the consequences of being a Tumblr teen
I’d like to believe that my pain has a purpose. And that purpose is to make something beautiful out of it.
But it could just as well be true that it is nothing more than an obstacle at any chance I’ll ever get of being a happy, well-adapted human being.
When I start sobbing while I’m lying in bed, it is not a poetic moment, it is not a breakthrough, nor is it a meaningful, life-changing instant. It just means it’ll be harder for me to fall asleep, and I’ll wake up the next morning with dry skin and puffy eyes, looking like I need an EpiPen.
Maybe I’m holding onto the pain because I believe it is the only way I can ever make something meaningful: pain makes me special, and it makes me myself. I’ve been forged not through hard work and tragic life circumstances, but by self-abuse.
I think it’s a very feminine thing, to try and bend pain into beauty. So much of the media girls consume revels in tears and heartbreak. In manicured vulnerability. I see it so clearly, how a gorgeous, pale, blonde actress was carefully directed every step of the way to look angelic and child-like while crying. How the way her mascara looks, as it runs down her pretty face looks nothing like mine. I can see every cog in the machine, and yet, I allow myself to fall for it. To cling to melancholy and try to make it aesthetic instead of moving on from it.
For a little, while I believed (or maybe just convinced myself) that I was not feeding the slow-burning fire of depression, I was simply acknowledging my feelings. I’d graduated from Effy Stonem and Lana del Rey to Mitsky and Sally Rooney. I was no longer glamorizing mental illness.
I am enlightened. Self-aware. Mature.
But what I’m starting to see is that I haven’t stopped cradling my sadness like it is my firstborn child, I’ve simply changed it. In my teens, it was loud and chaotic. I simply went from parties and mediocre attempts at smokey eye makeup to now, when I often find myself cosplaying as a bed-ridden Victorian woman, curtains drawn in the middle of the day, consumed by illness and terrible thoughts.
Honestly, I’m surprised there aren’t more YouTube tutorials for “how to look hot while crying”.