Why do I feel like I am drowning?


Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning.

I can feel the current pull me under as the world swarms me, tying my arms back, rejecting me from the possibility of escape. The currents of politics and social standards and unstated rules splash this way and that, inevitably forming a tunnel that pulls me deeper into its mass.

I am metaphorically speaking, of course, for there is no ocean that holds all of the elements of today’s society around us. I am not being pulled into a literal current I cannot escape, but I’m being dragged under an imaginative body of water that has emerged within today’s world.

As a child, I wasn’t immersed in things like politics, and I didn’t think I had to be any certain way. I wasn’t exposed to the terrors of war or the heinous debates over politics. I simply existed, and that was all I needed to know.

Now, I see the world through a more tainted lens. I see the consistent battle people are fighting against one another. I see the terrorist attacks. I see the way politics break or make people and relationships. And I see the difference between being an acceptable member of society and an unacceptable member.

I began to feel myself slip underwater when the news was zoned-in on the universe of politics. I saw how differing political opinions could tear people apart, creating unnecessary hate between anyone, even strangers. I was forced underwater, unable to express my opinion, along with many others, because now people find it to be a fearful topic that is incapable of being civilly discussed.

I’m being dragged under an imaginative body of water that has emerged within today’s world.”

Then there are the societal standards that flow around me. Sure, I can be exactly who I want, but how am I even supposed to decide who that is when all I see around me is the acceptance and rejection of people for who they choose to be? Not only is there a right and wrong of who to be, but the lists that attach themselves to each side are endless. Even the way I dress can be perceived as a false assumption of who I am, categorizing me within a group I don’t fit into. Many people will restate the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but these days, people are barely given a chance before a judgment is attached to them.

Now, I’m surrounded by standards and opinions and political correctness all constantly weighing down on me, only to be followed by the right and wrong things I can say. I make a comment about women’s rights, and suddenly I’m a feminist? Or I make a comment that supports men, and suddenly I’m unworthy of being a female? I’ve progressed to the decision that there is always going to be something wrong with what I say, so why say anything at all? Maybe if everyone went mute, all the controversy and problems would be solved! But how is that okay?

I have a voice and everyone values the ability to use it, but when someone uses it in a way that violates another’s thoughts, suddenly that voice is no longer allowed to speak. Now, I find myself genuinely having to take time before I say anything because I don’t know how what I say will be perceived.

I am drowning in this world of constant judgment, this universe of always finding something wrong in someone. We support being a free nation with free rights, but when it comes to differing people, this value of rights turns into a pernicious hurricane of selfishness.

I feel like I am drowning because there are so many things in the world that I feel like I need to know. There are so many rights and wrongs, so many acceptable and unacceptable things. Is my opinion “correct?” Can I be who I really want to be? Can I speak the words I want to speak or is someone going to misinterpret them only to turn them into a monster I never intended on creating?

The world is a truly wonderful place, and of course, life is a journey with an inevitable series of ups and downs. But, life should be made into what we want, not be pulled into the depths of this body of water with the currents of politics, society’s standards, rights and wrongs, and all the other things that people can’t escape.

I don’t want to feel like I’m drowning, but in today’s society, it’s hard to come up for air.