Remembering 13

Hm. Well I got a couple things on my mind tonight. First off, I watched the primiere of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo on TLC because 1.) I wanted to see how they were representing the South and 2.) I’m a bit of a trashy tv show addict. And for the record, I would like to say that those people are not rednecks. Those people are white trash. There’s a clear difference in the South. So for all the Yankees out there, I promise the South has more to offer than people like that. ^_^

Okay anyways, tonight I was looking for introspective writing prompts and I managed to find a long list of some, but reading them just made me feel kind of sad.

The first one I read that really struck a cord was “Where did you hope your life would have been 5 years ago, today?” So let’s pretend I haven’t already had my birthday this year and I’m still 18. Five years ago, I would’ve been 13 and at 13, I didn’t even expect to be alive now.

13 was the age I was right-smack-dab in the middle of my depression. It was my darkest time. It was when I was cutting. At 13, I figured if I hadn’t killed myself by now, I’d either be dead from or at the minimum, addicted to, drugs. That’s not a positive thought to think about at all.

I’m really proud of how far I’ve come since getting help for my depression, and I generally don’t mind talking about that time. But when I think about how despondent and hopeless I was back then, it kind of chills me to the bone. No 13 year-old should have to feel like that.

To this day, I still can’t listen to certain music because the sounds catapult me back to that dark time. My brain has blocked out every memory of my depression. Generally when I try to remember those 3 years of clinical depression, I just see black. That’s how bad it was for me. My brain forced me to forget.

But anyways, reading the rest of the prompts just made me feel, overall, dissatisfied. I can’t remember any of them specifically, but reading them made me realize I have this deep dissatisfaction with my life. As much as I’m happy to celebrate how far I’ve come since my depression, my life is still not where I want it to be.

I know I’ve mentioned in previous posts how the biggest factor preventing me from changing my life for the better is fear. But tonight I also realized part of it is the fear of growing up. I asked myself tonight, why, if I’m so dissatisfied, don’t I just go ahead and change?? And that little voice inside my head chimed in and said “oh I’ll do it after college. I need to have fun first.”

So many of the things I want to accomplish with my life, I associate with being an adult. Things like meditating regularly, being compassionate, Buddhist stuff, in my head sound like things adults do. Slacking off, partying, attachment to things, roller-coaster emotions, these things I associate with being a kid. And while those things aren’t necessarily positive, I’m afraid to let go of them. I’m afraid to let go of being a kid.

I don’t know if maybe it stems from losing 3 years of my life to depression or if it comes from being so introverted my whole life, but I just feel the need to “go crazy” so to say before I have to “grow up”. I’m afraid of getting old and realizing I didn’t properly use my teenage years to the fullest.

I feel like this is probably a natural fear. A lot of people feel the need to “get it out their systems” before they have to go out into the “real world”. But the only problem with getting it out of my system, is that I know I’d be so much happier if I just left it all behind. Yeah, going crazy before you have to become a “real adult” sounds nice on paper, but in reality it’s just an empty substitute for meaning, a last desperate attempt at being a kid. And I know it won’t make me happy.

So why then do I feel so attached to the idea of it??

Is it possible to have it both ways?? Is it possible to hand my life over to those more adult, yet more satisfying things, and still experience my young-adult years to their fullest??

I don’t know.

Honestly I’m not even sure what “radical teenage things” there are that I want to do before I have to “grow up”. I look at my life now, and it’s not too far different from the “perfect grown up” life I imagine. It’s not like becoming more Buddhist (which I associate with becoming more adult) would really radically change my life. I wouldn’t have to give up any habits. Bout the only new habit I’d have to start would be meditating everyday. So what am I so attached to??

I feel like the more I write, the more confused I get. Or maybe I’m just exposing my own mental inconsistencies. I seem to have a lot of those. But since when has fear been a logical emotion??

Why does this have to be so difficult?? Sometimes I wish I could just turn off my brain and act a fool without having to over analyze it first.


About emilleejoyce

I am a yoga alliance 200 hour certified yoga teacher whose hobbies include growing cacti and succulents, cooking vegan food, and bicycling. My day job is in academic publishing.

One response to “Remembering 13

  1. You are very insightful for an 18 year old but as someone twice your age, let me tell you that many, MANY people hang on to teenage and childish things well into their adult life. Some people just don’t want to give up things like partying all night, getting high, sleeping around, etc. They lead a very lonely and unfulfilled life. Those things are fun for the moment but they don’t bring lasting fulfillment.

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