I Really, Really Hate...
Society. Martyrdom. Being caged. Being a teenager. Expectations. Reality. Living in America. Consumerism. High School. Being forced to do things I don’t want to do. Nostalgia. Arbitrary requirements. Feeling useless. The constant push for “progress.” Insomnia. Building for the sake of building. The impulse to destroy and not preserve. The fact that money is the main contributor to our well-being. Having to constantly compete. Absurd gas prices. Greed. Hypocrisy. Power-hungry politicians. Cars that don’t have cassette players. The illusion of freedom. Television. The concept of time. Riding the bus. Getting older. Growing up. Social networking. Vindictive people. Capitalism. Tax breaks for the rich. The fact that I’m not seven years old and playing spies in the front yard with Matthew and Sophie. Responsibility. Feeling incompetent. Shopping. Fox News. Intolerance. Bullying. Being stuck in one place. Losing innocence. Being told that your opinions matter, and then being looked down upon for voicing your opinions. Losing friends. Forgetting. Planning ahead. People that judge others based on their musical taste. Racism. Homophobia. The fact that people change. Yearbooks, and being asked to sign them. Human nature. Celebrity hype. Tabloids. Kindle. MLA Format. Group projects. Society’s inability to value beauty. The way we define success. Monotony.
Maybe I have dreams that extend beyond the conventional, that transcend expectations and sensibility and what’s plausible. Maybe I want to graduate high school early and be an exchange student in Australia for three months. Maybe I want to go to Oxford after high school and study History and Modern Languages and complete my fourth year in Italy and move back to the US to go to law school at Stanford so I can move to San Fransisco and work at the NRDC so I can save the planet and sue the hell out of the bastards that destroy it with their recklessness, or push for changes in environmental protection laws. Maybe I just want to take a year off from everything and travel and live as far away from here as possible so I can understand who I am and and actually know what it means to be alive.
But I forgot.
That’s unrealistic. All of it. Because we don’t have the money, because going to Oxford is too complicated and unrealistic and besides, living in England for three years is too far fetched, and History and Modern Languages is a pointless degree that you can’t possibly do anything with. Because there’s no time to study abroad, because the only way to be successful in this screwed up society is to finish high school, go to college, get a degree in something useful regardless of whether or not you actually enjoy it, get a job, make money, start a family, keep making money, pay your bills, and repeat the cycle.
Because in a world where money seems to determine our degree of happiness and well-being, where the overall goal in life is to make money and be successful in order to get by, in a world that is driven by greed and selfishness and power-hungry elites who are pushing for constant “progress,” there’s not enough room to do what you love. There’s no way to break the cycle of work/eat/work/sleep/work.
God forbid I want to live for myself and do what I want and love and feel passionate about. God forbid I want to know what freedom tastes like.
Maybe that’s why we always want to be children again when we start to get older. Because the only time you can feel absolutely free is when you have no idea that freedom even exists, that it’s something tangible and fragile and precariously malleable. It’s easier to feel happy when you don’t understand things, when the answers to everything are given to you and you just accept them without thought, without question; when the idea that such a care-free existence can be taken away from you never even begins to cross your mind. Because when you’re that young, it’s okay to be ignorant.
I think the only time we are truly free is when we’re little kids; like everything else, it fades with age. I don’t think I’ve ever felt happiness so pure as when I was in that front yard, playing spies with Matthew or running around the neighborhood with Sophie and not caring, not worrying, just innocent and small and simple and untainted by the world, by age, by problems, by anything. Just living.
I hate that society takes that away from us.