Life Outside Social Media

Cynical Bum

     I was a cynic for as long as I can remember – about love, about life, about humanity – without knowing where it all stemmed from. In fact, the title of this post is an homage to my old Tumblr username because I felt that it perfectly encapsulated who I was. But oddly enough, I grew up in a loving home with the warm company of my siblings and cousins. I consistently excelled in school and was always acknowledged for being at the top of at least one area of study. I spent my whole childhood and adolescence alongside an intimate circle of friends. There were boys who had harbored crushes on me for years. And some of my most treasured friendships have lasted a decade and counting. So... it never quite made sense to me that all of that wasn’t enough. I’ve certainly never encountered the kind of trauma most people have gone through that led them to stop believing, so why did I?

     Perhaps I got bored of this structured life without recognizing that I was living a nearly perfect one, so I constructed an identity that made me look like a puzzle to be solved – waiting for someone to unravel my intricacies only for me to realize years later that there wasn’t even anything to figure out. My life is not nor has it ever been a sad story like I’d make it out to be. It was one full of love and privilege, but I didn’t recognize that because I was too caught up in the idea that being unfathomable made me interesting. Soon enough, I became exactly how I wanted people to perceive me – a mystery, except it was the kind that even I couldn’t solve myself, and I'd say there’s nothing remotely intriguing about that. In turn, I missed out on so many authentic experiences that would’ve made me realize sooner that I had everything I needed.

     Now the thought of being seen as a puzzle pains me because it more than likely leads to two outcomes – I either become a mere idea in someone’s eyes instead of an actual human being, or somebody unworthy of getting to know or staying long enough for. All of that is on me and I take full accountability for it as my self-destructive tendencies kept me from molding myself into somebody worth loving. I reveled too long in the idea that someone – a special somebody – would come along and figure me out when I should have done it myself all along. 

     But it’s never too late nor impossible to reconstruct myself again because the most powerful tool on the road to self-discovery – the agency to take control of my identity – is always present when I need it. That is – I’ll always have the freedom to let go of old habits and adopt new ones to help me either build off of who I already am or construct an entirely new and better self without disregarding what I have in front of me. It'll take a while, but I’ve already been learning so much about myself that I love, and none of it involves putting up a front or destroying what makes me feel alive.

Monday, June 26, 2017