Think | Teen Ink


October 20, 2007
By Anonymous


This is me.
1. Life
2. Insanity
3. Language
4. Emotion
5. Love
See, I go like this:
Life lived to the best I know how, even if I know nothing.
A life filled with the sweet insanity of hope, experience, and feeling, articulated in language. Language that expresses all the emotions of life, which all lead back, somehow, to the most beautiful emotion available—love.


What is the point of life?
Why are we on this earth; what are we here to accomplish?
It’s a thought path that circles back on itself, and my mind has trodden it flat.
Maybe it’s impossible to know.
Some people live life for ecstasy. One brief, luminous flare, and then they go out. Party up, shoot up, get higher, fly higher…and then fall, spiral down into oblivion. Maybe they’ve got it right. Perhaps living for tomorrow, next week, next year isn’t what life is about. We strive in life to be happy. But how much of what we work for can really achieve happiness? Do we really need to go to school, so we an get into college, so we can get a good job, so we can make money, so we can send our children to school and college and into the workforce?
I hope the meaning of life goes deeper than that. Maybe the goal of life is to change the world. I want to change the world—we all do. But can anyone; is it possible at all? Or do we all make an impact just by birth, shifting the world an inch farther off its axis the instant we’re born?
The questions keep coming, and they continue to circle back.

Maybe life has no point.

Perhaps life is just Darwinism, natural selection. Rich and poor, advantaged and unfortunate, healthy and sick—maybe they mean nothing. What if saving lives, being happy, and finding meaning don’t matter and life is only survival of the fittest?
Is existence futile?
And we’re back to the beginning—maybe it’s impossible to know.


Do you ever want to just scream, and scream, and scream, until they take you away in chains?
Sometimes, life feels uncontrollable. Lifeis uncontrollable.
Schoolwork piles up, activities demand more time, and eventually, obligations seem inevitable, exhaustion unavoidable, and psychosis inescapable. Sometimes it feels like everything in life is spinning out of control, and we have no way to stop it, and we’ll get dizzier and dizzier until the world goes out of focus, and the colors blur together, and we all go insane.
I wish I knew.

Disappointment is a curious thing.
It goes hand in hand with hope—the hope that something will happen, or won’t. The desire for things to remain the same, the wish for them to change. The dream of a respite from the everyday.
As we get older, we learn not to wish for things. “Don’t get your hopes up,” parents council. The farther we stretch and the more we dream, the longer and harder the fall. Yet even this knowledge can’t stop us from anticipating, from peering forward, trying to catch a glimpse of the things we want to happen. The fear of pain isn’t enough to prevent the natural human desire to hope which, in the end, only causes disappointment.
Wishing that something will happen, being sure that it will, and then finding that we’re wrong? That hurts. And sometimes it’s enough to tilt life’s balance toward madness. When everything is going wrong, adding a small defeat can make “bad” seem unbearable. But there isn’t sense in stopping life because of the fear of disappointment. True, trying and failing may push us towards lunacy, but life in the absence of hope most certainly will. Hopes, desires, wishes, apprehensions—these make life worth living, give a reason to look forward to tomorrow. The best hope (and hope is necessary) is to close our eyes, take a deep breath, and delight in a spin on the merry-go-round of life.


I like words.
I like the way they taste savory on my tongue, the way it feels to roll them out like gemstones—each beautiful, each unique.
I like the way words sound, how they fit together so perfectly. Thoughts come incoherently, but words can put them neatly together, back-to-back in a line. Neatly. I don’t like mess.
I like my words to fit together, to suit each other. I want them to be close, to seem as a whole, to feel the breath of another’s meaning on their pixilated necks. They feel better, feel right, that way.

The beauty of language is that, not only can it create amazing images and express fantastic thoughts, but that each word itself is exquisite. I love words for their own sake. Not for their ability to put my thoughts into words, but for the thoughts and emotions they themselves convey. Take a minute and pick a word like, say, salacious. Say it a few times, letting it tumble slowly out of your mouth. Salacious. Salacious. Feels good, doesn’t it? Salacious means lustful, lecherous, lascivious, and it sounds just like it means.
Words have the ability to impart not just meanings, but feelings. That’s what makes language so powerful. From monosyllabic utterances to verbose statements, speech and text have the ability to make us feel, to evoke sentiments that we may not even be aware of. Words may never be able to convey all of human thought, may never come close. In a way, language is the plight of society—we are forced to constrain our thoughts, to box them up into sentences. Yet, words have a power that is almost magical, in that they are infused with emotions.

I sleep with a dictionary by my bed.


I need to learn how to cry.
Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong with me. I have this strange inability to let my emotions out. Happy?—I can handle that. Excited, nervous, angry?—I can deal with those, too.
But vulnerable emotions—sadness, pain, disappointment—I keep bottled up inside. I always have to be the strong one, the empathetic friend, the distantly considerate and slightly disgruntled self. I don’t do vulnerability. So instead of the real emotions, I offer up substitutes, complain about the little things in my life, celebrate the insignificant triumphs. The affairs I don’t care about, the matters that don’t matter to anyone. It’s safer that way.
I’m insecure. I’ll be the first one to admit it.
I’m afraid of what others think of me. I look at myself through their eyes, and I wonder what it is that they see. Sometimes, I’m not sure I want to find out. I’m afraid I’ll hate myself as they see me. The good that other people seem to be able to find in me, I am unable to perceive. If I can’t uncover what about me there is to love, then how can I ever expect you to notice it? It’s easier to paste on a smile, to pretend strength. If I try, I can make you believe infallibility is possible. And you’ll think I don’t care about your opinion. That’s the way it works. Like I said, I don’t do vulnerability.
So some time if you notice that I complain too much, or overreact, realize how close I might be to exploding, and give me a little leeway. Remember that there’s something deeper hiding behind the incessant inanities, and maybe someday you’ll see me as I am, tears and all.


Is there such a thing as love?
If you had asked me a year ago whether I believed teenagers were capable of love, I would have been happy to tell you no, that they’re still growing and changing too much. But, the more I learn, the more I realize that love is possible (necessary?), even in adolescence. I never thought I’d be so happy to be wrong.
I’ve heard it said that humans can’t love because of the imperfections in every person. They only love each other because they see the little good in themselves reflected back at them. So essentially, love is impossible because humans are imperfect.
But that can’t be right. Love is possible because humans are imperfect. If we were perfect, we would be incapable of love. We would only be able to love ourselves, stuck in a narcissistic pattern of self-adulation. It’s our imperfections that make us seek out someone to complete us where we are lacking, to make us whole.
So, yes, love is possible. It must be, because that’s what a lover is. They bring out the perfect person you have inside of you. They make you whole. No, not necessarily a lover in that sense. Love doesn’t have to be romantic, doesn’t have to be sexual. Platonic love is the most real feeling in the world—caring for another enough to put their wellbeing before ours. I love everyone, on one level or another. That is love, and it is the most beautiful sentiment that exists.

See, I go like this.

Five is four is three is two is one.
Love is emotion. Emotion is expressed by language, language tries to make sense of insanity, insanity brings joy to life, and life is nothing without love.

So hold my hand. Cry with me. Laugh with me. Love me, and we’ll pull through okay.

This will certify that the above work is completely original.
Kayla Sheridan

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This article has 1 comment.

on Feb. 4 2009 at 3:43 pm
i think this is a beautiful article. u expressed everything so naturally. u have a certain mastery of using words and expressing what u feel. u should definitely keep writing; i wud love to read more of your work.