A young woman struggles to acquire her desired future in a dystopian society.
|I'm not like other girls.
I know, sixty percent of all girls say that. Usually what they mean is that they're "quirky" and "not afraid to be [themselves]." I used to be like these girls. When I was but an adolescent, I noticed how little I had in my life. My friends at school kept leaving me, and my parents, especially my mother, were never satisfied with me. I always figured they wanted me to be somebody else, so I would bombard them with statements like, "The perfect little princess you want me to be is barely human. She doesn't feel anything. Wouldn't you feel like something's missing with her? Wouldn't you rather be alongside someone who feels and makes you feel like you're talking to a real human being with a heart and feelings?"
Five years later, I grew up and matured. Upon this transition into my twenties, I suddenly realized that none of what I thought in the past was real. I was not a quirky individual among millions of manufactured Barbie dolls, yet I was not a Barbie doll myself, either. I have learned to observe my surroundings and reflect those of my past, and I have noticed a pattern. A lot of my peers, including the ones who abandoned me for not being good enough to associate with anymore, fit into the "special snowflake" category, which is why they are now so successful. For the sake of my mental well-being, I've discarded this toxic idolization of the special snowflake. I rejected it at the wrong time, though, since now our society has grown to favor these snowflakes.
I went to primary school before the Awokening began. In primary school, my teachers told me that all I had to do to be successful was to follow the directions and formulas taught to me. I did what they told me, and I always got perfect marks. Once I entered my continuing education; however, I began receiving low scores on assignments I would have no doubt scored an ideal one-hundred on back in high school.
The shock would come first, and then the loss of self-hope would follow. What if these professors are right? If I got a sixty-two on my English paper, then I must be a lousy writer. I knew it from the start, anyway. Why else would Professor Lynch have taken so long to grade my paper? She even said she expected me to get a failing grade.
Luckily, I have a small handful of people who do believe in me that have gotten me out of these funks by explaining that not everything was my fault. My academic advisor, for example, did tell me that Prof. Lynch was a harsh critic. Also, she did give me one-hundred percents on all my discussions for the course.
I then analyzed what she had a problem with must be my writing. I'm still betting that a handful of other students in her class got passing grades on their papers, all of them looking like those manic pixie dream girl OCs that Tumblr artists draw.
I gather my information on what society finds attractive and supportable through social media, which everyone in this community uses due to the figureheads of the Awokening promoting it as a platform for revolution through expression. Expressing oneself is important to me, especially since I want to make a career out of it. However, I'm assuming I'm not expressing myself in the right way. For every digital painting of a nude, tatted woman with pastel-dyed hair shedding a tear from her sparkling eye, I post either a cute picture of my kitten or a repost of a funny meme. Nobody cares about this. It's not "art," it's absolute nonsense. What kind of message is this madness supposed to convey? They don't see any inner meaning, just utter nonsense. All they see is nonsense, which is why my talents get overlooked.
I can't turn to anyone for help. I can't even rely on those I'm meant to turn to for help as even those people will conjure up biased narratives of me being but a delusional fool with misguided ambitions. Why do people see me like this? Don't they know that's not who I am? What is keeping them from seeing the truth? Is it because I don't look like the manic pixie dream girl that's all over the Internet? I don't want to be that manic pixie dream girl; I want to be me.
I'm just one person, though. I have no power to have my message spread; no one will believe me.