• Collective.

Maybe You Can Relate?

It is not unusual to get wrapped up in the rational and forget about the emotional. Emotional is a word that has acquired a negative connotation overtime, even. But why is that? Isn’t that supposed to be what makes us human, and therefore a collective?


It has been almost a week since I promised myself that I would start writing this piece. And earlier, overwhelmed by a wave of stress and anxiety, I was frantically trying to figure out how to put my thoughts onto paper. I stopped thinking for a second.


There it was, I had it. And now you also have it, right in front of your eyes: a raw, honest piece of stream of consciousness. No sugarcoating. Like a journal. My journal; which might as well just be your journal, too. Because as much as we do not like to admit it, most people in our generation go through all the same stuff.


To the question “who are we as an undeniable collective?”, my answer would be “a bunch of really cool people with common ideals, who yet feel lost and lonely way too often”. We are a motivated, proactive and optimistic generation overall, and from what I have experienced we mostly share the same core values.


A big majority of us strives to promote equality and inclusion, to preach the beauty of diversity and the importance of peaceful means of cooperation, and to fight against climate change. It is no secret that we care about those topics and that we come together as a group to make our voices heard. But are we also making our hearts heard?


We all face very similar matters emotionally speaking: uncertainty about our future, an impellent need to have our life completely figured out (breaking news: we never will, because nobody actually does), underlying perfectionism that makes us dissatisfied with our actually pretty great achievements, heartbreak, random occasional sadness that we have no idea where it comes from; I could go on forever.


The point is, that is something we are not so eager to speak about. And with reason: we have been taught that those feelings are called “weaknesses” and that we cannot for the life of us show the world that we have them. But this is exactly why that subtle, slightly bitter feeling of loneliness and being misunderstood comes about.


I have spent endless hours trying to figure out why that is. Once, I was told that I am not “a special little snowflake”. What do you mean I am not a special little snowflake? – I blurted out on the spot. In my defense, who would not like to be one? And somehow, we thrive on this idea. Until we do not. Because there is a very fine line separating what is feeling special and unique, and feeling misunderstood.


I concluded that what we crave is really something we can relate to. I mean, how many times have we either been asked or formulated a “Do you also …”, or“Is it just me …” question? And if that is something you have been asking yourself recently too (I know I do), the answer is no. It is not just you. Trust me.


Maybe you can relate: I am afraid of judgement (hence my reluctance to start throwing together this article). And I have come to the conclusion that if our generation strives to get past this and is more honest about our struggles, rather than only our successes, we may actually start feeling like part of that “collective” to a much deeper extent.


I wanted this piece of writing to be a first step towards this feeling of belonging. Relatability is key to making our hearts heard, rather than just our voices.


Emotions are universal, what can bring us, our generation, together more than those? So, do not worry, we are all in this together – oh wait, is this a High School Musical reference?


Well, that surely is something that brought our generation together as well.


By: Martina Dossena

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