being more considerate, and compassionate, with the words and narratives we choose to perpetuate. And ageism is something that no one is immune from. Whether rich or poor, you will get older.

What I say is enough with these narratives that 30, 40, 50, 60 is old. What happened to being excited each birthday? That meant you survived another year. That is awesome. But no, instead it sends us into existential panic, and feeling like we haven’t done enough. Let me tell you, just by breathing and experiencing things, that is enough. There are so many struggles in life, from mental health to physical ailments, to financial setbacks and economic collapses. In optimal circumstances, yeah, we’d all be thriving, and be at those places we envisioned ourselves by the time we turn 30. I get wanting to be productive, and proud of the things you’ve done. But life doesn’t always go to plan – in fact, when does it ever? Just try your best to nourish yourself, to cherish yourself. Money and all these chains are just made up.

You are real, though. You are not a social construct. My hope is that we’ll all learn to quit boxing ourselves in by the make-believe reality of mankind.