Our hypocritical lives

by bethanybump

So, I’m clearly an erratic blogger. Moving on. I could definitely update on some major things going on in my life, but instead felt moved to write about something that is gnawing at me instead. And it’s weird how many things will come together at once and sort of reaffirm to me that I’m not imagining it and that it won’t just go away.

I’ve been watching “Keeping up with the Kardashians” lately. I used to scoff at the show and mainly still do, in the same vein as when I began watching “The Hills.” My excuse was I would watch it to see how not to act in life. But, I don’t know if it’s about that anymore. I’m undeniably fascinated by these luxurious and overly decadent lifestyles that do not mirror the majority of the real world population one bit. And they especially don’t mirror my lifestyle.

Then I began reading a book about Supergirls yesterday. It’s for a book review for the Times Union, but it’s weird how eerie the message is coming across to me. It’s about girls who begin overachieving at such a young age because they feel they have to make up for this image that’s been portrayed of women for such a long time. And they constantly add more to their plate, between AP classes, club activities, student body government, athletics, being skinny and pretty, etc etc. And they make it look effortless.

I just have this recurring feeling that I’m headed down a bad or hypocritical path. I’ve been shoved into this culture war going on in my head. And I don’t know how I feel about it. I was watching Kim Kardashian drop $20,000 on clothes in ONE boutique and I couldn’t even laugh the show off at that point. Because I’m utterly disgusted. Absolutely disgusted. And I don’t want to bemoan the show or deride it or Kim herself (who I sorta like, not gonna lie). But I’m so disgusted that there are people who so easily drop that kind of money on clothes to put off some kind of image to the public, when I am sitting here stressed about how I am going to pay my bills.

I know these people work hard. I’m not trying to discredit that. But so do I. And so does my family. And I think how easy it would be for these people to give back. Or how unfair the income gap in America is. Because I have a $450 intent to return bill I still have to pay to SU, loans I still have to take out, and financial aid forms I still need to fill out. I have a bursar’s bill, a bookstore bill, and a $400 community college tuition bill that I need to pay so I can complete an unpaid internship this summer all just to go on my résumé. Meaning that I have no income at this point in time. On top of this, I’m constantly concerned about looking professional at work. “Is this discount top professional enough?” “I’m going to work tomorrow morning and I realize I have no shoes to go with my slacks!” “Oh no, I just ran out of the three outfits that look remotely professional and good, where am I gonna get the money to buy more?”

So, I think about the stress it causes me. And I think about how I try to make it look effortless. Especially the last semester. How I added more and more to my plate, and still never felt it was enough. How all I do day in and day out is think about my future and what I can fit in the next two years to achieve achieve achieve. So I feel good about myself. So I feel validated. So I feel like the debt I’m accruing by attending Syracuse University will be worth something. I broke my back last semester and had nearly daily mental and emotional breakdowns, but no one knew it. Because it’s not the thing to let be known. We have to be supergirls.

We have no time to relax, enjoy the moment and live life as it comes because we’re so busy trying to constantly one up each other. And the sad thing is, as much as I realize this, I only want to work harder and harder and find a way to stand out. And for what? I don’t even know. To be honest, I look at my life five, 10 years from now. And I tell myself while in school that what I want is to be a somewhat recognizable or well-known journalist at a recognizable or well-known publication. On a national scale. But I come back home to the country, to my family, to a life I’ve known for 18 years before I went to SU, and I look at my life five, 10 years from now, and think I would be happy just getting by with a couple good friends, holes in my jeans and a knock-off designer handbag.

And I’ve seen many of my friends tell me the same thing, or something similar. That they just want to be happy. Or we mock the sorority girls on campus who want to be known by everyone and want to be gorgeous and social butterflies, yet I see these very friends mimic these actions with lame justifications or to hide behind their insecurities that they’re too proud to admit they have. Guess what? I have goddamn insecurities!!! We all fucking do! Why are we so tirelessly and relentlessly pretending we don’t?

Ever since I went to SU, I’ve been torn between two worlds. And it took some getting used to. And now that I’m used to it I don’t know which world to admire and which world to mimic. Which world do I want to fit into? I don’t know anymore and that scares me. Because I sure as hell need to form my identity soon. And because when I lived in the boondocks my whole life with teenagers getting pregnant and redneck ignorance filling the school hallways, I always resented it and I never fit in. But I don’t know if the opposite is what I want either.

Anyways, I’m not here to have a pity party, but it does help to get these thoughts out into something tangible.

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