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  • Writer's pictureErin

the unpleasant world is sometimes still unpleasant

Updated: Dec 3, 2022

I became indifferent about the world

the moment the world became noticeably


in first grade I thought the world

around me was beautiful

I thought it was full of kind people,

and love,

and even laughter

oh, what an innocent,

naive child I was

then I made it to the fourth grade

and the world became slightly


I suddenly had teachers telling me

that I had no friends,

that no one liked me,

that I'd never amount to much

I made it to middle school

and all of a sudden I had girls

treat me as though what I was told

in fourth grade

was true

in middle school I learned

new words

like slut,

or whore,

or bitch

words that were used to describe me,

although the first two,

by definition,

made zero sense


I hadn't even been kissed

boys didn't notice me much

and when they did

it was based solely on the

unpleasant things the girls

would say about me

the world became more unpleasant

in middle school

when we started learning

lockdown drills

because the place that we were

meant to learn

became potential places

we could go to die

I mean, it was happening around us,

maybe not in our bubble of the unpleasant world,

but down the street in someone else's

in high school the world became

extremely unpleasant

therefore I became

extremely indifferent about the world

it was unpleasant to wake up every morning;

it was unpleasant to sit in a classroom

with people who didn't like you,

who called you names,

who told you the world would be less

unpleasant if you were no longer in it

the world became unbearable when

one day I agreed with the words

that were being said

maybe the world would be less

unpleasant if I were no longer in it

so I took myself and my unbearable thoughts

and stayed in a room with white walls

and that sterile smell

where adults wore scrubs and handed out pills

I came back to a world where

bomb threats

and lockdowns

and anxiety became the unpleasant norm

a year later I graduated

from the place that gave me fear,

and anxiety,

and memories of loneliness

only to find myself

listening to the words

the middle school girls

said to me

being repeated by adults

in a college setting

I found myself being noticed

in fraternity houses

by men who agreed

with what was said

instead of living in an unpleasant world

where I had to worry about

bomb threats,

or gunmen,

or lockdowns,

though those things happened too,

I found myself worrying about

date-rape drugs,

and men

who preyed on drunk women

I had to worry about being in a fraternity

house too long by myself,

or walking around campus at night,

or sitting in a bar alone while my friends

got more drinks or went to the bathroom

the unpleasant things that force us to become

indifferent about the unpleasant world around

us may change the older we get,

but the unpleasant world is sometimes still unpleasant

that's why finding the beautiful things

is so important

it's why I try to

sit in the sun until I get tired

or read as many books

in one sitting

as my brain will let me

and why I find comfort in the people

who make living in this unpleasant world

worth it in the long run

because no matter how many cruel words,

or terrible people I come across in the world,

the world still shines with pleasant ones

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