Am I the Only One?

It’s strange when you start living life at roller coaster speed with brimming commitments and responsibilities to have it come to a sudden halt with something as simple as a bank holiday or being on annual leave. It’s like the thoughts you’ve pushed aside are the angry villagers in the Beauty and the Beast remake beating violently down the door (your brain) until they finally make a way in. And you’re flooded with the time and space to confront them during the week and not just the weekends. Am I the only one who feels this way? Is this the step up from the extremes and contrasts of literature student life? Is it a remedy or a temporary buffer?

I’m 22 and I’ve definitely had my share of mental health issues. There I said it. I didn’t make it figuratively pretty or relatable I just said it. It’s 2017 and it’s okay to do that, right? If that’s so then why do people use that against you when they want to? It’s like someone grabbing your arm and full on punching you in the face and you’ve no control over it because of the one time you conceded control in the past. I’ve come to find some things aren’t worth talking about because some things don’t seem real until the words have oxygen attached to them. Until the names get faces and voices to humanise them. And they become an irritating dark cloud in a perfect blue and cloudless sky. Am I the only one that thinks this? Is reputation etched in the walls of the buildings you once knew and the gravel on the ground?

It’s almost ironic to say you’ve had episodes of crippling anxiety in the past, but have now reached a point where you couldn’t care less. Am I the only one that has reached this point? I’d do anything for an easy life, provided I can take a trip every so often and have hobbies. I get irritated by little things. What a luxury is it to sit and moan with an unfiltered sense of entitlement.

Am I the only one to notice how fake the world is? That Katy Perry got it right when she put music to the brutal fact that we are all indeed chained to the rhythm. That we spend our lives creating seemingly perfect versions of ourselves that society accepts on its rigid spectrum. We live a world where it’s acceptable to let friendships be reduced to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram likes. A world where you’ll be given the cold shoulder for not having watched a video your friend shared 2 days ago. A world where we’ve never been more encouraged to sit down and be the couch potato generation; and then be scrutinised because you can’t seem to find the time to move as much as you used to. A world where an opinion that isn’t shared by the majority is about as welcomed as serving dog poo on fine China and calling it Mississippi Mud Pie. Does freedom of speech really exist if you can be punished if people don’t like what you’ve said? How did we become a world where we’ve never been more in each others pockets,  yet we’ve never been more out of touch. A world where to not be associated with someone on social media is like physically slapping them.  You didn’t say happy birthday to your kid in a status or your dad on father’s day to Facebook instead of their face? Well you’ve obviously got a “bad” relationship. Why “waste” money on a card when you recycle an old photo and add it to a forgettable status/post/tweet? Am I the only one that sees or believes that this is the world we live in? When did we become so detached by becoming so attached?

You read this and think I’m depressed. I’m currently not. I’m currently frustrated. Am I the only one? Do other people think that the title social media is an ironic title? My Facebook is just a catalogue of people to look in on every so often, and maybe 50 ‘friends.’ It’s never been more invasive, yet I sit and scroll aimlessly anyway and update regularly because that’s what everyone does- that’s how people remember you’re still alive and kicking. I once joked that I learned who my friends were by deciphering who I’d have over for a cuppa in my house. It was an agonisingly small list. 

Am I the only one that strives to be better, but never feels like they get very far? Am I the only one who likes everything work wise but not enough to sacrifice anything to have a “career”; yet doesn’t regret going to university? Is it wrong to want a life and not a career? That what you really wanted was to find ‘the one’, and now that you’ve found him, everything else seems so utterly pointless? It’s like having questions and no concrete answers (haha). Does guilt ever subside? Am I really the only one that sees life as a merrigoround of recycled trends and opinions? There’s never anything really ‘new’ about the world. Will we ever unchain ourselves from the rhythm? No, we’ll march to a different beat come a new decade or a new government. The world can be a beautiful place and it can be a lonely one, and I often wonder if I’m the only walking a tightrope of approval in order to get by.

Am I the one that wonders why the only way to make money is to airbrush the less attractive parts of your life out and brown nose your way to the top? When did journalism always insulate that everybody had the same opinion? Has it always been that way? Will I ever get through my Netflix list before they bring more shows out? Is keeping up with trends necessary in order to be relevant? Will I read every book that takes my interest? Will this be the year I “make something of myself”? Am I the only one that feels like they are home to the weight of the world on their shoulders? Is it social anxiety that makes me ignore people I know in public and not the ones I don’t? Since when did trying to be different mean that everyone is now in some ways the same? Why is there an app for everything? Am I the only one to ponder these things after noticing them?

In the words of Sam Smith, “I know I’m not the only one.”  🏃💭

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