“… And these children that you spit on
as they try to change their worlds
are immune to your consultations.
They’re quite aware
of what they’re going through…” ~ David Bowie
Being a teenager is challenging. The number of subliminal messages and expectancies placed upon young people are countless. Even though most of these ‘so -called’ messages don’t appear to be harmful at first glance, speaking from individual experience, they certainly are.
One of these messages which causes a lot of problems during teenage years, is the need to fit in. Follow the trends, use the same words as everyone else, dress the same, refrain from speaking up in class to avoid being labelled a ‘nerd’, undergo underage drinking just because everyone else is doing it. Peer pressure is something that we can get so caught up in, and it can be distracting from the precious years we have to be young and experiment with who we are. It’s all a part of growing up, it should be fun filled with wonderful experiences, good and bad. But I do however think retrospectively, that learning how you want to spend your time, (including saying no, and sometimes saying yes to things out of your comfort zone) is integral to discovering things about yourself as a person. It’s important to be aware of your limits.
I sometimes feel as though there’s this predetermined path set to follow in society. Go to school, and then onto University, get a job and then what, eternal happiness? But, of course life isn’t as linear as that. Life is like being on a never-ending roller coaster, it has its ups, it has its downs, and you often don’t know what the hell is going on.
Furthermore, individual expression isn’t something that you should hide away inside of you where no one else can see it. Because we’re all unique in our own way, and I believe you’re given a voice and mind for a reason, and to hide away and try to be something you’re not, well you’re only cheating yourself really. Life is beautiful. So go out and chase whatever it is you want and express your personality whether it be through your quirky choice of clothes or the words you use. We need to make a change and encourage others to start embracing who they are, and work towards the world being a more accepting place. After all, as Sean McCabe said,”You will never influence the world by trying to be like it.”
One thing i’ve also come to realise is that a way to feel free, is to be undeniably yourself. Whilst this is probably one of the hardest things to do, because I don’t know about anyone else but as much as you may want to be yourself at times, there’s always that voice is your head talking you out of it, telling you to act a certain way, say a certain thing to adapt to the person or situation you are around/in. But with the right mindset and persistence, and keeping focused on doing things you enjoy as well as surrounding yourself with the right people, it does get easier.
Lastly, a little bit of advice from me for those hard times when things are getting on top of you;
Think of yourself as an individual, and know that it is okay to prioritise yourself over others. Allow yourself time on your own to work on feeling comfortable in your own skin.
During anxious times view yourself as a single star in an endless cosmos, acknowledge the immensity of the universe, and know that you are merely a speck of dust within it.
This way of thinking often reminds me that my problems are not as big as I think they are, and that they will pass, much like day passes into night and sapling turns into tree. Life keeps going.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read this post!