As a teenager, speaking out about personal struggles or issues you in see in the world is daunting and, as a teenager myself, I don’t see many people doing it. Both teens and adults tend to divert discussions away from their own problems and choose to talk about the issues of others, generally because it makes them feel like their life is more “put together”. This is why, when someone is seen admitting to their flawed life, those around them are taken aback and question their motives. What motivates someone to share their troubles, and should they even do this?
It is my belief that speaking out is incredibly important. It is the single most impactful thing that we can do as a society to remedy a problem or stigma. The longer a certain topic or event is swept under the rug, the more people will struggle and the less people will get the help they require. We live in an age where information can be spread so quickly, which can either be used to uplift and help people or, to plunge those who need help further into the abyss. This was the reason I started writing “Chocolate and Politics”, to inform and help people. However, helping people is celebrated when the one giving aid is a savior, not an equal.
What I mean by this is… when it comes to giving others guidance, it is okay to admit weakness. Telling someone that you understand what they’re going through and offering your helping hand and sturdy shoulder can bring immense comfort. So, open up about the things you have experienced because it is astonishing how many people are experiencing the same thing.
But speaking out doesn’t only meaning sharing a post on social media. It also means speaking up when you hear or see someone voicing their struggles, brining awareness to problems you see in society, and using any platforms available to you spread information. For me, utilizing social media was the best way to aid others working through the same thing that I am. I started an Instagram account offering advice, sharing my wins, and even documenting my hard times. At first, especially when people I personally knew began to discover it, I felt some regret because I knew that they were judging me and maybe even pitying me. But, after some consideration, I came to the conclusion that if my journey helps even one person, then any judgement or criticism I receive will no longer matter. Ultimately, there will always be someone passing judgements. I finally know now though, that in addition to writing about what I am passionate about, or the good times I have experienced, it’s equally important to write about inconsistencies in life, the downs as well as the ups.
Life isn’t perfect, it’s messy and difficult. What makes it beautiful though is that we all have our own story to tell. If you feel comfortable, I urge you to share yours because it’s the biggest part of you, and it can affect someone more than you think.
“Tell the story of the mountain you climbed. Your words could become a page in someone else’s survival guide.” -Morgan Harper Nichols