To the girl who runs my Instagram account,
To the girl in all of my selfies, the girl who filters out the perfect photo with perfect white borders around the edges, the girl who enjoys her coffee black and her Starbucks tall, the girl who embraces the most current fashion statements and posts those cute little quotes almost weekly, the girl who is the epitome of picture perfect no matter the setting, the girl with the perfect relationship, perfect friendships, perfect everything…to the girl who never seems to stop enjoying life: let’s meet.
I really strive to be more like you and to be the person that you are to the face of Instagram. Maybe we could meet up and go get our favorite coffee, and talk about how I can be more like you. We can take matching photos of our breakfast spread, and you can show me some tricks to get more likes. I want to know what it would be like to be so happy and so carefree, and I think you have some things to teach me.
I am positive that you and I are a lot alike, and a lot of commonalities that we could bond over. As the virtual me, and the person who shows my face to the world via social media, you seem to really have it all together, and I cannot help but be a little envious of your seemingly perfect life. Sometimes I even find it hard to understand how your life can be so perfect and so beautiful. Can you tell me what is it like to not have anxiety and depression? Can you tell me how you hide that acne so well, that acne that I spend so much time concealing each and every morning? Can you enlighten me on how you always look so carefree and without worry, willing to take on the world with a perfect smile, or that cute little smirk that leaves so much up to interpretation? Can you please help me to understand what it is like to not worry about what you look like all of the time, because you always look so flawless in any outfit? What is it like to not worry about money, because you seem to have everything and anything you want in life? What is it really like to fall asleep happy and content, surrounded by soft pillows and blankets in your giant bed, with a good book, or even our favorite television show tucked up next to you. How are you able to tag so many cool locations on your photos, traveling to so many awesome places? It must be such a breath of fresh air to feel like your life is in your total control, could you please tell me what it is like?
I wish I loved myself as much as you love me. From the looks of it to the outside world, we have our life together. I believe that people don’t really see how much I am suffering over here, being the real-life us. It’s not that I don’t love myself unconditionally; it’s just that sometimes it’s hard to do so. And it’s much easier to talk about loving ourselves no matter what than it is to talk about the fact that sometimes it’s never that simple. Worrying about that kind of thing doesn’t belong in an Instagram photo or caption. It feels heavy, but you always look so light. How are you able to compartmentalize how you feel to show how you look so well? Maybe you could tell me what that’s like.
You and I have so much in common. We both love a good strong cup of coffee, have tons of loving friendships, and are able to pull together a carefully chosen outfit to match the season. We both indulge in Mexican food, have best friendships, and are passionate about our college campus. We both have have a deep love for traveling, the big city, our family, and cute bracelets. You really seem to love yourself and feel good about who you are all the time, and I cannot say the same thing. From the looks of our Instagram account, you look in the mirror every day and feel happy and ready to take on the world. And a lot of days and a lot of times, I do too. But some days, more days than I would like to admit, I put on this pretend mask for the world, and hide everything that I am feeling to shield my imperfections and insecurities. I don’t want to be imperfect to the world, and it scares me to be judged and feel not liked by others. But you don’t have these same issues. The world loves you, and you love the life you live. At least, by the looks of it.
So maybe if you ever have some time, I would like to meet with you and see if we can compare our notes and become more alike. I do not want to compete with you; it would ruin me to be so perfect all of the time and in every frame, every filter, and every photoshoot. But I do think you could teach me some tricks. Show me how to fake it until I make it even if it means that I only reach the halfway point, because maybe that halfway point could help bring me out of this dark place, give me that boost of confidence, and help me feel more in control of something that is really out of my reach. I wonder if you could help me realize what really makes me happy and what I do just for the show, and help me to be more authentic and more true to my heart. I wonder if you could help me to see that life is beautiful and to really learn how to enjoy what is around me instead of doing it just for the photo. Maybe I could travel to these places with you and enjoy the scene around me, not through the eyes of my phone, but through the true eyes of my soul.
And I can guarantee that there are some things I can teach you as well. I can teach you that being a little more vulnerable to the world is okay, and that it is okay to show your face and your struggles. I can try to teach you that the people around you will help you get through anything you are going through, if you stop hiding and allow them to do so. It is okay to admit to those around you and those that you love that not everything is okay right now, but that it will be. I promise this will not cause you to crack but will actually help build you up. The truth of it is that people around you do not expect you to be perfect, but they do expect you to be honest and respectful. I have been through so much in my life, and it would be a shame to allow people to not learn from my past struggles to help them move forward. If my past can help leave people less broken, then I think this is one of the best privileges of life. So crack a little bit and show emotion, not just perfection, and maybe we can work together to allow us to start using our social media accounts as more of a true portrayal of our life, allowing others to help us through the hard times of life.
Despite how it sounds and despite the separation and contradiction, you and me are one and the same. Be true to yourself and how you feel, and be honest through all aspects of life. For me, this means taking a hold of my Instagram account for myself again. For you, it might mean something else.