They call it the wake.
It’s the moment every colonist, normally in their later teens, wakes in the night and realises they are the middle child of life. They have never seen the concrete jungles of their ancestral homeworld. Never known space beyond the metal walls of the habitat. And for all the future generations to come, they will never sit under a tree on a verdant field and feel solar radiation dulled by atmosphere.
After that point, every waking moment becomes a lesson in futility. There is no corridor you have never not walked down before. You will recognise every face for every day of your life. Every book or movie is available, but no more.
Ideas and imagination are not internal processes, spewing forth new wonders to behold. They are the result of external stimuli and the only thing that will change in your entire lifetime is the constellations outside the bulkheads.
This is the moment you wake up.
Prompt originally posted by Hungry_Gamer on reddit and received 859 upvotes.