What is the definition of life? What does it mean to be really, truly alive? Is it enough that our hearts are beating? Scientists refer to life as being "the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, and reproduction." So is that it?... Is that the answer?
No, it isn't. Nor will it ever be.
Being alive doesn't mean you walk around like an animated corpse, neither does it mean beaches and parties every Saturday just to feel like your apart of the real world. Believe me, Ive been to both extremes. Frequently, I see posts about people desperately joining activities, taking new and exotic vacations, and even hosting huge parties in attempts to give the appearance that their doing something, that their living. Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, and countless other social media's are taking over people completely. When was the last time you did something, without the sole purpose of posting pictures of it online after your done?
It makes me wonder how much happier people must have been before social networking showed them how little they knew about themselves. Constant pressure is laid on a lot of us to look as though our lives are cool, exciting, fun, changing and entertaining. Everything has turned into a huge advertizement- "be friends with me, I'm unique", "date me, I have fun.", "gossip about my family, we are so loving."...
We are all trying to create fake identities, fake lives. Personas so powerful, they can fool even ourselves.
That's the truth of it really, and in the end thats what it all simmers down to.
Not only are we trying to convince others that we are living to our fullest extent, but we are really trying to prove to ourselves that we are happy.
All the parties, vacations, social outings and hockey games are our way of fitting in with the 'perfect life' image we all have given ourselves. Because if someone asks you what your doing on a Friday night, you want to have some sort of answer.
Now we come to the brunt of the matter, and the real question we all must ask ourselves at some point in our lives. What does it mean, TO ME, to be alive? Is it my friends, Facebook? Family, social websites? Who am I trying to impress?...what part of me am I lying to everyone about.
Living is personal. Living is doing and being who you are, not who you feel everyone wants you to be.
You might be thinking, "when I'm myself and not worried about broadcasting a certain image about who I am I get hurt. People judge me, and I judge myself because of that." So then ask yourself,
Is all this worth that lie?
Always hiding behind who you are and who people want you to be?
Let me ask you this, If people would think so little of you, for just being you, then are they really your friends?
If everyone was stripped of their social tags, then who would you really want by your side?
For all you homeschoolers out there, you can probably empathize with me to some degree. Everyone, I mean EVERYONE who is public schooled or in college thinks that you have no life. I don't know how many times I've walked in on someones conversation as they talked about how homeschoolers are so deprived from society. After so long of hearing it, I really started to believe it myself. For the longest time I threw myself into activities that made me miserable, just to show everyone (Including myself), that I did have a life, and wasn't missing out on anything. That when they whispered behind their backs about how odd homeschoolers were, I could prove them wrong.
I would prove them wrong... but then why didn't I feel the least bit happy when I joined all of their activities? All the things they told me would make me happy? Why did I laugh when they babbled away about boys and drama, all the while thinking forlornly about my books and unfinished drawings.
The idea of facebook became slightly obsessive for me, it was where all the real action took place. People loved it, people spent 12 hours of the day glued to their screens over it. I knew I was missing something by not being apart of it, so many people had told me so! I went to my dad and asked for probably the second time if I could make an account. He took three days to give me an answer, but in the end, It was an okay.
I was apart of facebook.
It was hell.
Id never felt more torn and thrust into battle then I did after joining that website. I became apart of the drama I had sought so fervently, and it tore me apart. My feelings were a constant victim, bleeding and oozing every time another battle came up. I had to be in the right circles, I had to know the right people. I had to spend my whole day texting friends who gave me four word replies. I had so many friends, but none of them knew who I was. If I had told them I curled up by my window with the sun on my back and read for hours at a time, they would have laughed at me.
I was a lie.
Then I woke up. It was abrupt as a train colliding into a wall, bringing me to a jarring stop. I heard it again, the familiar words of homeschool oddity. And I knew then. There was no pleasing them, there never would be. Those voices would continue all the way to public highschool and beyond to college. If it wasn't my education, it would be my appearance. If it wasn't that it would be my friends or dating life. If It wasn't friends it would be why I wasn't married yet, why I didn't have kids. After that, It would be me. What was wrong with me? Why wasn't I like everyone else?
I found myself again, suffocated and nearly gone. The anger and hurt I had harbored from my supposed friends had nearly destroyed it. For once in my life I could care less about the crowd that seemed to follow me at dances or parties. I learned who to trust, and who not to.
I became stronger.
I went back to my books and crafts, I went back to writing random nonsense about nothing. It made me feel so happy, so ALIVE. I logged out of Facebook, and gave the password to my brother. I stopped texting those boring people who seemed to have no brains. I got real friends who actually had interests and passions of their own. I was happier.
Who cared if I was home 5/7ths of the week, If I wanted to do something I would have. Socially deprived? More like socially recuperating, that experience showed me how aweful trying to change my life to be like theirs had worked out.
I hope sharing this experience has helped someone out, well actually, I always hope my posts might inspire or encourage someone else. Everyone is so different, just because I came to one realization about myself, doesn't mean it will fit everyone. That's the beautiful thing about the people on this earth, every one of us is so different that its hard to give a general tip without it being unappliable in someone elses situation or circumstance.
To end on a heart-wrenching note, here is a little inspiration which may turn out to be the bases for a future post!