We know that you’re starting to see that life isn’t always what it seems. When you were younger, the world was black and white. The religious people were the good people; the atheists were the evil ones. The people who knew the Bible like the back of their hands were the saints; the people who held alcohol and cigarettes in their hands were the sinners. Girls should wait until marriage before they let a man deflower them; boys should fuck as many girls as they want once they’re circumcised.
Now, you’ve read too many books, have watched too many movies, and have met too many people. Now, you have seen more of life. In your eyes, the world is now blue and gray.
We know that you often wonder why things don’t always go according to plan. Back in college, you thought you had it all figured out. Your goals back then were as simple as to graduate on time and to find a high-paying job related to your degree. You did it. You got your diploma, you found a steady job. The pay was not as high as you expected, but you still earned more than some of your friends did. Your friends were not happy but you were. A year later, you realized that money is not always equal to happiness. You envied your friends who pursued their passion and were content with their jobs but did not earn as much as you did.
Now, they are happy and you are not.
We know that the FOMO struggle is real. Your friend posted a photo of his newly bought iPhone on Facebook with the hashtag #feelingblessed. Your classmate, who’s a year younger than you, shared photos of her on Instagram in her condo unit while sipping her venti-sized Starbucks coffee. Then there you were, browsing your newsfeed while your friends were checking in five-star hotels near white-sand beaches, sharing photos of them at the peak of a mountain, or spending their weekend in the happiest place on earth.
Now, you think you’re fucked up because you can’t travel to cool places like they do and you can’t buy the cool things that everyone is buying. Now, you’re feeling blue because you’re already in your 20s but you haven’t achieved anything yet.
We know what it feels like to think that your life is fucked up. We are the Clementines of this generation and there’s nothing wrong with us. We know how hard it is to stay positive when there’s so much on your plate and when everything is simply too much for you to handle. We know how you feel when someone tells you that you’re too young to suffer from depression, that you’re just being too melodramatic, that you need to get your shit together, that mental health is just a state of mind, that there’s more to life than crying yourself to sleep, and that you’ll get over it. Fuck them all. But if you think you are the only one fighting this fight, then you are wrong.
We know what it feels like to think that your life is fucked up and we are with you because we are you. We are you because we live in the same generation when social media defines our very existence, when the FOMO struggle is real, when everyone is trying their best to be cool, when everyone is rushing in, when everyone is feeling some kind of pressure, when everyone is dealing with depression.
To the millennial who’s reading this right now, you are not what people see on your social media. You are not the statuses that you post or choose not to post on Facebook. You are not the photos that you share or choose not to share on Instagram. Your life isn’t limited to 140 characters. You are not your job, your salary, the coffee that you drink, the places that you go to, the clothes that you buy. What you are is young and free. You deserve to be happy. All those fucking things do not define you; the way you treat others does.
To the twenty-something fucked up girl looking for peace of mind, you are not alone. No man, no counselor, or no other person can save you; only you can save yourself. We know that it might take a while—it really does—but things will become bearable. Not better, only bearable. And when the time comes that you find what calms your mind, life will still throw you a curveball. Bear that in mind. Things will still be as fucked up as they are today, but if you ever find yourself stuck in this situation again with no one to turn to, don’t suppress your emotions. Let yourself suffer.
Break down. Cry. Remember that the first step to letting go of pain is to feel it.
Things will become worse than they are today and that’s okay. You are invincible, woman, and that should be enough for you to keep going.