When Did I Get So Old?

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I’m not old, in the scheme of things. At 26, many would argue that I’m actually still quite young. But a lot of the time lately, I’ve really felt as if my age is vastly older, not because of myself but because of my encounters with the people younger than me.

There’s something I have noticed about the “young people” of today. And when I say young people, in this case I am talking about anyone 22 or younger. Because the encounters I’ve had with people who fall into that age bracket have left me wondering how they can be so far removed from me, when there’s only a couple of years separating us in age.

Several times in the last few weeks I have had conversations with young people, and have been told outright that they don’t want to work. There’s nothing all that uncommon about not wanting to work for a living – hell, that’s pretty much the entire reason I buy a lottery ticket every week! The difference between me and many of the people I’ve spoken to in recent weeks, is that I go to work to do my job and these guys do the absolute bare minimum required to keep a ten hour a week job because anything more is “too hard”. One guy I was talking to a couple of weeks ago told me he quit his last job because making coffees was “too much effort” and I was astounded, not only that he openly admitted it, but that he expected me to agree with him and sympathise.

At what point did young people get so entitled as to expect a 6 figure salary without having to work for it? Too many people I know refuse to accept lower level jobs because they think they deserve to just walk into cushy, high paying jobs with little to no effort. They think working 9-5 is beneath them. Yes, I completely agree that working for eight dollars an hour is ridiculous in this day and age, and I wouldn’t accept a job that paid less than minimum wage either. But to expect to get paid a King’s sum for doing a jesters job is ignorant, and entitled.

But it’s not just their unwillingness to work. I look at younger people who come into the shopping centre where I work, and the arrogance and attitude that they bring with them makes me want to throw some punches. On more than one occasion in the last couple of months, I have been subjected to smart mouths and condescending attitudes from kids still in school uniforms. Nothing raises my ire quite like sarcastic teens who assume they’re smarter than me. Trying to prove that you’re an adult, whilst acting like a petulant 12 year old is not going to win you the respect y’all so desperately crave (all whilst trying to pretend like you’ve too bitter and jaded to care about anything!). Yes, I like hearing kids speak their minds and engage in intelligent debates, if they have something to bring to the table. But if all they can contribute is smartass comments, then I am quick to lose interest.

I realise that I sound exactly like a cranky, prematurely old person complaining about the “insufferable youth of today”. Pretty soon I’ll be holed up with fifteen cats, and screaming for people to get off my lawn. Watch out, folks. The Wrinkle Rage is imminent.

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Boredom Kills

I am bored. Insanely so. So bored, that I have been watching episodes of Brooklyn 99 on my tablet at work. Work, you see, is the reason for my boredom. There is very little to do out here, and I spend my days perusing internet sites and leaving my shop to go get chai and chat with my friends working in other stores in the centre. We’re particularly quiet at the moment, because there are two staff members on and that means not enough work to share between the two of us.

I get nothing out of my job. I have worked in this company on and off for five years, and any interest I ever had in my work has long since dissipated. Customer service drains you after a while, and my retail career has gone on for far too long to be enjoyable or remotely interesting. Days are dragging at the moment, both because I have nothing to do and because I have gone back to being in the shop five days a week instead of two. Winter should be one of our busier times, as everyone comes in to repair their boots, but so far it’s been rather lacklustre.

Retail has been steadily decreasing with each passing year. More and more people – myself included – are choosing the convenience of shopping online, and so face to face customer interaction is falling by the wayside. For those of us who work in a retail field, this doesn’t bode well for the future of our jobs. My case is slightly different, as I am providing a service rather than just selling things, but nevertheless, it’s hardly a fast paced environment. Hence the boredom.

I don’t really know yet what I want to do. Sure, I have a couple of vague ideas and dream jobs, but none of them are necessarily attainable right now. At this stage, it’s not even about what I want to do, it’s just about getting a job that challenges me in some way. Or at the very least, has enough work to actually get me through a day without having to resort to watching television on my tablet to kill time. I mean, is it actually possible for someone to die of boredom? Because I think I might be on my death bed.

Nothing of Me

I have a quote tattooed on my ribs, by Chuck Palahniuk, back when his writing was cutting and edgy, and full of vitriol, and good. His more recent novels have been amongst the worst books I’ve ever read, but there was a time when he was at the peak of nihilism and barely contained rage. Those books are amongst the best books I’ve ever read, so I guess it balances out in the end. Regardless of his waning talent, there was a quote I read in one of his earlier novels, titled Invisible Monsters. The quote reads “Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I’ve ever known.” I liked it so much that I went out and got it inked into my skin forever.

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Like much of Palahniuk’s earlier works, Invisible Monsters brought forth questions that teenage Amy was determined to seek answers for. Certainly, I wondered how I would have been different if it were not for the people around me, and their ultimate influence. I still think about it today, which I suppose is why I got tattooed in the first place. I often wonder how my life would have been altered had I never met my best friends. Or if my bookshop had never closed down. Or if I had have moved away and not ever come back. I think about the bands I like, the movies I’ve seen, the books I’ve read. And I wonder whether I would have had those same interest if I had have been born in another time, in another country, or even to different parents.

It’s easy to ignore the influence of other people, or pretend that it doesn’t exist when you’re determined to come across as independent. But even the most self certain people in the world have taken some measure of influence from the people around them. It’s impossible not to. Every discussion you ever have with another person is an opportunity for them to introduce you to a new way of thinking, or a new interest that you may not have previously had. And you hold that same power when you talk to other people. Maybe you make a statement and the person you’re talking to suddenly had their eyes opened to a new idea that they had never considered before.

I grew up listening to music from when my parents were teenagers, the music that they brought with them into adulthood, and parenthood. Would I have loved music from the 70’s and 80’s if I had not had that particular influence from the very moment I was born? Would I have come to find a liking for it entirely on my own, if it was not something I had developed an interest in as a direct result of my parents? These are the questions I find myself thinking at least semi regularly, when I wonder if my life would be better if. Admittedly that whole grass being greener thing is just a matter of perception, but it doesn’t stop me from wondering how I got to this point as the person I am. Who influenced me, who made me? The answer is probably everyone, myself included. I am not a person made of nothing, I am a person made from every experience, every interaction, every thing.

Anger

I find myself getting unexpectedly angry about little things. Things that I should expect. Things that take me by surprise. Things that I have absolutely no way to control, and therefore no way to change.

I try not to let myself get angry. I tell myself, quite rationally, that I’m being silly and that I need to stop allowing myself to give into anger when it is largely useless. But the emotional part of me argues aggressively against the logic, and usually wins. I am often led by emotion, often to my detriment.

It’s difficult to stop letting your emotions guide you, when you rely so heavily on them. But giving in to little rages is usually a sure fire way to end up caught in a giant one.

I will try my hardest to let go, to move on, and to accept that there are some things beyond my control. I will try harder not to let my anger drive me. I will try to remember that I control my anger, not the other way around. I will try.

Blogging; Creative Outlet, or Self Indulgence?

Tonight I went to see Aurora at one of my favourite venues in the city. It was an ethereal, uplifting experience and one of the most beautiful live performances I have ever seen. I was going to write a post about it, and then I got struck with a thought; does anyone care?

My blog is not themed. I don’t talk about fashion, or write recipes, or solely review films. I’m not consistent in either the dates of posting, or in the content. I literally just write about whatever happens to be occupying my brain at any given time. It is eclectic, and often a little rambling. I have a number of followers, and a few who regularly read and comment on my posts. It’s a nice feeling, to know that there are people put there who actually like the way I write. But still, now that this thought is in my head, I can’t shake it.

I often say that the reason I write, and indeed blog, is because it’s a creative outlet that I deem necessary for my sanity. In many ways, writing is a kind of catharsis. But it is, predominantly, just me writing about myself. Experiences I’ve had, people I’ve met, things I’ve done, and thoughts that have popped into my head. I’m not in any way giving advice. I am not funny, or educational, or motivational. So, why do I think my thoughts are worth posting to the internet, instead of just writing down in a diary for myself?

I guess there’s a part of me that wants to be heard. Since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed of being a writer. Maybe by posting blogs about my day to day life, and getting a response, is a way to live out that dream. Maybe there’s a chance that something I have to say might resonate with someone (or multiple someones) out there. Or maybe I’m just arrogant, and think that I’m more important and interesting than I really am. I honestly don’t know, but I do know that I’ll continue writing. Because, whether for creative purposes, or just to stoke my own ego, there’s something to be said for getting things out of your head and onto paper (so to speak).

Do any of you ever feel that way? Have you ever questioned why you write? Let me know!

Human

There is something wild and untameable about heartache; it rips through your body in endless waves and shatters your soul into thousands of tiny pieces. And yet still, it doesn’t kill you. It feels like it should, but you wake up every day still breathing. You can feel the whole universe in a single drop of salt water, and nothing will ever feel as sharply real as the fingernails that you dig into your skin to hold yourself together.

We were made to feel. We are complex, and unusual, and fragile, and so very strong. We experience a galaxy of emotions and somehow we contain all of that feeling into a tiny, insignificant, fleeting form. In the scheme of things, we’re not much more than a speck of dust. And yet we feel, so powerfully. How is it that we don’t explode from the sheer intensity of it all? To experience emotion is to be human. What a cruel and wonderful trick.

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I’m empty from absence, and it’s a cold weight. The cold just kind of settles in my stomach like a stone, a boulder, a mountain. I am overtaken. I am overcome. It’s a numbness spreading, tinged with melancholy and a strange kind of grief.

My cheeks are damp before I’ve even realised I’m crying. I must look wretched. Everything seems hollow, void of any true meaning; nothing but a habit. Malicious thoughts slither like vipers through my brain, and there’s ice in my veins. Some part of me wants to give in to recklessness and to self destruction, because it would be the easier option. But fleeting, momentary relief will lead to devastation.

Next time you see me, I’ll be jumping with reckless abandon over the edge.