"You can't have a mid life crisis at 23."
I personally call bullshit.
In this day and age, there is so much weird pressure to know what you want to do. "Hey North, how are you going to change the world?"
Well, the thing that your parents don't tell you is that you have to learn how to change your own world for the better first.
Since I was 15, I have been saying that psychology was the thing I would do forever. And, don't get me wrong, my 15 year old self was onto something. She was so "onto it" that 23 year old me now has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and have completed all of my courses for a grad diploma in psychological assessment. Rad, right?
Six months ago, I would have agreed. Now, I'm not so sure.
Recently I have been going through both an internal and external dilemma. What I mean by that is that I have outsiders telling me that what I think is wrong, and my inside self is shaking her head calling everyone fucking crazy. But, that isn't even the best part.
The best part is that with all of these dilemma's happening, I started to believe that maybe I was the crazy one. Maybe I'm the problem. No matter where I go, these things happen to happen. My first job in the "field", I got in constant arguments with the higher up people. I used to tell them that their rules didn't fit for the people we were serving. Back then it more so sounded like this - "you guys are not doing this right *insert example here.* At that time, I was 18. My second job in the field, I found myself in the same situation, except this time I was busy wondering things like "why is that a policy? That's dumb. It should be like this.." I was 20 then. And now, after three more jobs, I am hitting the same struggles, but at an all time high. This time though, it sounds like this - "there is systemic oppression built into all aspects of systems. They are oppressive by nature. If something truly was client based, they would make all of the decisions. We, as social workers would, in theory, just be there to support the process."
And now, here I am in a big mess that I created by opening my mouth, yet again.
Now don't get me wrong. I stand by what I said. If you know me at all, you know that I am not the most politically correct person in the universe. For that, I have some big fans, and a whole lot of haters. So perhaps how I said things could have been better, but the point was strong. It was that people, no matter what their intersectionality, should never let their family, their profession, or their friends beat the individuality out of them. Because nothing in life is worth losing yourself.
If you don't know what intersectionality is, don't worry. I'll tell you. It is a fancy word for how all of the parts of who we are intersect to give or take away power from us in our lives. It was originally used in the feminist world to discuss how certain classes, races, or genders had "power over" the others simply because of how our society is constructed.
Now, stay with me, I know that is a whole lot of mumbo jumbo.
But the point I am trying to make is that my own statement about societal oppression was a huge epiphany for me before I even knew it was.
I always thought that my future was one of the things that defined me. It was the carrot I was chasing, so to speak. I always said "you know what, you just have to keep going through this because it will get better. You were born to fight the system and to advocate for people that can't advocate for themselves. You need to do this. Do this for all the people that can't."
And, though I would love to be that martyr that dedicates their entire life to that, I also know that I am usually a pretty damn happy and optimistic person- one that Is being destroyed by one day at a time- one job at a time, in this god forsaken system.
15 year old me made a life decision to become a psychologist because of someone that destroyed me. Maybe I was hoping that with helping thousands of other people, I could somehow make up for never being able to "fix" that person. Or, maybe I just wanted to feel like I could help people fix themselves.
Nevertheless, what 15 year old me didn't know was that I am a crazy, politically incorrect, tornado making, bull in a china shop that laughs harder than anyone else, cries longer than anyone else, believes in growth more than so many people, and passionately fights for things that are important kind of person. 15 year old me thought she was onto something.
18 year old me thought I had it figured out. She thought I had it made. She thought id have my masters this year and have my PHD before the age 30.
21 year old me thought that depression was going to own me for the rest of my life.
22 year old me thought "this is just a phase in the work. It will get better."
23 year old me loves all of those selves, but recognizes that they were all chasing a dream that was lost at some point in the midst of life's circumstances. 23 year old me doesn't feel that way anymore.
I don't feel that way anymore.
You see, there's a difference between chasing your dreams and feeling obligated to your past self.
There's a difference between developing yourself and passionately growing.
There is a difference between seeing yourself in the mirror and truly recognizing that person.
There is a difference between passion and obligation.
I guess I am rambling. But the point of this ramble is to tell you that you might not have it all figured out. You might not have the answers. And, that might scare the hell out of you.
I know it scares the hell out of me.
But I also know that there's only so much darkness that the world gives out, and we have a lot of power to give ourselves more than we deserve.
Don't be a martyr for what you think you should stand for. Be a passionate warrior for the things you know that you stand for- the things that you want to stand for. Be that person. Be the person that scares you and the person you don't fully understand. Be the bull in the china shop. Be the politically incorrect person. Be the mistake maker. Be the blogger. Be the winner. Be the loser. Be the person that you can be proud of- not because of all of the reasons that society wants you to be- or your parents want you to be- or your friends want you to be. Be the person you can be proud of. Be known because of your authenticity and outspoken nature. Be the pariah. Be the flower that grows through the sidewalk. Be the tree growing on the side of a cliff. Be the embodiment of resiliency. Be that person- whatever that person is to you.
Because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how many people bow down to you or how many people say that you're nice or whatever generic things people say. It matters that you're you. The you-est you. The you that you are proud of. The person that you recognize. The person that you didn't always know you would be, but the one that you are happy to be.
Peace and Love,
My name is Morgan and I have a passion for writing, just as I have a passion for supporting those that suffer from various mental health concerns. I fully believe that each day is brand new and we can do with it as we wish. Mental illness is crippling, and you may lose the battle but that does not mean that you will lose the war. Keep fighting and know that you are not, and never will be, alone.