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I’ve always felt like living in my mind is like a constant back and forth of polar opposite ideas. I feel like I’m always torn between two different things I want which contradict themselves entirely, and I can never find that gray area. I've found that everything I look for in the future and the present is entirely opposite, but I want all the options equally. How can one coexist in two entirely separate lives at once? I don’t think I’ll ever know the answer. Everyone says you can get everything you desire in life if you work towards it, but I constantly struggle with figuring out how to make everything I wish for work when they don’t feel like they can ever exist at the same time. Without further ado, here's my list of hypocrisy. Let me know if you’ve ever felt the same — maybe I’ll feel less crazy. 

Living in the City vs. Living in a Cottage

My dream has always been to live in a big city, specifically New York, but that’s expensive and I’m broke. Nonetheless, paying rent aside, New York has always been my dream. Anytime I’ve had the pleasure of going, everything about the city has caught my eye. I love the fast pace and how everyone is simultaneously living a completely different life, but somehow it seems like it all falls together. I feel like if you move to a place like New York, you can completely reinvent yourself — a thought that's always captivated me. I love the idea of moving somewhere so populated that no one knows you and most probably don’t care to (which comforts me for some odd reason). Or, the polar opposite, living in a cottage. Living in a cottage away from everyone seems so peaceful, and the thought of being alone with nature really tempts me. I'd love to go outside and lay in the grass all day and paint or read a book. Something about a calm, slower lifestyle seems like your mind and body would feel so at ease and you’d be so in tune with yourself, both physically and mentally. You aren’t running on anyone’s time schedule but your own. This thought is so freeing, but everything feeling so free makes me feel like nothing would ever get done. I’d just want to sleep all day and never do anything productive — which kind of sounds like my life now — but in a cottage. It'd definitely be more romanticized and beautiful, though, so I’m all in. 

Wanting People To Ask vs. Never Sharing Ever 

This is a thought that's been ongoing in my mind recently. I've taken a step back from many of the conversations I’ve been having, whether with friends, family or a random stranger off the street, and I realized I'm typically the one asking about them. At first, I let this thought completely overtake me and let my insecurities run wild, thinking thoughts like, “maybe I’m boring and that’s why they don’t ask,” or “they just don’t care.” But, when I’m actually level-headed, I realize that anytime people try and take a glimpse into me, I always shut them out. This isn't even intentional; it’s just a habit at this point. I often self-sabotage myself into thinking that if people know too much about me they’ll become uninterested, which has evolved to me never saying anything about myself. I have so many thoughts that just feel caged inside my brain and I’ve become so used to them staying there — I’m scared to imagine how I’ll feel when they leave. Will I feel empty? Will I feel uneasy that I’ve let someone see the parts of me that I swore no one would ever care about? Maybe. Sitting and letting my brain swallow me whole with thoughts that no one will ever care, though, has made me realize that I never let anyone care because I don’t share.

Wanting All the Love vs. Being Alone Forever 

Maybe we all feel this way? Telling myself that makes me feel a little less crazy, but this is seriously a thought that suffocates me. I've always been so obsessed with my image and people liking me that it really took a toll on me. I was overthinking every single thing I did and second-guessing every decision before I made it. I knew what I wanted, but what did everyone else think? I lived this way for a long time, and I still do. Thankfully it isn’t as extreme as before, but it still feels heavy some mornings. Other mornings, though, it feels quite the opposite. I wake up and I want nothing more than to stay a hermit in my bed and never see another living person again. I'm so content with that utter moment of solidarity, it feels like I’ll be fine living alone forever. I don’t understand the constant change in my feelings, but maybe that’s a question for my therapist and not the readers of this article.​

These are just a few emotions I feel that constantly contradict each other. I feel like when I really sat down and think about it, my whole life looks like a big mess of hypocrisy. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve settled into feeling all the feelings I have and understanding they’re valid. They might be a complete contradiction, but they’re real, and they’re my feelings. I encourage you to embrace every emotion you have — even if it feels crazy if your life looks like one big canvas of only black and white. Embrace it, and maybe one day we’ll all be able to live in our gray area. 

Avery is a graduate student at the University of Florida majoring in Mass Communications. Avery is passionate about all things mental health and iced green tea. When she isn't writing, you can find her reading someone's birth chart, starting the newest romance novel, crying over Harry Styles and daydreaming about moving to New York City.
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