Since the beginning of human history we’ve tried to make sense of our existence.
We’ve looked up at the sun and praised it. We philosophized about soul mates and the concept of time.
Today, we have these same questions, why are we here, who am I. But unlike our ancestors, we are never alone with our minds to be able to formulate our own answers to these existential questions.
Instead, those in power understand human psychology, so they dig the identity question into a deeper hole, only to provide their own solutions. They overstimulate us with instructions on who to be, how to feel and what to buy.
We are bombarded and overwhelmed with a surplus of useless information to keep our minds distracted, always jumping from topic to topic, never fully listening to ourselves, never differentiating between what they want you to do vs what you really want to do, what they tell you to believe vs what you truly feel. Not realizing all the things we spend energy on are truly irrelevant to our existence.
Like a drug, once we receive what we were conditioned to believe we wanted and we use it and we come down from the high of it. We sink back into the depression, the void aching more, because it really wasn’t what your soul needed. So we search for the answer to a question we never asked our soul to begin with.
We are psychologically and emotionally exploited servants. We are conditioned to be miserable because misery is profitable. It is all we’ve ever known.
We’ve developed a twisted Stockholm syndrome relationship with it. We love music that makes us hurt, we fill our bodies with poison every weekend to forget that we don’t know where we’re going or who we are, we spend all of our money on clothing and shoes then scrape for food, we keep toxic people in our lives because toxicity is considered normal, we chase people who don’t care for us, and reject people who love us, we burn bridges with our parents to please temporary people, we settle for unfulfilling jobs so long as it pays because we are addicts who will do anything, sell our souls to supply an endless need to feel anything, anything but this misery.
And when we do feel joy, we have this anxiety that it is temporary, and so we leave before it leaves us because we think we are protecting ourselves, because we think any other state of existence is impossible, because we believe we don’t deserve it so we run back to our addiction, back to our misery, never once consulting with our soul.
But that’s where all the answers are if we just asked. Still, we’re taught to be afraid of solitude, because those at the top know the power that lies in a person who knows themselves. The capitalist machine cannot afford you to know yourself, that’s why they invest so much in keeping you away from yourself.
Know yourself. That is the most revolutionary thing you can do.
Diana Ozoria began writing short stories and poetry at the age of twelve as a cathartic outlet. She is now twenty three years old, and has found her voice and her peace as a brown feminist who is unapologetically comfortable in her own skin. Born to immigrant Dominican parents, Diana was raised in the hyphenated limbo space that lies between the other and the “American,” ni de aqui, ni de allá, never belonging here nor there. As the oldest in a family of five living under the poverty line, moving from one relative’s basement to another’s empty bedroom, privacy was impossible growing up. She escaped into the realms offered to her by books, and created her own reality in her writing. There, no borders, no limits, no ceilings existed. She saw a door in every character she befriended. She was her own heroine in every story she wrote. Her inspiration sprouts from love, trauma, culture, sociopolitical ideals, the intersections between gender and race, and the relentless human struggle to define our identity and purpose. Twitter: @papercutblisss