I am a fully grown 30-year-old woman who is mildly addicted to everything made for teens. I like to think that I am a well-adjusted adult, but my Netflix viewing history says otherwise.
I am not entirely sure what it is, but the feel-good vibes that emerge from a cheesy rom-com or a teen drama are my go-to guilty pleasure. It takes me to a happy place, although ironically, my own teenage years contained scarce bits of happiness.
A recent accomplishment of mine was that I couldn’t sit through Dawson’s Creek’s first season. For once, I could sense the toxicity right away and did not have to get bamboozled while reading Reddit threads later.
“Oh shit, that’s right, this was problematic…” Many a favorite movie and tv shows have been ruined by this practice, and I wish that this dichotomy did not exist within me. That I could rewatch the To All the Boys franchise without feeling like I lost 5 hours of my life.
In contrast with this guilty pleasure is my taste in music, which listens to newly released material all the time. I read somewhere that people my age usually don’t seek newer things to try out, but my favorites run both old and new when it comes to art.
I firmly believe that you never know when and where you will strike gold, and finding that song, that poem that speaks to your soul, will be worth all of this seemingly pointless meandering.
While letting Youtube decide my playlist a couple of years ago, I discovered Billie Eilish, and it was love at first sight. She’s almost half my age, has led a very different life from mine, but her lyrics seem like what my diary entries would have looked like if I still had one.
I have loved many other artists before and am sure will find many more to adore in the future, but she — she’s something else.
Her honesty, willingness to share everything, and ability to delve into the darkness sends electric charges through my body. It’s as if someone read me like a book and learned things before I could realize them about myself.
Her songs pair lyrics better than champagne and macarons and take me down many unexplored avenues.
To call it magic would be an understatement because it’s a connection of the soul that cannot be expressed in words, and I’m saying that.
One of my all-time favorites is the song idontwannabeyouanymore. If you haven’t heard it yet, please go and listen to it. You know what, if you are short on time, listen to it instead of reading my article, because you will be better for it, and I don’t say that lightly.
I have a notebook that I use for scribbling down poems, quotes, and other inspirational stuff that I come across on a day-to-day basis. I mostly use it for writing lyrics, though, and I vividly remember recording parts of this while uncontrollably crying my eyes out.
I have always felt this way, at times much more so than others, but I didn’t have the words to describe it before.
Now, thanks to her, I do. The brilliance of the lyrics, the juxtaposition of it with words calling out slut-shaming and patriarchy in a single quartet, aside, it’s the feeling that stuck with me the most.
You know how most motivational, self-help, inspirational stuff is about changing your life?
But have you ever felt that everything else is okay, except you?
That the thing that should be replaced is you?
I have a good life. I live in a grown-up apartment with a partner that I love. I have found my passion and have the privilege and opportunity to pursue it. I’ve been working really hard at accepting myself, managing my mental health, and learning to love myself for three and half years.
And when I look around, I can’t pick anything — any little thing that I would like to change about my life. Everything is chosen by me, cherished by me, and is of superior quality, except me.
Do you ever get this feeling that you want to get inside your head and tinker around with things so that you can make it work?
That the combination is faulty, and no matter what you do, how much you learn and grow, things will never get better? I do, often.
I have been here before, and now I am here again, unable to shake it off. I don’t want to be myself anymore. It’s too hard, and I’m tired of working on myself. I want things to be more comfortable, for changes to be permanent and for a clear goal to be in sight, but they aren’t.
I feel as if I am high, even though I am not at the moment. It’s a new feeling, not one of numbness that I went through last year but one of attached detachment.
I am here right now, I know everything I am doing, everything that is happening around me, yet I can’t focus on anything. I feel like I am floating above and sinking down below at the same time.
I am sitting on the couch of my living room, and I glance at my curtains. I see the sunset through the green-colored cloth. I want to …. And my thought trails off. I think about what to write or whether to write at all, and again, my thoughts wander off.
I started thinking about what I would like the rest of my day to look like, and I had to bring myself back three times just to complete that question.
On another day, I would have gone outside and attempted to take it all in, tried to ground myself at the moment while staring at things more significant than me, but today I don’t.
The only thought I can complete is this one, the feeling that I don’t want to be myself anymore.
I’ve had this extreme unshakable neck and shoulder pain for a week now. I don’t know if I manifested it right now, but I literally am losing feeling in my right arm after an hour or so of typing. I stare at it and, for a moment, feel as if it’s not mine.
What would it be like if I had a different hand, another mind, different chemical composition? Something better, I believe.
Maybe this is too dark for you, and you don’t get what I am talking about.
But I am at this moment so thrilled to have this song. It’s a chilly, eerie, supernatural feeling when someone else can put words to your thoughts and vibe with your weird vibe. One part of me wants to delve deep into this song and never come out again. I feel understood here.
I am taking a break from my work — I mean, I’m still working, but I am staying away from deadlines and weekly pressures that I usually put on myself. When I start writing something, I don’t know if/when I will publish.
I am using my own publication for when I do, as I am currently utterly incapable of thinking about how my work should look like, how much to edit or not, and how to make this shorter and more succinct.
I took this hiatus as I was feeling wholly unmotivated and a strong urge to stop trying. So I’m trying to go with the flow and not micro-manage my day for a while.
This is the only problem I could identify and the only solution I could come up with. I am too tired to think. I believe this will do for now, but I know — I can sense it that there’s something bigger brewing inside.
I don’t know where the problem lies. I am eating a lot, craving comfort food, and also not sleeping much. But last week I wasn’t feeling like eating and was sleeping a lot.
A confusing crisis? Who knows. At this moment, I am so tired of feeling this way, again and again, picking up the pieces once every few months, if I am lucky, that I don’t know what to think.
I can only hope that this period reveals something. That the extra time can be used for introspection. For now, all I can do and am going to do is play the song on loop.
Maybe living with this feeling, letting myself feel it for a while, will help me get to the bottom of things.