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Fear is something that drives us, pushes us into rash decisions, makes us flighty and unpredictable. We all have fears, even those who claim not to. I truly believe all humans feel fear in some capacity. Even those labeled Sociopaths who are believe to be unable to feel emotions in a normal sense. It is instilled in us at a very young age. Even if it is in an attempt to make us fear doing wrong or bad. My generation seems to suffer with mental illness far more than those before us. Part of this may be from the constant fears and social norms pushed on us growing up.

It has always been that most of us were made to believe that life as an adult is all about having money and a family. One or both. Which has place many American's in my generation in debt as we try to obtain the goal of a better education to get us a better job to make the money to attract a partner in with which to have a family. This pressure has caused a crippling fear of failure. Many cannot live up to these mandates of what society deems is normal. Many do not want to.

Failing the social norms we often turn to social media to find those with whom we can relate. We seek out surface friendships, love, and affection from those behind the screen because we cannot find it in our daily lives; or what we can find is unsatisfying in some way. With such easy access to platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook we are able to find people to connect with. Within these platforms a lot of fear falls away. Why?

Because it is easy to hide behind a screen. These are strangers you will probably never come face to face with and so fear begins to fade. We spout rhetoric we never would in our true lives. Yet we also are more open and vulnerable. You get both sides of the coin, but the fear is what tends to drive us in both directions.

There is also the constant debate that those that came before Millennial's lived better, were taught better, and were tougher. You see it all the time on social media. I've also personally heard it in my life. A former boss (A baby boomer) said to a room full of his supervisors (millennial's) that our generation was lazy and entitled. He said much more but for all intents and purposes we will take the gist of it. How do you think that made us all feel?

There we were in a meeting about how to make things better and work harder and do more for the company and we were being told we were lazy and entitled. The bar has been set so high by a generation that lived in a socially and economically better time, that we are destined to fail no matter how much debt we put ourselves in or how hard we work.

Not that generations before do not have fear, they have many, as we all do. The point is simply that our world is different than the one they grew up in. Socially and economically things are different than they were in the past. The cost of living has gone up while wages remain the same. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, when adjusted for inflation, the federal minimum wage in America peaked at $8.54 in 1968. If the federal minimum wage had kept up with increases in worker productivity since then, in 2012 it would have been $21.72 an hour.

Yet many of us are still only making minimum wage while trying to pay off school loans; while not working in the career the degree was even for. Some still live with their parents because they are unable to obtain a loan for a house because of the loan for school. This was a problem I faced and was only able to obtain my loan because my mother was willing to co-sign. Many are not in a situation where there parents can do such a thing.

So here we are, with fear in our hearts of rejection, failure, and so much more. We are faced with overwhelming anxiety and depression as we try to find true connections. Our worlds are centered around the need for acceptance. To fit the mold society has created even if it isn't something we want. We rush into things to try to be the best so we can be loved, we hate ourselves trying to please everyone around us. We suffer in silence with mental illness in a country where you are deemed an out cast if have one and there is no real help or education regarding it.

Fear grips us at night while we lay awake hoping our minds will turn off long enough to get some rest. But rest never comes. We live on the edge of hope, always toeing the line of despair, waiting to see which side will greet us first as we fall over the edge. Time is our enemy. Grasping at happiness that is hollowed out and filled with empty regret and no way to turn around. Fear feeds us what we need to continue down a path with no light at the end of the tunnel, but it lies just enough to make us think we might find it.

I digress. I step back now. More later.



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October 8, 2018


Tales of a Troubled Soul