When Did it Change?
When they were my age, well, my mum had two children, my sister and I, and my dad who is a few years older than her was not going to get married before two years. When I look at the pictures of when they were my age, pictures of my dad show him surrounded by his childhood friends, his siblings, his mother, and of course his then-fiancée, my mum. While pictures of my mum show practically the same, with the addition of her two children, 3-year-old me, and my one-year-old sister.
When did it change? At what point of my life did it happen, that the majority of pictures of me, at my current age, are silly selfies that I send to my closest friend, taken in my lonely apartment, instead of them being pictures of us together. Why are most of my pictures not with my sister? My mum? My dad? And why is it that I only get the chance to take such pictures once a year?
Of course, I know that the exact point in time that this happened was 6:00 am on the 4th of August 2020, yet the real question I am asking myself is: when did the world become such that everything and everyone was telling me that the best choice for me is, no, that I have to move away from my home. Why didn’t anyone tell me that this is the most miserable thing I could do. Why didn’t anyone tell me that having everything I ever wished for before, is completely meaningless and worthless without people to share it with.
I made several realizations throughout the past year and a half, yet the one currently on my mind is how big of a joke and sham independence and individuality are. As is always the case with us humans, we idealized those two qualities, and strived for them, not realizing that we did not and never will really reach them, that instead, we only replaced our more traditional relations and dependencies with lesser ones. We replaced our mother’s cooking with cafeteria food, conversations with our friends and family with therapy sessions, our collective identity with our immediate surroundings we replaced with online personas, and the list goes on. When did this happen? What caused the change? Who is to blame? Why is this the case now? Where do we go from here?
Out of all places, I heard a piece of wisdom today while watching The Office, coming from the character Creed: “No matter how you get there or where you end up, human beings have that miraculous gift to make that place home.” The irony is that he said that as he was being taken away to prison, which is exactly where I felt I was the past year and a half.