That was once a celebratory time in American history. Now a hundred years later, everything roaring about it has been due to one unpredictable calamity after another.
And I thought my 20th year of existence was bad... Disheveled, fearful, unstable has pretty much been the name of the game...Just like being 20 all over again. Only this time, I have a family. This time, I'm not alone. This time, my heart bleeds for those who are worse off than me...And that’s a lot of bleeding.
At 20, these were the painful daily truths about my life:
- My voice was not being heard.
- If my voice didn't completely fall on deaf ears, it wasn't taken seriously.
- I wanted to be something that could change the world, but felt reminded in one way or another that what I had to offer was insignificant.
- I was missing New York like crazy and although I didn't regret my decision to leave, its ability to accept me flaws and all left a haunting impact. Even though I was meeting some incredible people during my relocation, it didn’t change the fact that I was feeling out of place.
- I longed for a time when things seemed so much simpler. Relationships weren't complicated and being thrusted out into the unknown didn't feel so complex.
- I spent my days constantly wishing I wasn't so afraid.
- I wished there was someone I knew I could trust who had the magic ability to wrap their arms around me in the darkest hours and tell me "You're okay. What you're feeling is okay." and could instantly soothe me into a moment of ease.
I wake up everyday to 2020 and the same painful truths are either lived out through me or by others. It's devastating as I watch the growing evidence of so many voices falling on deaf ears. That so many are afraid. So many long for the need to feel safe and yet, feel guilty for wanting that when so many have lost their lives.
Any more painful truths worth sharing?
Yes, and it’s the most painful one, for me:
- Feeling stonewalled.
Stonewalled - delayed or blocked requests, processes, or individuals by unanswered questions or evasive replies.
It didn't feel good then. It doesn't feel good now. And unlike being 20, I now have an abundance of peers across the nation and even around the world that are brave enough to come forward and say:
"The same thing is happening to me..."
I call this brave because in a world where social media has become the "I've got it, so flaunt it!" medium, (where the only proper etiquette involves exploiting our blessings) it leaves very little room for someone to just say, "I'm struggling, I'm not okay." without the risk of sarcastic stone throwing to occur. Although it was temporarily soothing to know that bright, innovative, artistic, kindhearted, individuals have expressed similar affects by this feeling, I was met with nausea when quite a few of them followed "The same thing is happening to me" with:
"EVERYBODY is going through this..."
I take no comfort in that. I don't believe it's okay that this destructive feeling is so popular it's now mainstream. I can’t speak for the world, but this is the affect it has had on me:
I haven't had the courage to finish a lot of articles and essays...One of them being my Arizonaversary blog, honoring the year I transitioned out of New York into Arizona...I look back at that blog and I'm frustrated to no end. I longed so much to entitle it:
Arizonaversary: The Year of Learning I'm Enough
Now, I look at the sentences before me and cringe at how deeply non-relatable they are...even if I chose to retitle it: One Year, One World Away- It still doesn't change the fact that the innocence behind that blog is lost. Dreams were coming true, I could make things happen and everything was going to be okay.
....It's not just that blog. The screenplay that took five years and eight notebooks to complete now stares back at me as if to make a mockery of how naive I was. I didn't know pain or loss…not like this. How could my story even be considered for delivering a universal message? How valuable is it, really, when we are currently dealing with a global crisis? ...I don't know. I will say, my story is inspired by the pain and fear of the unknown when I was 20. Will I ever complete the 2nd draft? I'll try. It's painful to relive it in creative context when waking up to a similar pain rapidly spreading throughout my country.
So, here I am...on social media living with 20 something pain and accompanied by a 2020 painful truth:
- I long to post a blog of positivity that could bring light and answers in a time of darkness.
But I can't, I can only be real. No exploitive desire to flaunt blessings, here. There's just me, coming forward to tell you that I'm not okay and I know I'm not alone. My 20 year old self would have probably appreciated the company and may have sought out group support as leverage to ease some pain and calm her fears, but my 2020 self can't stand it. I want to somehow break free from this stonewalling and try reaching out to the world in some way. And maybe...just maybe, it can be the first step in ending the life of these painful truths... Where, hopefully, ease will finally have a place when I can say to those who are reading this:
"You're, okay. What you're feeling is okay." Would this have really helped me at 20? I don't know, I don’t feel I know anything anymore. My 2020 self is left stonewalled only coming to one conclusion:
Hindsight is always 20/20...
- Caged Butterfly