Tuesday, December 6, 2011

identity crisis

"I can't go back to yesterday, I was a different person then."
-Lewis Carroll

"More and more, it feels like I'm doing a really bad impersonation of myself."
-Chuck Palahniuk

"Get over yourself, Ali."

I am Alice in Wonderland, with none of the trippy hookups. I was a child, reading a book under a willow tree and daydreaming (swap the prim blue dress with a neon green tank top/Bullhead shorts. Let's be realistic here), when I spotted a white rabbit (oh hi Buttercup. **conspiracy theory alert**).
Curious, I followed that tiny, dodgy fuzzball to a rabbit hole. It was deathly dark, seemingly infinite, and probably dirty, but I swan-dived in before I took my next breath. That rabbit hole is high school, and I've been falling ever since.

You know, it's easy to "be yourself" when you just live and let live. At this point in my life, though, I find it difficult to live without thinking, breathe without watching, or see without analyzing. Maybe it's a psychosis, but I'm sort of confident that's it's a part of being a teenager. We need to be hyper-emotional and hyper-sensitive in order to soak in everything and form ourselves into the sparkling young adults we're destined to become.

Whoever decided that making us self-conscious at the first major turning point of our lives must have been smoking a little too much hookah.

And whoever decided that Facebook is healthy for the teenage mind is also twisted.

But that's another story.

Basically, I'm not sure who I am anymore. I find myself getting sourly nostalgic, looking through old photographs and writing in a desperate search to remember who I am. The truth is, I'm shell-shocked. Admittedly, high school started out sort of slow for me. Forever, I've heard that "EVERYTHING CHANGES IN HIGH SCHOOL," and "YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAAAAME," but I just smiled as I put on the pair of jeans that fit me since middle school.

But here I am, a senior, and I got sucked in a tornado of change. I've gone from a size nonexistent in jeans to a size 4. I'm almost 5'10", and it's still so new to me that I hit my head on the shower on the way out. My brother went to college, so I'm the only child in the house. I went on my first date (I think?), I got my first piercing, I've lost my best friends, and I've experienced my first true heartbreak. I've gone through 4 years worth of changes within the span of a few months. Always the efficient one.

My house doesn't look the same. I don't look the same. I certainly don't feel the same. I look in the mirror, and I don't know who it is anymore.

But I've come to the classy conclusion that honestly, I don't give a fuck.

I'm still essentially "me," in an endless amount of ways. But I've also changed a lot, and I'm still in the process of changing. The truth is, life is a process of changing. We are never the same person today as we were yesterday. I've found that identities, instead of being liberating, are often confining. You tell yourself that you're a certain way so much that you dutifully play the part. You're left going through the motions, and you become a shell that forces smiles and battles so, so many suppressed thoughts.

Just let go.

People aren't stagnant. We're fluid. We're mostly water; even our biology agrees. Scribble outside your outline. Limits are man-made. Self-image is suicide.

If you live outside of the concept of yourself, if you actually listen to your own rhythms, you will find that you are so, so much more than you ever would have thought.

Also, don't be an enforcer of images, and don't be a judgmental skank. The people that claim that they "don't judge" are often the worst offenders. What is judging, by the way? It's telling somebody who they are, reminding them how they are supposed to act, and ridiculing unexpected behavior.

"Lyke lol yu cursed??!!111! I wuld never exp3ct dat frum yeww!?!"
Have you never cursed before? How am I any different from you, or any other teenager ever? Oh, I gotcha. I'm three months younger than you, that must be it. Baby Ali better respect her elders.

"Omg LOL yu said sex!! Nd yu read novelz tht rnt dr seuss nd dat have sex in dem nd yu make dirty jokeszz hehahh this is sew not yu, yu werr nvr this way in elemntry omg!!"
Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sorry, should have gave you a seizure warning before listing off such shocking words. Don't die, please. But if you're feeling faint, let me know. I can drive you to the hospital in the car I own and that I'm legally old enough to drive and oh by the way sex.

"hehehhahehehe LOL wut r u gnna do wit ur date, read lolatrolakrololaol!!1!! im clvr!1! and kewl and sew maturr!11"
First off, what I do is none of your business and should be none of your concern. How far you've went with a guy doesn't make you any more mature or more of an adult. And maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I don't see dating etc etc etc as a "right of passage" to be "cool" or "mature." My relationships actually mean something to me. And yeah, we might read. After roundhouse-kicking you to the face.

People do this all the time, and they don't even realize it. I've definitely been guilty, but now I'm more aware of how annoying and damaging judging actually is. We need to take people as they are, not as they were in elementary school, middle school, or even yesterday. We need to actually have the audacity to listen to their thoughts now, where their mind and heart is now, instead of telling them they're wrong and that they're actually a different person. This is offensive, and this kills one's sense of freedom.

This is one of the reasons I feel like I'm suffocating. I've been living in the same town and going to school with the same people for my whole life. We've all already made our judgments of each other, and we're too ignorant to realize that none of us are the same as we used to be. Society claims to be more understanding than ever, but we never actually listen to each other.

And I had to let this all out, or else I would explode in a ball of nerves.

I feel quite good, but it's 3:20AM, and I didn't start my homework yet.

Fyeah teen angst.