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I struggle through this life, as a young woman, the kind of person who is always remembered but seldom by name. It can feel sometimes that the things we are taught as young girls are mainly lies. I don’t believe however that we are told these lies in a malicious manner, nor do our parents wish to deceive us, no we are misled by our parents dreams and desires. We are told about a world they wish existed - the perfect world they so desperately want to bring us up in. One where men will treat us like the princesses our dads think we are, a world where we will be able to see the good in everyone rather than keeping up a guard in case they actually intend to hurt us in some way.

I live in a generation of people who are caught up in a consumerist world, where what we own indicates our worth more than our actions. It is hard not to enter into this consuming world, in fact one is almost forced to be part of it. Many of us no longer save for a rainy day, as long as we’ve got an Ipod to play when the rain comes we’ll be fine; won’t we?

My generation seldom commit to long term relationships, with terms like ‘f**k buddies’ being used unashamedly by so many of the people I meet. No longer do you date someone as way of getting know them, you are merely ‘seeing them’ the difference? Well it is only socially acceptable to date one person, but we can see many- after all time is short and it probably won’t last anyway, why not get to know a few at a time!

I live in a place in time where we are told what we should look like. No longer is unique something that we celebrate - we want to fit in, not to stand out in a crowd. In many circles alcohol in access is not only acceptable but actively encouraged… friends will spur on others to drink until they pass out - apparently you’re not a ‘real’ student until you end up in a strange place at 5am covered in vomit with no idea how you ended up there or what happened the night before.

This is how I see the world sometimes, when my heart feels like it is breaking for some reason or another, when all the stresses and strains of day to day life finally catch up with me, I sit and look at the world with a heart filled almost with despair.

But…

There is a space in my heart, no bigger than a pin prick, filled with a love so strong it can fill my whole body with hope.

My generation is surrounded by young carers, giving up their childhood to look after their mum or dad, because they love them so much that mobile phones, clubbing and ipods are no longer important.

Many of the people my age take gap years between school and university and spend this time in third world countries, building wells, teaching English to children who can’t afford to pay for an education system that we constantly complain about.

I am surrounded by people who are willing to step outside this consumerist world, who are determined to stand out, people who are willing to give up their own lives to make a difference to someone else.

Maybe I am seldom remembered by name because I spend too much time trying to fit in. I gave my heart to God, but only allow him a pin prick of space, the rest of it too filled with the world… yet with that tiniest part of me he is able to give me a hope that always survives the worst, death, grief, anger, pain, hurt, jealously, lust… how much more would I stand out if I daily gave Him my whole heart?

Views: 5

Tags: despair, hope, life, love, religious

Comment by Kay Elizabeth on October 4, 2009 at 7:30am
What a lovely and thoughtful piece, Cheryl. You hang on to that small piece of light. Nurture it and it will grow. It's very easy to see the negatives surrounding us and it takes work to see the positives some days. But remember that you are not them. You'll make your choices and they will make theirs. And there will be more people you perhaps don't even know yet that think more on your wavelength than those who want to party all the time. Like you, they will know there's more to life than materialism and superficiality.

I believe in my heart that when you give out positive energy, you attract like minded people to you Cheryl. We all draw others to us unconsciously through the way we project ourselves. Birds of a feather and all that. :)

Parents just do the best they can to help prepare their children for the world. I feel society is becoming more self indulgent every day but each person chooses whether to join that mindset or not. I don't think we're meant to have all the answers. That's what we need to seek out, and soul searching is part and parcel of that growth. :)
Comment by scribbler on October 6, 2009 at 5:10am
Cheryl, I'm impressed. That was a very interesting blog post. I've always said there's nothing wrong with being different. Look back at all the successful people in history. They thought differently, they behaved differently, they looked at the world differently. Going along with what the masses thought or said was against their nature. They were ridiculed and dismissed offhand for their ideas but they continued on regardless to make successes of themselves. Invention and innovation has at its very core one person who wants to do things differently. Believe in yourself, find your inner strength and you will succeed.

History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats. - B. C. Forbes
Comment by Joe Jenney on October 13, 2009 at 3:47pm
Cheryl your post is very impressive and revealing. I have no doubt you are on a good path. Life isn't easy for any of us; which is how it should be. Without some struggle life wouldn't mean much. I see that you are a spiritual person but perhaps not allowing that side of you to be nourished as much as it needs. We have to spend so much time on our mental development when we are young that we sometimes short change our physical and spiritual sides. I hope you are a member of a religious or spiritual group. If not give it a try. You will find support and love from others in the group that will strengthen you spiritually and make life's challenges easier. I know that I do.
Comment by Cheryl on October 14, 2009 at 10:43pm
Hi Joe, thank you for your kind words.
I am a Christian and am lucky enough to have not one, but two amazing Church families. I am a student so when I am 300 miles away from home at University I go to one Church and then at the holidays I go to my home Church. I don't think, without the help, encouragement and support of my Church here at University I would have been able to cope with living so far away from family and friends.

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