Being strong is hard. Emotionally, mentally, being strong for others and for yourself, having strength of character – it can be freaking difficult. I feel really alone in the world a lot of the time and I want you to know if you feel that way too that there are certainly other weirdos out there who are the same. One of the main reasons I feel alone is because of my tendency to speak out in the face of injustice. One of my traits (which can arguably be considered good or bad) is that I have absolutely no filter. I’m extremely empathetic and emotionally driven so you can best believe if I witness someone being a meany – I’m gonna say something, even if it’s a total stranger and in public. Some would argue I possess this trait as a side effect of mental illness, and you know, the way I feel about that remark at this stage in my life is that if that’s true well at least its good for something hey?!
Often those who are perceived as being the strongest are in fact, the most sensitive.
As much as we all like to say that we “don’t care” what people think – we do. It’s a completely natural human response. We are social creatures - we not only seek but crave the validation and approval of others. This can easily be observed on a simpler level through the behaviours of different species of animals without even needing verbal explanation, but the implications are much the same. Humans are complex creatures. We say what we think we should say and we think about what we think we should say. (dare you to say that 3 times really fast) We are the only species known to question our own thoughts.
Now, what I am getting at with this is that recurring dilemma we all (I assume we all have this depth of thought and awareness, but correct me if I’m wrong) face that is “do I accept this reassuring lie?” (or even – “I know this is a lie, but I’m not going to speak my truth because I’m scared of judgement, so I’ll just be quiet”)
A reassuring lie could be (including but certainly not limited to):
*** heavy emphasis on the sarcasm here as these are certainly not things I believe to be true***
-there is no racism, we invaded Australia ages ago – forget about it
-genders are all treated and represented equally
-there is a “humane” way to murder something, dairy cows live in happy green pastures
-global warming doesn’t exist
-anxiety isn’t real, kids these days just have no coping skills
-that girl was drunk, so she probably did want to have sex with that guy at the time
-there’s no jobs and housing crisis, millennials are just lazy
-men don’t get sexually assaulted
-the millions who have attempted and completed suicide did so because they wanted to, they were gonna do it anyway, it would have just been a waste of resources, you know it totally wasn’t because of a broken mental health system and lack of resources or the fact that the government fails to put adequate funding into to fixing it and would prefer to spend it on useless garden beds which are only vandalised, private jets for politicians or lavish council luncheons.
These are examples of lies we tell ourselves, the media tells us, people confirm them to us – it’s to make us feel like there’s no injustice, like we are safely wrapped in our little cotton-wool world and everything is fine and dandy.
We cultivate these comforting falsifications to make our conscience feel better.
I get that being told you’re part of the problem is a blow to your ego but if we all worked together collectively we could live in a world we are so convinced is unattainable because we are “only one person”. This notion fosters a world of wide-spread victim-blaming and harmful complacency. Well I’m calling bullshit on this system. I think it sucks, and it doesn’t work! And if by some chance you’re still under the illusion what we’re doing now is working – it’s probably because you’re one of the few benefiting from it, so even more of a reason to get with the times.
We live in a society where people would much rather a reassuring lie than an inconvenient truth!
This is so shocking to me as someone who has always stood up for things – even if my voice shakes. I realise I am privileged to have the opportunity to have a say, as some groups are so oppressed they are barely able to be heard. This just gives me more ammunition. Have a voice for the voiceless. Stop not giving a crap because something is too much of an inconvenience to you!
I feel like we can relate so many shocking things in today’s society back to a simple playground story. Billy is getting bullied by Bob, Betty stands by, she watches it happen, but she doesn’t say or do anything about it. Who’s worse? Bob or Betty? The answer is of course up for debate, but in my personal opinion I think there are far too many Betty’s in the world. There really are not that many Bob’s in the world, I think there are very few people who actually *want* and intend to be horrible, in fact, most of the Bob’s are probably just former Billy’s who didn’t know how else to deal with it. The abused became the abuser because there are so many damn Betty’s hanging around doing NOTHING – literally allowing crappy behaviour to continue. People get so worried about confrontation and I think that’s primarily because we’ve been scared in to thinking it’s bad. Back in the day if your opinion simply differed from someone, or god forbid you outed someone for their corruption - you could be executed for treason! I think these out-dated concepts are still abstractly present in modern society today. We are worried to be the messenger that gets shot.
I’m not going to lie to you, speaking out isn’t always easy. You cop a lot of crap projected from other’s insecurities, I guess you just have to learn to be tolerant of other people’s phases of being a human. But what you do NOT have to put up with is injustice or going against what is right for the sake of avoiding confrontation. I get overwhelmed sometimes at the sheer amount of hate I receive for promoting love and acceptance, I mean comments and acts of absolute seething hatred. I once almost got assaulted at a bowling club for saying I voted yes to gay marriage (by a mother of a young child!). I once got spat on (also by a female!) for telling her male friend I was going to get security at a festival after he groped me on the breast. I once got followed to the toilet and threatened because I wouldn’t give a man my number. I have been hurled abuse in the street because I do not eat animals. I’ve been harassed for supporting feminism. I’ve received death threats for saying I don’t support pig hunting and greyhound racing. I had a job offer revoked because I had a “vote yes – love is love” filter on my personal facebook profile photo. And unfortunately these are far from isolated incidents and they are not even the smallest fraction of all of my experiences.
Regardless of this, and besides the occasional cry and “why are humans so shit” speech to my boyfriend (or sometimes it’s just to my chihuahua) at 2am when it all gets too much, I will persist in this journey. I think that in life you can either choose to perpetuate the problem – you don’t even have to directly contribute as such – idly standing by is allowing it to continue, or to roll up your sleeves and actively participate in dismantling it – as uncomfortable as that may be for the standers by. Having the courage to stand up yourself actually gives others the push to do the same. You may have to be the first to stand up at the time, but I guarantee others will back you up, people WANT to be good. They want to be happy, loved and accepted. Everything else is just a lie.
Hug the ones you love, be bloody grateful – and always choose the inconvenient truth over the reassuring lie…
It’s been a while since I’ve written. So, on a lighter note and to finish up this post, here’s a little bit of totally unrelated stuff about what’s going on in my world: Things have been pretty crazy over the holiday season for me, in addition to the usual madness - I had to have my appendix removed just before Christmas – which sucked, and although it is over for many, I have just finished up 10 of the craziest, most exhausting days of the year. Usually I steer well away from Tamworth during the Country Music Festival, I popped my cherry this year and spent the full 10 days fully immersed in the experience… wow, I have a whole new appreciation for the artists. The days are long, ridiculously hot and exhausting – and I was only spectating! Now, country music isn’t my thing at all – mainly because I thought it was all old guys strumming banjos, singing about blonde-haired girls, jeans, beers and their dead dog. But, after 9 months or so of dating a country singer (Kyle Cartner – check him out, thank me later!), I’ve received quite the education (lemme just say… Sam Hunt… DAMN!) and I can tolerate, I’d even go as far to say “enjoy”, quite a lot of it now! Yay for growth! All in all, other than not wanting to hear Darius Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel” ever again or I may want to burn my eyes out with a hot poker, and the general rape-culture vibe, I had a great time at TCMF.
I celebrated my 22nd Birthday earlier this month surrounded by friends and family – I still feel either half 5 year old, half 70 year old though, with not much in between! I got two pet mice - Bill and Ben, which are pretty damn awesome!
I’m looking at doing a lot more promotional modelling work this year as I’ve been really enjoying that, so keep an eye out for upcoming events I’ll be sharing! I promise to still do some photographic stuff too and hope to have a new drop of photo sets up on the site soon!
Other than that, I’m a busy little bee as ever, UNI starts back up very soon – I’m going into my FOURTH year! AND I’m still working as a vampire! With the time I have left I love my family, cuddle my dog, watch conspiracy theory documentaries and sleep!
I hope 2018 has been kind to you all so far and that it continues to bring amazing things for you… and if it hasn’t, hang in there – I love and believe in you, and although sometimes things are shit, somehow as humans we manage to get through.
Lots of Love – Tyler xxx