Today, In My Teenage Angst: A history and a future.
Two insights into me as an adolescent: first, I was very emotional. That hasn’t changed. Second, I carried the weight of every emotion ever felt by anyone ever past, present, and future. The result of this was a very serious, very tired, teenager. I was pretty awful to be around. Luckily, better, more functional people were around to help me through. Karlie
While I for sure had a legit chemical imbalance, I wasn’t formally diagnosed until I was twenty. So in 2006, when blogging became a widely accessible thing, I quickly saw it as an outlet for my adolescent anxieties. It was creative, and I liked words – even though I wasn’t very good with them. I would write really heady pieces about peace, beauty, Cartesian Rationalism, etc., etc., barf. I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to read those posts. It makes me tired to think about it. After my diagnosis, some medication, and many hours with the world’s greatest counsellor, I felt a lot lighter; like someone had added some helium to the emotional weight I was carrying. It was now floating above me, within reach, but at least I had some distance.
Upon entering my twenties, I came to the very quick realization that the anxieties and uncertainties that had followed me throughout my teenage years, weren’t going to leave with that four-letter suffix on my age. This realization, coupled with the small but measurable distance from my anxiety disorder, I started to see the humour in the difficulty of life. Comedy suddenly made sense. As a cute result, my blog took a turn, and Today, In My Teenage Angst was born. It has followed me ever since.
Enter 2015! Bless social media, networking, content creation, and the digital space. Everyone is welcome, everyone is wanted, and everyone belongs. There’s a lot of downfall in the anonymity of the Internet, and I have some serious questions about adolescent personality development online vs. the real world, but on the whole – and this might be my incurable optimism talking – the good outweighs the bad.
I love pop culture top to bottom, good to bad. I love the impact of the celebrity voice. I love the Kardashian-Jenner-Wests. I love One Direction and Justin Bieber, with a maternal love I can hardly handle. My fifteen year old piano student noticed some novelty One Direction postcards I have and confusedly asked me if I am a fan. With the most enthusiasm ever, I told him that I am. I really, really am.
I also love politics. I love the way we engage in politics in this digital age. I love how popular politics are now because of it. I love that presidential candidates go on late night shows, play ridiculous games, and act out ridiculous skits. I love that this engagement allows us to care more deeply about our surroundings and those that are within our surroundings.
In conclusion, I love. A lot, like in general. Just like when I was an adolescent, I feel emotions so thoroughly that I often can’t handle them all. Today, In My Teenage Angst allows me to channel some of those loves into a dedicated online space. Be it Tumblr, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook, what you see online is a representation of what I support, celebrate, and, you guessed it, love. This video series, so intentionally and beautifully created by Citadel’s own Tony and Matt, is an extension and reflection of that online life. It’s a little more of a parody than the rest of my online life, but I promise it’s entirely true. That being said, the last thing I want is for you to hate what’s happening here, or to be offended by what I have to say. In that case, I ask, nay plead, that you simply not engage. The beautiful thing about online media engagement is that it’s entirely optional. If what you see, doesn’t make you happy, or worse, makes you mad, uncomfortable, or goes against your beliefs, please. Opt. Out.
I’m super excited for what’s going to happen here. It’s going to be weird. Which is really the best way for it to be.