I’m supposed to be young and naïve, full of unrealistically big dreams for my future that I think are obtainable. I’m supposed to have a fairy tale view on romance with hopes for late night drives, kisses in front of the Eiffel Tower, and vacations in London. But that’s not who I am. I’m a want-to-be dreamer who’s bogged down by my own bitterness.
The childish days of wanting a mansion are behind me, because I’d be happy with a tiny apartment with a door that locks and a working AC. But even that much is hard to afford. I’m already busy throwing cash at my cell phone providers, at gas stations, at bars when I have half of a second to relax with old friends–and, of course, at my Alma Mater.
That’s the worst part. All of the years I’ve spent at school, working toward getting out, only to wonder what’s meant to happen now that I’m actually out. But my degree is just an expensive piece of art hanging on my wall. It has no other purpose. At least, that’s what the bitterness tells me.
It also tells me to isolate myself. To stay in my technological cocoon, blanketed by text messages and Tweets and Tinder messages, so I don’t have to deal with genuine human interaction. So I don’t get hurt again.
I’ve been fucked over by too many men that I’ve loved. Men that falsely promised to spend the rest of their lives with me, even though they barely lasted the night. Now, it’s hard for me to let anyone else in, because I’m waiting for history to repeat itself. It always does, and not just when it comes to love.
I’ve lost best friends who swore they’d never leave my side, even if they got married or moved across the country. Now, I’m lucky if I get a Facebook notification from them for my birthday or a wedding invitation for their big day. Those people, who used to know everything from my favorite color to my secret crush, don’t even know where I’m living now. They don’t know anything.
Even family members have fucked me over. Aunts and cousins I thought would always be around, because I was lied to about blood being thicker than water. Now, it’s hard for me to open up to anyone. If I can’t trust my own family members, who were there during my first days on Earth and literally share some of my DNA, then how can I trust total strangers? I can’t.
When did this start happening? Isn’t the bitterness supposed to creep in after years of working at the same dead end job, raising bratty children, and stacking up regrets? Maybe it used to be. But our generation starts wearing their makeup at a young age. Using phones at a young age. Fucking at a young age. And we get bitter at a young age.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. We have more years ahead of us than we have behind us. We’re the lucky ones, who are still young, who can change our life at any moment by asking out our crush or filling out a job application or taking a road trip far far away from our hometown.
During our last twenty years, we were servants to our parents and our schools and our prepubescent ideas of love. But for our next twenty years, we don’t have to fall back into those patterns. Once we free ourselves from our loans and lost loves, we’ll have newfound power. We can demolish the hatred in our hearts and replace it with hope. We have to.
We can’t let the bitterness win.