I was having a quarter-life crisis at the age of 20. If I lived to eighty, that would make it accurate.
Whilst I realistically acknowledged that the tumultuous years between the ages of 13 and 19 were soaked in self-doubt and discovery for almost everyone I knew, I couldn’t help but wonder: how much of me, is actually me?
Post-pubescent depression is real. I don’t care whether you’re 20, 30, 45, or 60, feelings of self-doubt and (dare I call it) depression, can overcome any of us at any time.
Don’t get me wrong, I was happy. I am happy. I’m fortunate in the sense that I do not suffer from any severe mental illness. My new-found anxiety was rooted in an insomniac haze of constant interrogation by the voices in my head. I’m not crazy. I swear.
The nature vs nurture debate has always fascinated me because at the foundation of the discussion remains the question: how much of you are you? To some extent, our family, or lack thereof, moulds us into the beings we are today, but we can’t attribute our personalities solely on who our family is. Otherwise, we would be exact clones of previous generations, and although we inherit some physical, emotional and mental characteristics from our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and so forth, we aren’t their exact copies.
As I stared up at the ceiling, willing my mind to shut off for the night, these questions incessantly beat my brain: would I be different if I hadn’t grown up so guarded? Are there parts of me missing because I was kept from doing certain things as a teenager? Have I been emotionally and intellectually stunted because my parents were protective?
Of course, I might never uncover accurate answers to all, if any of those questions, and to be honest, by the next morning, I didn’t feel like a complete mental breakdown would ensue. In the light of day, everything seemed less impending than it did the night before. Sleep – always get enough sleep.
My end thoughts? Perhaps your adolescent years are prescribed for self-discovery, but let’s be honest, none of us know what we’re doing or who we are – 13 or not. You just have to live your life, making decisions that make you happy. And be nice! Lord knows we need positive energy in this world. If you feel you are being honest with yourself and living your life to the best, healthiest and happiest way possible, then all being a teenager means is a simpler time filled with regrettable fashion choices and 2,190 consecutive bad hair days.