People exhaust me. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but it’s important to get that out of the way, because it really sets the tone for this blog post.
Another important note to begin this post with: I am not a child. I am thirty-years-old.
You wouldn’t be able to tell on paper, of course. I’m unemployed. I’m in school. I live with my mother. I don’t/can’t/won’t drive. On paper, someone might guess I’m in my mid- to late-teens. That’s probably a fair assumption. It’s certainly an apt reflection of my current life situation.
It’s not as though I’m just sitting idly in my lament. I’m looking for a job. I’m learning to drive. I’m planning my transfer to University to get my bachelor’s degree, start my career, get my own place, and get on with my damn life. It’s just that jobs in San Diego are scarce (jobs I’m actually qualified for are scarcer) and I haven’t quite reached those goals, yet.
Not being quite there yet, however, does not change the fact that I am still thirty-years-old.
And as such, I am very, very tired of people treating me like I am still a teenager. Or a sociopath. If there’s a difference.
Here’s the thing: Like many millennials, particularly millennials who are non-male-identified and/or possess genetic markers commonly associated with female members of society and/or are queer and/or fit into any other marginalized group, I am very angry. I’m very angry and, like many others, I am tired of being quiet and internalizing my anger.
Also like most younger millennials (remember, the oldest millennials are turning 35 [or older, depending on which demographer you go with] this year) and the kids of Gen-Z, I have a very… hyperbolic, exaggerated way of expressing myself. I am prone to self-deprecation and disregard (ie: “I would throw myself off a bridge for a cupcake,” and “*points to garbage can* It’s me.”). I’m also prone, like many angry members of these younger generations, to express my frustrations in the form of vicarious verbal violence (ie: “Eat the rich,” and “Punch Nazis.”).
Let’s be realistic. 90% of the people saying, “If I ever see a Nazi, I’ll punch it in the face,” isn’t actually going to punch a Nazi in the face (delightful as it may be). I probably could not fist-fight a Nazi, and I’m well aware of that.
Saying “I’m gonna punch a Nazi,” is just a way to express frustration. It’s a way to say, “I’m not just going to stand idly by and allow this to occur.” In this context “punching” a Nazi could mean anything from calling out its abhorrent behavior, notifying the authorities, or any other non-violent/non-lethal forms of physical disruption (glitter bombing alt-right rallies, for example). Sure, some people are actually going to go out there and punch some Nazis in their faces, and I’ll admit I don’t think they’re wrong to do so.
But the average person is going to take a less literal path towards justice. “Punch it in the face,” is just a rallying cry towards resistance.
This hyperbole extends to other areas, too. From the political–“Men are trash,”–to the personal–“I’m going to run this bitch off the road.”
Very, very few people who say, “Men are trash,” are talking about all men indiscriminately. They’re talking about a very specific type of toxic Man™. They’re talking about abusive men, violent men, hateful men–and more recently the “good” men who defend that trash.
Similarly, the average angry driver isn’t really going to run someone off the road. They’re just saying that because they’re frustrated and want to vent.
It’s not literal.
And I’m very tired of and frustrated with everyone taking my expressions of anger–my valid anger, that (as a grown-ass adult) I’m free to express in any legal way I please–as some literal declaration that I’m really going to punch someone or I’m really going to throw a brick at a building. Saying those things–not doing them–makes me feel better. Hell, it probably makes me less likely to actually do them, because I got to vent my anger out, instead of keeping it bottled up to explode in a spray of violence and vitriol.
“But, Adie,” I can hear these judgmental assholes saying, “There really are people who do those things and think that way.”
There are. I won’t deny that.
But if you think I’m one of them–if you really think so lowly of me–you’re not someone I need in my life and I think we’d both be better off if we ended our interactions from this point forward.
I won’t censor myself for anyone else’s comfort. I will express my anger using whatever words I see fit. And until I give you a reason to think those words will morph into actions, if you don’t like the way I express myself, I’m happy to just go talk to someone else who gets it instead.
I love you all.
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