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Kay Smythe

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Tuesday, August 27

Depression, Unconscious Bias, The End Of The World: Millennial Mindset

I’ve never written during a deep depression before. This particular interlude of self-hatred started on Tuesday, but is a fairly regular state of existence. This time was partly prompted by an argument, partly through fear for the future of our species, coupled with the redundancy of my own existence. After writing the first draft of this piece, I spent the rest of the day curled up on the sofa, debating between killing myself and staring vacantly ahead until it was bedtime. It’s been two weeks since the first draft was completed, and little has changed. 

Obviously I’ve written during depressions before - it’s just about the only thing I can do when I’m at the bottom of a big hole and no one is coming to save me. I’ve never written during one of these moments with the intent of publishing, though. Things might get a little honest, a little ugly, and come across a little cold, but that’s exactly how I feel right now. 

Attempting to seek purpose is as fleeting as the sensation of an orgasm. It comes in bursts, sometimes longer than usual, leading to actual change. Often times, purpose is half hearted and quickly runs out of steam. This same sensation is occurring within my social networks, and in those I hear, read, and see. Perhaps its because all of us are waiting for the next major setback in our evolution. Us Millennials had a fucking awesome childhood, but have been hit repeatedly through societal failures, and desperately need a win. 

I feel like I’ve been living without much purpose since about mid-2016. I graduated from university with absolutely no practical skills for application in traditional mainstream society. Like my peers I was passionate, driven, and cared enough about the planet to know that I had to pick one problem to solve, and run with it. I chose the people problem. 

On paper, I have a good life. I live in a small studio in Santa Monica, California. I have three cats and two fish. I work from home, and I get to write about whatever I want. My face has been used on billboards and in music videos. I’m even considered an expert in my field by the Trump Administration. I think I’ve done pretty good for someone who wants to live in a small shed in the desert, have a hairy biker boyfriend, a handful of children, and write my books in peace. Right? 

Fuck no. 

Last year I begged my family for money to help me get out of a really nasty living situation, and my grandfather told me I wasn’t special and hung up the phone. This year I was fired from a job I didn’t want on the same day that my cervical cancer screenings came back inconclusive, and expensive. Last week I was assaulted while walking home from the dentist, and the police never called me back. Ben Sasse’s book on the vanishing American adult would suggest that I am just going through typical “adulting,” but if this is what being an adult is, then fuck this shit. I’m out. 

I think I’m out today. 

Where The Community At?

The most thunderously adult cloud looming over our adult heads is the 2020 General Election. As ADULTS, we are responsible for voting in our fate. Once we have solved for that, we have the rest of the problems us new adults have been left with. Will the planet, and therefore our species, survive beyond the calamities descending from our skies, the oceans, our failing crops? I guess you’ll find out next November. 

Every now and again, I used to get a mild reprieve from the pressure of a decaying planet and society and get to talk to other adults who feel the same way, and want to put their efforts into making a positive change. Most of these people tell me I come across as a pessimist, and they are definitely right in the context of this essay. Perhaps in writing about the perfect world*, I have failed to acknowledge and appreciate the positive things we do have as a society. However, I’m currently owed a shit load of money, can’t make rent, and none of my friends or family can be bothered to deal with my depression anymore, so perhaps I’m just projecting. 

Tell me, are you guys happy? 

Community is key to a sustainable sense of contentment. We do not always have to be in physical proximity to our community, just knowing that they are out there is enough to keep us going on our worst days. Technology and the intersection of social and psychological sciences has allowed for the creation of entire community hubs in the cyber world. Theoretically, we should be far more content, and experience far more frequent moments of happiness than we do, given the plethora of ways we can find people “like us” online. We should also be far more advanced. 

Instead, we act like wild dogs, tied to a fence and surrounded by more wild dogs. We bark and bite and snap and piss and shit on everything instead of sitting back, listening, and realizing we all have far more in common than not, and working together to overcome the issues we’re facing is a far better approach. Some glimmers of hope can be seen in the purple wave sweeping the United States, but still the propaganda machine churns out discrepancies that fracture our hope. We are drowning in the chaos of communication, and it is causing us to fall apart. 

Mental Health Per Gender & Society

Rates of suicide, violence, crime in general, drug addiction, basically every negative thing in society continue to rise. The people looking to profit off our madness will tell you that the cause is unconscious bias. They’ll tell us that we’re just not listening enough, that we’re jumping to conclusions.

Again: fuck no.

The system has failed us, and you’re still trying to get us to blame something instead of actually fixing our lived experience. 

The problem with traditional approaches to solving big problems is the messaging. You can’t solve a common problem for a billion people in the same way. A one-size-fits-all approach has been shown to fail, and further perpetuate negative stereotypes. The reason that women of all races are paid less than men is not just because the ERA hasn’t been signed, unconscious biases, and because women are “less likely to ask for equal pay” as if it should be something we have to ask for - we are paid less because we have always been paid less, and when local governments, organizations, communities, try to change things up, they are either met with success, or halted by the upper echelons of government. 

The system was designed this way. 

It is no wonder that I frequently contemplate what a life with one of these handsome celebrity men might actually be like. Any psychologist could point directly from my disenfranchisement, stemming direction from the way my gender is treated by the masses, to my perfect world still having a man be the breadwinner of my family. Of course I want a man to take care of me. I grew up on Disney. I’m a 90s kid, remember? I had a solid decade before all of the existing adults fucked it. 

In my marriage, I want to be my most feminine self. In my home, I want to be the matriarch. In my community, I want to contribute. In my boardroom, I want to be paid equally, get shit done, and be left alone to do that. This state of existence has been called “having it all,” and I have yet to experience it. I guess I won’t ever get to experience it. 

Next?

My work has been revolved around positions like “researcher” or “writer” where I was an in-house encyclopedia, or “Executive” or “Co-founder,” where I was both leader and operations within start-ups. These positions rarely lasted further than a project or whatever my stock options dictated. I was the reason these positions didn’t last, but I didn’t want them to either. 

I never wanted to wake up in the morning and invest my intellectual capital in get-rich-quick schemes. I want to help people and businesses adapt to the evolving mindset that work and life should come as a lifestyle choice, not a balance, and mitigate all of the things that make us fail along the way. The opportunity for learning that has accompanied my varied employment background has given me more than enough experience to achieve these goals.

That’s what this website was supposed to be. In the corporate monopoly we exist within, I wanted to give start-ups the opportunity to engage with research otherwise beyond their budgets. I wanted to solve problems for people like me, not just for people who thought I wanted to be like them. Forecasting human behavior can be lonely. Finding honest, hardworking people, who are able to comprehend the magnitude of their individual impact is almost impossible. My output is not designed to support my own needs. My purpose is to show individuals and businesses how important they are in the future of society, how to improve, and what they could achieve if they put in the work.

A good friend, and very clever man, Ryan Rauzon, recently asked me what I would do if I woke up in the morning and could do anything at all. I took a moment to think, and responded with, “I’d ask my friends what they needed help with, and I’d help them.” 

Conclusion

I’ve written something like 80,000 words in the last two weeks, and I’ve been completely incapable of finishing anything, or attributing anything I’ve written to anything of import. I published a piece about Cum Town yesterday because I didn’t want to potentially die today without having some public record of how great I think this show is. 

I think this article is going to get removed before anyone can read it. I think some people will assume it’s a suicide note, and it’s not. It’s just how I feel. I've been saying this the whole time. 



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