Tag Archives: self

The Terrible (And Relatively Tolerable) Truths About Being Twenty

Twenty. It’s an awkward age. And I thought I was awkward then. Psh. I’ve only blossomed. When I was younger, I always thought that twenty was going to be such a grand thing. I was going to have everything in my life together, wrapped neatly in a white picket fence and bow. Well, not yet, but on my way toward the like. But as a current twenty year old, I can honestly say that it isn’t as glamorous as it seems (self-kick to the childhood). Here are a few terrible truths about being twenty that I never would’ve even thought about as a kid, that I now know to be inevitably true. The fantasy has officially been extinguished.

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1. Life: “You need to get your act together. You’re an ADULT. You need to have job experience. Nobody’s gonna take you seriously unless you start taking on more than your schedule can hold. Do it for ME–I mean….employers.” Love always, Your Parents (and supposedly your greatest support system. Hrm. It’s just tough love. Right? Riiiight?)

Reality Check: You’re too young to have a full-time occupation but still too old to “babysit”. At this point, it would just be weird (“You little slacker, you. Nobody’s gonna look at that babysitting job on your resume and say, “Wow, this kid’s a catch. He can whip up snacks and make sure kids don’t die while their parents “visit grandma for dinner”. Hurry, grab him while he’s still available. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! WHY ARE YOU NOT ON THE PHONE WITH HIM AS WE SPEAK?! These qualifications are rare.”). If you’re not an intern for a major corporation by 20 (If you’re not already owning it by now, because you should really be trying to get ahead of the pack, you slacker), you’re the epitome of a failure. Embrace the failure stink. It’s all that you’ll ever know.

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2. Life: “You know Josh? Do you remember little ol’ Josh? Well, Josh works for the FBI now–he’s in charge of the FBI–oh excuse me, he CREATED the FBI. And he’s only 19. And he’s also cured cancer, built homes for the poor, completely ended world hunger, and invented a flying car, all in one weekend. Could you imagine what he could do in two?! Josh was always such a good boy, but wow! Josh is so great now! Why can’t you be like Josh? You should call Josh. Hang out with Josh. Love Josh. Love him. Josh. Josh. Josh. Josh. Joshjoshjoshjoshjosh….(“Josh” chant that leaves you in a state of eternal hell, kind of like the ending to the “Bill Nye the Science Guy” chant at the end of his intro. Ring a bell?)” (The name “Josh” is hypothetical, but I guess if you’re an awesome Josh, I’m talking about you, buddy. You’re making my parents and everyone with high expectations of me hate my freakin’ guts. Good job. HOPE YOU’RE PROUD.)

Reality Check: We all know a Josh. Ugh. Kinda wish he’d go away and take his Facebook full of all of his stupid milestones with him. He makes my own major accomplishments look like mere blips on the radar, and then I get verbally paddled (with a gentle voice occasionally to cushion the blow) because he’s the next young genius of geniuses in all of Geniusville. This is why Netflix exists. Not to entertain us (me). It’s so we (I) can wallow in our (my) disappointed existence because Josh ALREADY FIXED ALL THE WORLD’S PROBLEMS SO THERE’S NOTHING LEFT TO DO. JOSH HAS IT ALL FIGURED OUT, DOESN’T HE?! But think of it this way. Because of Josh and all of his perfections that you lack, your services are no longer needed. You’re free. Roam, my child.

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3. Life: “Here, have some homework. Wanna hang with friends? Here, have some homework. Got some dishes to do? How about some homework? Family is packing the van and driving for several hours, updating you every five seconds to ensure that you’re waiting at the apartment like a dog that hasn’t been fed in months, so they can see you for the first time in what feels like centuries? It’s a great time for a research paper that has to be a minimum (minimum. not maximum.) of 800 pages, single spaced, due obviously tonight. That’s enough time, right? That was rhetorical, by the way. Eh, who cares. I most certainly don’t care.” -Life

Reality Check: Any and every time you have plans, there will be some homework knocking on your door. True fact. The only way to fight against the buildup is to either get ahead or build a pillow fort out of your whole apartment and become a total shut in, avoid eye contact with your roommate who already thinks you’re a nutcase, and close off all connections to the real world. Nothing can come with you on this journey of seclusion. No laptop, no ipod, and no, not even the smart phone. That phone will know if you’re hiding, and it will notify all of your contacts (including Facebook friends, maybe even the ones you don’t like and don’t know why you ever added) that you’ve completely lost your marbles, as the newest feature of the newest iPhone obviously does. Before you know it, they’ll all come ruthlessly banging on your paper-thin door begging you to gather some sense. Just kidding. You’re gonna die alone in there. With a heavy head and an empty stomach. Nobody is going to realize you disappeared. All because you didn’t want to do your homework. Kinda seems silly now, doesn’t it? Just whip out the 800 page paper. It’ll only take you about an hour. Or a million hours. Something like that. I’m not good with numbers.

Parents: “See, Josh was never afraid to–“

Me: “SHUT UP. Just shut up”.

Parents: “But Josh always did his homework before it was due and he still managed to–“

*mysterious disappearance not caused by prior events/conversations at all but definitely by something else, yeah*

*Oh no, where did my parents go? Oh it was an accident. Oh it happened all of a sudden. Oh*

 Can you relate?

We can bask together. Share if you dare.

It’s weird to think we’re all a product of our surroundings…

We just pick things up from around us, and glue it to our bodies and personalities. Voila. It becomes who we are, how we speak, our opinions, our thoughts, our motives, our strengths, and our weaknesses.

What parts of us were meant to be there from the start, and would have the potential of having developed with or without the influence of our environments?

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Daily Writing Prompt: Write about a condition you suffer from. How do you combat that condition?

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We all get nervous for monumental events in our lives, but the nervousness that I experience on a day to day basis is more than just that. It even has its own classification from general nervousness. My condition is identified as social anxiety. Sufferers of social anxiety, like myself, often get nervous in social situations, whether it be meeting a new group of people, speaking in front of a crowd, or even going to classes in which they feel like they don’t “associate well” with their peers. There are situations that I cannot control socially, and I think that is part of what keeps my anxiety alive, as well as situations where I don’t know what to expect. I think about how others perceive me, and the majority of the time, I’m thinking they’re picking me apart. It’s a normal thought process for me to feel this way, so I’ve tried to just roll with it in the past to avoid blowing it into much larger proportions. Unfortunately, though, always feeling like people are judging you isn’t a great feeling. It often leaves me feeling like I can’t hold a conversation, maintain eye contact, or meet their friends. It’s awful.

Many people think that anxiety isn’t a real issue, and that it’s an excuse for an introvert to avoid socialization. That assumption is ridiculous. I would never choose to experience uncomfortableness in social situations, and I would never in a million years choose to avoid certain social situations if I were always comfortable. If I always felt comfortable and ready to socialize with others, I would never be home. I’d always be out doing something with friends and taking on new experiences. But right now, I’m easing into new experiences one chance at a time. I’m trying to get myself more comfortable. I’m trying to overcome this anxiety before it consumes me. Many of my friends say that I’m one of the most extroverted people they know, and actually, that’s part of the way I deal with my anxiety. In order to get myself more comfortable in new social situations, I tend to bring out my more extroverted side so I don’t end up sinking through the floor. It’s something I’ve learned that I’m able to do, despite the anxiousness, so often people don’t even realize that I suffer from this condition.

Part of my personal journey battling social anxiety is combatting it through my Youtube channel that I created recently under the username, “Mandirito”. On my channel, I do tutorials, vlogs, and other videos that invite viewers to see into what I do on a day to day basis and allow others to get an inside look on my personal thoughts, experiences, hobbies, and opinions. I had been wanting to do this for a very long time, and this year I had finally worked up the courage to just do it. It’s part of my willingness to come out of my shell in a more public way.

It’s important to realize that there are so many people out there that suffer from the same condition that don’t let others in close enough to see it. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist, and it doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be taken seriously when confronted. Be sensitive to each person’s battle, because we’re all fighting one, one way or another.

Daily Writing Prompt: How do you combat the blues? What’s one tip you can share with others that always helps to lift your spirits?

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Combatting the blues has been an uphill battle all of my life, the reason being that when I’m sad, I’m really sad. Little misfortunes in life don’t hurt me, but when something happens that is monumental to my life and the lives of others that could not have been preventable, I feel vulnerable. Useless. I try to keep my head up in these times by focusing on myself. What needs to get done in order for me to reach equilibrium once more? How am I going to accomplish this? Truthfully, the way I combat sadness is situational, but in all situations, there is a common weapon: the use of creativity. I’m a firm believer that getting your negative feelings on paper or canvas can give a sense of relief that many other methods in life can’t, because you’re in control. You have that pen, pencil, brush in your hand. You control the color, where it goes, how it interacts with other colors. You can write what ever you need to write, no matter how piercing the words. It gives you the feeling of connecting your life full circle again. Although, because I’m in college and my supplies are often limited to dry mediums, I tend to use music as a supplementary mood lifter. There are always going to be times when I’m sad and I just want to listen to something that’s going to make me bawl my eyes out, but more often than not, hearing the soothing sounds of “A Fine Frenzy” or “Blue October” gives me the sense of serenity I need to pick up from where I left off. It doesn’t hurt to lay my mind down in writing, as well.

If you find yourself feeling sad, try to explore that emotion visually. Even if you don’t consider yourself “crafty” or “artistic”, it’s important to allow yourself to delve into different mediums during times of emotional turmoil in order to determine your ability to combat sadness in new, positive ways rather than allowing it to swallow your ability to fix what has been broken. Try to represent your negativity in a more physical way, and it may set you free.