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The Universality of Our Individuality

No one tells you how much of your adult life is spent feeling utterly pathetic.

Not the kind of pathetic you read about in Victorian novels where your pale face and doe eyes fit a particular aesthetic that seems to overshadow the futility of what you are feeling until you inevitably emerge heroic. Instead it’s the kind where you let out an internal screeching scream while staring dumbfoundedly at a cracked phone screen that relays another message of rejection and although you try to convince yourself that the excuse is genuine, you know the words are glaringly generic.

No one tells you how many hours will eventually stack up into years of feeling apologetic.

It doesn’t matter if there’s no reason to be sorry nor have you caused any damage, yet you feel weighed down by this constant burden of barely being adequate. And its not because you’re looking for attention or an ear to be sympathetic but it seems as though if you do ten things right, the eleventh either won’t be enough, or just inadvertently offensive. Constantly apologizing for the space you take or the way you speak, embarking on paths that differ from your family, a walking symbol of shame – yet few will say it to your face so you get used to hunching your frame to portray regret as a means of being preemptive.

No one warns you of how quickly moving through life starts feeling robotic.

It’s not about how hard you work, the tears and sweat spent on loved ones, or how much blood is shed in the process – it’s not about how real the experience is, when your entire existence ultimately feels synthetic. It’s like constantly straddling the line between real life and a simulation when your body carries scars that others find subjective and despite an incessantly buzzing phone, each of us at our core feels disconnected. Life has been distilled to sift out the emotions and maintain the kinetic so now we’re all moving in a direction without a destination that’s anywhere near definitive.

Perhaps the fear of adulthood is not because its so stressful and consuming, nor is it something so deeply internalized that it can be chalked up to genetics. Perhaps it’s the fear of realizing that despite the hard work poured in, the milestones set up, and the innate desire to paint this life as oh so poetic – perhaps it’s the fear of confronting the undeniable truth within that despite all our efforts to give this life some meaning, maybe this aching futility and dissatisfaction is all there is to it.

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