I wrote most of this on a train traveling through Spain, on a journey that has given me the opportunity to do the most self-reflection I have ever done in my life, and that has opened my mind to see the world with a completely new lens. As I’m discovering both myself and the world around me, a reoccurring observation I’ve been exploring is how malleable the lives of young people are today. This is something that both thrills and petrifies me.
Being a first generation Canadian, I’ve always identified with my Spanish and Mexican nationality. Growing up in Vancouver, which is arguably one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, I’ve been raised around people of different ethnicities and backgrounds, a melting pot that comes of a young country of immigrants. I have found a particular interest in exploring cultural diversity and the connection and differences between people’s origins. From this I’ve also started to pay more attention in the aspects of conserving language and culture. Our generation is at the height of modernization, and with this comes young people that are letting go of their own roots. The idea is so distressing to me – the dilution of differences into a generation where no one remembers or acknowledges their origins, history, culture, and no one speaks their mother tongue. We are already tumbling into the extinction of such, looking at the disappearing indigenous tribes and the dying of languages across the globe. It’s of dire importance to keep traditions and tongues alive, and to escape the trance of normality that people are chasing for an idealistic world. The problem I find is that some people find themselves indifferent or unaffected, which is pretty invalid; because being a bystander and watching the people of the world loose themselves is just as bad as being behind the oppression.
I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. It’s a discovery in process that I, along with what seems like our entire generation of troubled, angsty, coming of age young adults, face everyday. In the midst of a time filled with constant self-evaluation and the grounding of one’s spiritual being, the world is evolving with every person. Recently I’ve adopted this developing idea of self-awareness that I need to be conscious of and that I think is essential for all people to be aware of.
I’ve never been so sure of the person I am, while at the same time being at a state so vounerable that I feel I could disappear at any second. Your life is made up of everything in the world that has happened, is happening, and will happen. The events you go through, the people that surround you, all the accidents and all the things you deemed unimportant; really make up part of the person you are. I think this idea of being conscious of yourself and what has made you, is not explored enough by people; possibly because of either ignorance and simply not knowing enough to question your own reality, but it may also be because the intensity that such a confrontational approach to looking at yourself sends most people running (trust me, I understand this first hand). We are going nowhere if there is no attempt to change the way that our society still pushes the idea that there is no such thing as thriving in originality and that we should all fit into the system. I look at the corruption in the political systems running our countries, the ignorant and intentional disregard to the ecological and global warming problems, and the astronomically rates of poverty and absence of education contrasting with the still existing disgusting inequality of wealth and absolute power in the hands of the people who still continue to feed us the ideas that everything is fine and you should just keep to your own. There is an infinite universe of education and of things to learn, and the way I see it, the growth of a knowledgeable world could be reached if every person took the time to work on themselves and explore what the world has to offer.
The sheer pressure of being looked at as the ‘generation of the future’ is daunting and most people don’t really think about how they will affect the world in the future. I certainly used to evade this topic because avoiding looking at the way I was affecting the world gave me a chance to evade looking into myself. But how dare you ignore it? How dare you ignore yourself? The only chance we have at creating a generation prepared to take on the economical, political, ecological, and social disasters of the current world, is for us to change. We have to acknowledge both the unconscious and the intentional growths and realizations within ourselves. The only way to escape the accustoming of living life blindly is to change yourself. Having the strength to ground yourself gives you the ability to go through life in a positive state of mind with a hunger for learning what the world has to offer, while always having yourself to come back to. It allows you to explore without the fear of losing yourself. But hell, getting lost is the best part. We’ve been brainwashed to think that being wrong is wrong and that straying from the path will leave you wandering, and that the proposed idealism is the overall goal, the strive for perfection. And that’s all wrong. We are going nowhere as a generation until we open our eyes and stop waiting for our time to come, stop waiting for people to tell us where we should be at a certain point in our lives and what we should be doing. I think spontaneity is one of life’s greatest gifts – take chances, make mistakes, and learn that being afraid and being completely unsure of yourself and of your direction is necessary sometimes.
I am far from sure of what I am doing in the next few years, which before my trip was a daunting topic. But the truth is that I have learned more about myself than any other point in my life. What has struck me so hard has been the finding of a culture, of family, and of friends, that made me feel like I had finally arrived at home. Being a very artistic person and having a passion for history, I feel like I found myself in the ancient streets of old cities. I love my city but it is only a few decades older than me- it’s just a baby in the grand scheme of things; and having the experience to see cities that are so rich in history left me eager to envelop myself in what the world has to offer. So what I see in the world now is opportunity. In what there is to be learned, to study, to live, and to change. The task I see ahead is to give up living life in any state of stagnancy. It doesn’t matter that I don’t know where I’ll be in a year, or two, or ten, as long as I’m ready to take on the opportunities that arise from the world, and the opportunities that I create for myself.