Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summertime gladness

This summer has undoubtedly been one of the loneliest. By being in a mostly rural area, paired with a large cultural and generational gap between myself and my grandparents, and losing my phone, I was somewhat isolated from social interaction. As an extrovert, this was hard for me, but it has brought to light many character flaws I have. And one of the most severe of them is how much I hate being alone, and how pertinent it is to fix this problem.

 I have always been scared of being alone. I have a very real fear of being forgotten or becoming irrelevant. I think that, though not as blatantly as I have stated it above, our generation as a whole suffers from this anxiety too. Why else for all the different social media platforms where we post things that more or less boil down to the message of, "Hey, look at me. Pay attention to me"? Even this blog, a collection of my most intimate thoughts, is, in essence, a product of wanting to remain connected to people. And there is nothing wrong with wanting to be connected to others. Human beings are social in nature. However, we have come to a point where we reach out not for social interaction, but oftentimes to fulfill and forget something missing within ourselves instead.

Throughout my life, I have sought the approval of other people because I thought it meant I was wanted. I belong. And because I belong, because I am wanted, I am worth something. But, for example, after one bad romantic relationship after another, I soon realized that being wanted is not enough. Being wanted by others mean nothing when you do not want for yourself. When we fill ourselves with the approval of others, their disapproval can just as easily leave us emptier than what we had started with.

By being in a place where I was opposite the beauty standard, I was reminded that self confidence is more relevant than anything you'll ever see reflected in a mirror. By being in a place where I couldn't express myself due to language disconnect, I learned that your intelligence is not based on how smart others perceive you to be, but the thoughts that you cultivate on your own.

In the end, it's truly up to you, what becomes of you. No amount of likes, retweets or page views can change what you do for yourself and what you think of yourself. Especially, when no one is watching. So no, I have not fully gotten over my fear of becoming irrelevant. I still enjoy the narcissism that is social media, but I think I'm taking a step in the right direction.

Cogito ergo sum. I think therefore I am.


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