“Are you here so that you can stay the same?”

Every generation comes with a different expectation to social standards. Whether that is beauty expectations, financial status, or environmental concerns; American social dynamics will be an ever evolving (and devolving) system. During my lifetime, one thing has remained the same, our society’s addiction to youthfulness is ever present. Historically all cultures have focused on youthfulness because its connection to fertility, and the importance of the continuation of the family line. What happens to our elders? What happens to the generation in transition to adulthood? I remember the day I turned 30, and wished I could be 8 all over again. Not because 8 was easy, because my youth wasn’t easy, it’s the theory that being a child is less stressful than being an adult…a theory.

11 years old and my school peers asked me if I knew what a blow job was. I wasn’t a sexual being by nature from what I remember. I always felt reserved in my sexuality, as if I knew it would be intense and I wanted to stay as youthful as possible for as long as I could. I remember having a good amount of trauma from my peers attempt at sexual coercion. I cried running to the office when girls from the grade above me told me what a blowjob was, and it took me a very long time to even consider performing the act. As we recognize that sexuality is apart of our everyday lives and feelings, we start to explore both sexual thought and it’s reality. I remember very vividly wanting to explore, but resisting my inner urge because I didn’t want to grow up yet.

Being a young adult was like opening the valve to my sexual pleasure zones. This was the age of illegally drinking, media’s influence, and time to live it up. This is where the illusion to the best time of our lives began. Buying fancy clothing and dancing/drinking all night instead of seeing the pyramids of Giza. American society mislead us to believe that spending thousands of dollars was going to make us happy. This time in my life did give me so many memories, friends and created the person I am today. I don’t regret the life I lived, but now knowing what I know; = I hate that I fed into the hegemonic system for so many years and participated in the continued dysfunction.

What would I tell my 20 year old self? Don’t give your money to “them”, give your money to yourself and experience the world outside of the States. At age 16 you filled out an application for the Peace Corps completely, but never sent it in because you were afraid of what you were going to miss at home…not much kid, you would have done so much better if you had gone on that 2 year adventure. I made good money at a very young age, but I also made yourself broke trying to impress others with my drinking abilities even though it probably made you look like a idiot. I should have watched less TV and hiked more. I had a beautiful connection with mother nature as a small child in Hawaii, but lost that connection as the walls came up numbing myself to pains from social society.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret my life I have lived, but I do believe that my life choices can be used to see where society has failed our youth. I can also see how I have perpetuated these standards and influenced the next generation through my continued behavior within the collective. But this allows me to reflect on what I want to change in myself, putting boundaries in my own life to find self discipline and focus. This helps me stay in alignment with my true desires and dreams, not giving into the influence of societies standards.

Shifts. We all go through shifts in our lives, some more impactful than others. As we age there are significant mile stones that we celebrate collectively, but the milestones that typically get missed are the growing pains we move through to come out the other side different. I think these milestones get missed because there is no official date or age when these shifts happen. It’s not like a birthday you can put on a calendar. The only way we can notice these changes are by reflecting on our past and present selves. Acknowledging the difference in how we react to things, what choices we make, and the people we surround ourselves with. Shifts in the Self are not an obvious milestone. Shifts creep up on us and then we keep moving forward – unless we revert back to our old selves, but that’s a story to reflect on for a different day.

Everything that I have touched on comes from my own life experience, and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. You may have had different challenges in life or different views on how society has affected you, and that is ok, it’s actually ideal. You may have already critically reflected on life enough to see how your path has developed and where you want to go. It took a few years into my 30’s for me to shift from the mindset of wanting to go back to being 8 years old, to embracing the age where my youth is no longer the ideal for society. I now recognize that the naïvety of youthfulness puts me in too vulnerable of a place to be able to speak up for myself and critically think beyond what others have told me I should be. I am now proud of my age, my brain, my emotions, and my mistakes. I enjoy learning and challenging myself to grow taller, wiser, and free. I have embraced my age, and look forward to the beauty of continued growth.

Forward motion always.

Tips on how to meditate on your life to evolve forward with eyes open can be found in the next post.

xoxo Alia Pollet

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