How often we, as teenagers, fall prey to the temptation of angst. We put on grief, on sorry, on deep dispositions as a mark of honor. We label ourselves 'emo', or 'goth,' or 'misunderstood' as a way to validate our assumed sadness. It's a strong temptation. Too often, I succumb and vainly think that no one really understands what I go through. My experience is unique, experienced by no one, that I am separate.
But this thought that we, alone, know what sorrow is mocks the pain of those who are legitimate. We call ourselves 'emo' like it were something to be proud of. But it isn't. How arrogantly we pride ourselves in our supposed suffering, ignoring those unfortunates who know what pain is. It's a mockery, a delusion, and an insult.
Barry Hendrickson, 53, knows what pain is. It isn't posting pictures of himself in mock agony on the internet. It's feeling himself slowly dieing in from cancer and liver malfunction in front of his wife, and young daughter. It's knowing he has no more than three weeks in this life. And it's hiding the fear, sorrow, and pain of death from everyone - hurting those he loves the most. It's the knowledge that he won't see his daughter grow into a young lady. And pain is the feeling of the drugs coursing through his veins, unable to stop his body from powering down.
So go ahead, keep pretending that your racing hormones know what pain is. Keep thinking you have a reason for lashing out at others. Until you have known real suffering, there is no excuse for your angst. And until you can understand your angst is nothing compared to that of others, you will continue mocking the pain of those less fortunate than yourself.