Sharks have gained a rather bad reputation over the years, perhaps it’s because of the way they are portrayed in movies like Jaws or maybe because their multiple rows of teeth may not make them look like the cuddliest of creatures. In as early as the year 1758, they were labelled as “man-eaters” and since then have been deceived by the media as malicious predators when in reality, they are a very curious and intelligent species that aren’t worth all the worry you have before you dip your toes into the ocean. Demonizing sharks with human motives is what is driving them closer to extinction. The attacks they’ve made on humans is nothing compared to the damage we have caused to their population. We are a far greater threat to them.
The average human lives an estimate of 25,915 days and spends a mere 10 percent of their time living to find someone to love. I'm convinced that nobody knows what love really is. How do we explain to our children that it isn't what we see in movies anymore? It isn't the proximity to meeting through our friends or heading to the local cafe. How do we explain that love is just swiping left and right on images of men/women that we may be attracted to? Millennials fall in love over messages, leaving nothing left to say when they meet for the first time face-to-face. Digital dating has become infiltrated with casual hookups or nothing at all. These days, you head to a club and instead of people socializing, you see tables of singles sitting on their cellphones swiping faces trying to decipher who they would have sex with later. Love has become a competition, prowling on the best-looking people.
We are consistently asked at a very young age, "what do you want to be when you grow up? A firefighter? A doctor? A veterinarian?" as if our eight-year-old selves will depict our future career path. Realistically, only six percent of the human population end up with the career they wanted as a kid. Perhaps this is because as a child, there are only handful occupations they know about—ones you would find in a storybook or maybe the career you're working towards now didn't quite exist yet. On the other hand, more than twenty-five percent of students are struggling to even obtain their high school diploma. I've had friends who found it unnecessary to finish high school and decide to raise a family instead, I've had friends who left their college programs to work a minimum wage job, I've had friends graduate university and not even make use of their degree and others who have graduated and immediately started pursuing a position in the career they earned. Each of these situations are all equally okay. Maybe we didn't end up where we hoped we would be or maybe we aren't the people we wanted to become, but that is alright.
I used to question myself every single day "Who Am I?" Who is the girl behind the tired, dark brown eyes and shy smile? I could piece together fragments of myself but they never fit together. It's almost like I was trapped inside of my body, waiting to be set free. Parts of myself would escape from my caged sad soul and flash glimpses inside of my mind of a happier life with endless possibilities. Standing in the mirror, I barely recognized my eyes that were full of life and the smile that stretched from ear to ear, when did I ever stop loving her? My hands slowly moved towards my reflection, but as soon as my fingertips made contact, I disappeared. Just like that, she was gone.
Coffee becomes cool, cigarettes burn out, the music stops playing, books come to an end, metals rust, conversations run dry, and sunlight dies; the same way that his affection made you feel loved, the way his words made you feel heard, his eyes made you feel existent...everything comes to an end. Why is it that when I think of him, I self-destruct and love myself a little less? With the slightest touch from his hand, my heart would cringe, but as a ghost from my past, he obliterates me, and the only way to deal with it is through alcohol that tastes like hell and drugs that mess with my mind. Every bit of hope was lost. I disregarded every moral that I believed in and stripped myself of any love that I've felt.