Creative careers are not new. We’ve always had artists. Writers and photographers (for the past century or so), play-writes, actors. So on and so forth. Yeah, none of this is new to our society. So why is it that we struggle with accepting people who want to embark on a creative career path?
2016 was a great year because it allowed me to discover more about myself and the world around me. 2016 was a terrible year because it allowed me to discover more about myself and the world around me.
About a month ago, I had this weird existential epiphany experience. Or something.
I watched some documentary that I probably shouldn’t have watched and I was left there frozen for an hour trying to figure out everything.
Everything meaning race and religion and career paths and conspiracies and you know, everything.
Do we consider excessive photo shopping of ones images on social media a manifestation of narcissism or one of self-hate?
Think about it for a second. I’m sure we all know at least one person who devotes a great amount of their time to altering photos of them self before sending it out into the world. If you don’t, good for you. But if we all know a person who does this, have we considered why they do it.
So I think I’ve been in denial about how much time I waste using technology. Okay, when I phrase it that way, it sounds as if I’m a techie creating an app or something but no, no I just mean I have an unhealthy addiction to my phone. It’s with me all day, every single day and while I can argue that “I might need it for emergencies!” or something else, in the entire span of 7 years since I got my first phone and the problem officially started, I’ve only had actual emergencies a couple of times. So it’s clear that this excuse is just being used to justify a problem.
I’ve spent a lot of time recently comparing my life and my interests to the other interests and forms of expression that are ‘accepted’ within the black community. Over the years, I’ve been bombarded with comments on ‘blackness’ and I’m left trying to decipher what that really means.
It is impossible to ask for perfection in the world. This is because everyone’s definition of the word is different. Perfection has a different meaning for everyone and we can never be at ease because some person or some group will always fight to push their definition on others.
For me,a perfect world is a place where I’m not afraid of law enforcement, where I know that my opinions matter and that people accept them, without my gender being an issue.Living in a world surrounded by people who crave knowledge just as much as I do and who value the lives of every human,as they should, should be a given. It isn’t though, but again these are some of my ideas are perfect,perhaps it is too much to ask for others to believe this as well?
I spend a lot of my time having conversations with my younger brother and cousin about the world and our society. I’m not an expert,obviously, but someone has to have these talks with them. No one had them with me, but I still learned to care about and attempt to understand things that are occurring around me. They’re learning about the far from perfect world that we live in and it’s one of the things that I’m most proud of.
But I digress, alot. That’s yet another thing that isn’t perfect, my ability to stay on track when attempting to express my self. However, in this specific situation, it isn’t completely terrible.
A part of realizing that perfection is impossible is having to accept the fact when it really boils down to it, there is nothing that an individual can do to fix anything. I often think about this,I read articles and news stories and I feel helpless because as the world crumbles into, for lack of a better word, shit, I know that there is nothing I can do to fix it. In a perfect world, I’d have the solution to repair and mend society’s problems.
Oh but again,this would be my version of perfect. Doesn’t work for anyone else besides me.
As the new year quickly approaches, I’m trying to put my self into a different position mentally. I don’t want to feel helpless when thinking about the issues in the world, if I can help it. I’m still attempting to strive for near perfection,no matter how impossible or unattainable it may seem.
I swear this post was intended to be something fun that outlined my 18th birthday and how excited I was and everything but of course me being me, that is not what happened. I don’t know, I guess I felt that this was a little more important and mattered a bit more to me. I may still write the fun birthday post but I’m not exactly sure yet. Anyway, here’s 18.
We live in a society that ignores,shames and places unnecessary burdens upon our youth. From the viewpoint of many of our “elders” our opinions and insights into the world around us are often perceived as wrong or not taken into consideration because we lack a certain number of years behind us. We lack ” experience”, therefore we have no grounds to stand on when making statements about social issues, the economy or anything really.
Before we have even started our lives and graduated from college, many of us are already in debt. Student loan debt is at an all time high and the job search has only increased in difficulty. This only makes starting a life more difficult for us,and the worst part is, these conditions are a direct result of generations before us. We will bear the burden of the mistakes of our parents and grandparents and i’m sure our children will bear ours. Because, unfortunately, this is how our society operates.
As a nation, we’ve always looked down on people we consider to be inferior. Whether it is race, gender,age or sexual orientation, someone is always considered to be lower than someone else. Of course,me being a female, and a black teenager, I’m basically at the bottom of the totem pole. When my 18th birthday passed least week, of course I was happy. 18 is supposed to be an accomplishment, something to be celebrated but when you take into consideration all of the negatives of adulthood, all the responsibility that comes within the next few years, things get a little less festive.
We are “adults”. But we really aren’t. We have to learn to be responsible. But we really can’t. Our system is created to give us just enough freedom to no longer be considered children but not enough to actually be completely responsible for ourselves. We still can’t drink,in some places we can’t rent cars. Of course we’ll still find our way around any of these rules.
We can vote but most of us don’t because we don’t think it matters, which is perhaps one of the saddest facts of all. We have a great amount of influence and extreme amounts of power, but we don’t use it because most of us don’t understand how.
To wrap up all of my ranting; We are put into a peculiar situation because we are lead to believe that adulthood is something to be excited about. For many of us,though,this is still true. However, for the most part, we still aren’t exactly seen as adults. Often times our opinions are overlooked, and we are convinced that they don’t matter when , in reality, the exact opposite is true.
18 is a year that signifies adulthood, responsibility and all of the other great things that we love so much. But honestly when it’s taken into consideration, 18 doesn’t really signify anything.
One of my summer reading assignments was the book, The Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth by Alexandra Robbins. Instead of researching the books the way I usually do, I went into Barnes and Noble and just asked for it. I was really surprised hours later when I read the back of it and discovered what it was about. I’m not going to type the whole thing but mainly you just need to know that ,” Robbins follows seven real people grappling with the uncertainties of high school social life: The Loner, The Popular Bitch, The Nerd, The New Girl, The Gamer, The Weird Girl and The Band Geek. “. This line alone drew me in because I love books that follow several characters POV’s.
Anyway, I’m so into the book because it tells the truth about the high school experience and decodes behavior that has become commonplace EVERYWHERE in America. The characters all live in different parts of the United States but all of their stories could easily be under one roof at one school. Robbins discusses why popular kids are mean, why individual identity is diminished by the idea of “normal” and even race relations.
I’ve barely put a dent into the book but I’ve already learned so much. Like how labeling people is such an important part of our society. Of course everyone knows that a typical high school has the “jocks”, the “nerds” , the “stoners” , the “emos” and many more. We have movies like the Breakfast Club to thank for the constant labeling of every individual person. But what interests me is the fact that if we can’t accurately label someone or lump them into a specific group, we are essentially uncomfortable with them because we can’t lump them with other people and therefore can not understand them on the most superficial level. However, I can’t criticize because I’m an abuser of this system like many of my peers. We meet someone new and automatically attempt to determine which group they fit into and who their friends will be. When I converse with people who are outside of my group, I think about how my friends would feel if they knew I was talking to this specific person and that person would feel if their friends knew they were talking to me. It’s a vicious and disturbing cycle that I wish could be changed because when the labeling continues on through high school it becomes something a little more serious. There’s a lot of emphasis in the book with characters who are outcasts because they are just so eccentric and such strong individuals. It makes sense that teenagers(and society as a whole) would look down to people who don’t fit a mold or a specific stereotype that they can categorize. Being an individual scares people because it’s not something they are used to, people are frightened by new things. So when there are teenagers in a high school that refuse to listen to the same music, dress the same and talk about the same things as their peers, people freak out. When you have a large group of people and every person acts exactly the same way, and does the same things…it’s not because they want to but most likely because they fear what their peers and their friends would think if they dared to be different.
I haven’t even finished the book yet but I feel so enlightened by everything I’ve read so far. The best part is that the book relates to everyone; middle schoolers because the same things apply there and even adults because they have lived through or are still living through things that occur in the novel. This author has a few other books that are supposed to be really good so I suggest you guys read them and this one as well because you will not not not regret it .