March 30, 2021 11:59 AM

a crown icon and the words "rising voices award winner"
A pile of polaroids featuring the author and various experiences she's had. Photo by Kasandra Wilcox.

A pile of polaroids featuring the author and various experiences she's had. Photo by Kasandra Wilcox.

We are alive right now, all of us, whether we want to be or not. We are living. Living takes so many forms and displays meaning in all different kinds of ways. We breathe to stay alive. We experience things so that we can grow and change. We are taught things that are deemed necessary for survival, and yet we are never truly taught how to “live.” 

Living life has always seemed so easy for those around me, in a sense that they’ve never questioned their existence to the extent that I have, or that they have not felt the meaninglessness of it all. They have never felt so small or so insignificant in light of the question, “Why me?” “Why now?” “Why anything?” 

Since I am somehow still alive, why is it so difficult to live? Is it the relentless repeating of the questions, “Who are you?” “Why are you?” “Why aren’t you?” Is it my personality that constantly wants to see the positive, but always somehow sees the negative instead? I have yet to discover that answer myself, but I feel there are many factors as to why this thing called life is so difficult for me to get a proper handle on. 

I cannot say I’ve had the easiest life, but I definitely know it’s far from the hardest. I have always had the love of my mother, sister and family in Mexico. I have a roof over my head and food on the table, and my body is complete and functions properly. What’s not to love about my life? 

This is all stuff I have been told before. I have been asked many times why I hate my life and don’t like living when I have “everything.” I have never felt as if I had everything, for I am lacking a lot of things that others just had handed to them. Others just have this innate will to live, and I don’t think I’ve ever had that either. 

As someone as young as I am, you might be thinking that I have yet to live enough to know what I’m talking about. I haven’t gained enough experience or lived life long enough to really give an opinion on life. Yet, I have always been told that these will be the best years of my life, that these are the times that life is really worth living. If these are the so-called “best years of my life,” I don’t even want to begin to experience what the rest of my life is going to throw at me. 

I have this primordial fear of aging, not because I fear dying, but because I fear living itself. I fear all that comes with getting older and gaining responsibility, as well as my body functioning less and less. Yes, again, I may be “too young” to fear this. And yet here I am, in fear of becoming older. 

I am alive and I am living. It may be unwillingly most of the time, but here I am. I still find it hard to live and accept life like others do for more reasons than I can even count. And although I struggle to find meaning everyday, I am still alive and living. So there must be a reason to keep going.

If you are interested in mental health treatment, you can research options and apply for financial support using the To Write Love on Her Arms Find Help Tool

If you are in crisis, you can reach the Samaritan’s Hotline by phone call or text message at 877.870.4673 or chat online at the Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.

Featured articles:

Blurred purple photo. Photo taken by the author.


View of purple night sky through silhouettes of trees. Photo taken by the author.