So I believe we’re brainwashed, You and I.
We’re brainwashed by the how-it’s-supposed-to-be ways society embedded into our brains; we’re brainwashed by the unrealistic constant-candid-perfect-highlight-reel pictures we see on social media, and we’re brainwashed by the airbrushed looks we see on TV, magazine ads, billboards all around us. Celebrities posting about their perfect lives, friends posting about their perfect relationships, our own posting of perfect-whatever just so we too can join in on all the perfection.
But how is it, with all this awesomeness going on around us, depression is the most common mental illness in the U.S. affecting 40 million adults, and 18% of the population? (ADAA) Why is it that these rates are rising each year? Why are we faking a lot of these seemingly positive vibes?!?!
Well, I think many of us are trying to be someone we’re not. We’re not expressing our individuality because we’re trying so hard to fit in this non-existent place of perfection.
Think about majority of Americans. Many are: working long hours (not to mention those long hours are spent at a undesirable job), not getting enough vacation, not spending enough quality time with family, not being who they want to be while doing what they want to do.
BUT WHY?! Because we’re brainwashed. So brainwashed, its hard to figure out what we’re truly passionate about anymore.
Have you ever honestly sat down and thought about the one thing that makes you happy? Maybe this is an ambiguous question, but simply take it however your mind interprets it. Surely, when you read “happy” a certain person came to mind, or maybe a favorite restaurant, or maybe a big question mark, but I want you to dig deeper for a second.
Think about an activity, something that you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life despite how much schooling you might have to go through, despite how much the salary pays, and despite what your parents might say. Think about what you want.
In today’s generation, we make it extremely hard for ourselves (and others) to express individuality because of the walls we build to protect what is most promising and comfortable. What I mean is this: society has, in a way, created a system around ease and sustainability. You grow up, go to school for years to hopefully find a stable job, and to have a family. Then, you work every day in order to maintain a comfortable living style, and support that family. But have you noticed once you have gotten to this stage, the train stops and it begins to go in circles? Now you are working to maintain a living, and maintaining a living to work. The train keeps chugging each and every day, but it eventually rusts out into retirement. And then what? Did that train really get where it wanted to be? Did it get to show its true colors? Did it even get a chance to explore the world?
However, it does not end there. What about the other outside factors? Social Media is a perfect example in this day and age because really, who doesn’t have a social networking page? Facebook, probably being the top way to socialize with friends and family, has competition. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and more; we constantly use these websites to keep up-to-date with our friends and family, worldly top news, and our favorite celebrities. Every time we login to one of the above, we mindlessly scroll through pages that create an unconscious Venn diagram in our heads. With each scroll is a new opportunity to compare and contrast ourselves with the person on the opposite side of the screen. Additionally, with each scroll we further push our true passions and desires to the very back of our minds, making it more and more difficult to fish out later when it comes time to decide what we want. Some call this motivation, and that is great! I do not want to set the impression that social media is a bad thing; on the other hand, it can be when we don’t use it responsibly.
Mark Twain once said, “The secret to success is making your vocation your vacation.”
Everything that each individual contributes to this world is what makes it so diverse and exciting! When we all are moving to the same rhythm, the music in our everyday lives becomes repetitious and mind-numbing. The world offers itself to your imagination; the options are limitless. The world is asking you to be yourself, to ignore those who say “No, that’s wrong.” There is no right or wrong, there is just you. And that is enough.
The more we focus on who we want to be, what we are passionate about, and what we want to contribute to this world, the more beauty we can infuse into it. To be an individual is to live your passion. So feel free to follow your dreams in order to live that passion; step out of your comfort zone in order to grow in knowledge and experience to better shape that passion.
Now…I dare you to conjure up those passions that were pushed to the back of your mind. I dare you to practice incorporating it into your everyday routine until you are finally immersed in it. I dare you to be yourself, whoever that may be, and I hope you’re damn proud when you do.
Keep rockin’ guys,